The Art of Fashion.
For Madina Vadache, these two disciplines—art and fashion—cannot be separated. Indeed, when one looks at the fashion designer’s work it is impossible not to apply the same vocabulary to her exquisitely created garments as one would to a contemporary sculpture or a painting in a downtown gallery. Dramatic proportioning; structural beauty; undulating lines; provocative; alluring; sophisticated. These are just a few of the words that come to mind when inspecting Vadache’s work. Look closer, and the flawless detailing is revealed. Delicate ruching, stitching, pleats, folds and gathers are carefully completed by hand to form the whole of the designer’s vision. Whether the piece is a custom-made wedding gown, a tiered, architectural blouse or a hand-painted silk tee-shirt, Vadache applies the same level of couture-inspired skill to everything she crafts.
In fact, it is the couture quality of her work that separates her designs from that of many others working in fashion. The very definition of couturier is that of an artist: a person who creates exclusive and custom-fitted fashions that meet certain well-defined standards. Take into consideration Vadache’s extensive training and education in her native country of Russia, her practice of working one-on-one with clients to create made-to-order designs and her materials of fine, imported fabrics and expensive notions and accessories, and she clearly meets the requirements of couturier, if not the historical definition.
But it is Vadache’s inspired imagination and ability to develop her creative vision into functional works of art that has garnered her highly regarded reputation. Vadache says she finds inspiration in all things beautiful. She cites many references, such as the rich, historic paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, sleek, modern architecture and the lush and feral natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest where she calls home. However her most important point of reference is her own imagination, deeply honed from a childhood growing up in Dagestan, a remote and mountainous southern province of Russia.
Born in communist Russia where there was no luxury or fashion to speak of. The young girl learned to rely on her imagination for games and amusement, reading lots of books, playing outdoors and developing a fine eye for beauty and the art of the natural world. Her family had little money and fashion magazines and television were nonexistent, but she and her sister, Raya, decided to make their own handcrafted clothes. The girls’ beautiful and stylish handiwork became the talk of Dagestan. Before long, Vadache’s passion led her to work for several fashion houses, where she gained experience in atelier production. Soon she was admitted to the Academy of Fine Art in the Republic of Georgia, where she earned a bachelor degree in fashion design.
Arriving in the United States in the late 1990s, Vadache spoke barely a word of English but she did not let a language barrier stand in the way of her dream—an American dream—to build her own fashion house in the United States. The designer wasted no time and burst onto the scene, earning accolades and admirers for her premiere couture bridal collection in 2000. Using lush feathers, detailed beading, rich, sumptuous fabrics and intricate design techniques—such as complex draping, folding and gathering—reminiscent of that of the world’s greatest couturiers, her gowns were unlike any designs her customers had seen before.
From then on, Vadache has been unstoppable, designing annual collections of bridal gowns, eveningwear and ready-to-wear clothing, all stamped with her unmistakable signature touch. The Madina Vadache brand has come to embody chic sophistication and a feminine independence that has transformed the way brides view beauty and luxury. It is Vadache’s intent to not just make women beautiful, but to also make them feel beautiful. Working with each woman one-on-one, the designer evokes her profound sensibility, intuitive understanding and independence of vision that are the hallmarks of a true artist: the couturier.
Madina Vadache, who as a child had to make her own luxury, is now creating the ultimate in luxury for women to wear. Her ready-to-wear collections demonstrate that same sensibility—as well as an independent spirit—and are as lovingly crafted and artful as her haute couture. With the same strong-willed spirit of Coco Chanel, Madeleine Voinnet and the other fashion icons who came before her, Madina Vadache is the next great designer to watch.