INTERVIEW OF AMYKARINE DESIGNERS – AMY AND KARINE BRUTIJAN – TO “YOUR COFFEE BREAK” MAGAZINE (UK)
Why have you travelled so much in your lives? Travelling is a result of our inborn creativity, natural inquisitiveness, intellectual curiosity, a desire to find out more about the world we live in, and a quest for new experiences, of very varied interests we have always had, ranging from art and fashion to social and political sciences. So, as a result, we are very open to ideas and cultures, and inspired by so many things.
Where is your favourite place in the world and why? Each place we have been to, lived and experienced, has its place in our hearts, with memories and unforgettable experience, with meeting interesting people. Big cities have special fascination for us – London, Paris, New York, Moscow, with their pace of life, so many opportunities, both in terms of business, and entertainment and cultural events. But we also enjoy spending time closer to nature – there are so many amazing places in the world, which can be very revitalising and inspirational. Our advice is: if you have an opportunity, travel to a new place where you haven’t been to before, at least once a year.
What are the biggest differences you’ve noticed in the way people dress around the world? This question has too many aspects, as one can speak about street fashion, which can be very varied indeed, or about culturally or religiously determined differences. There are also widely held stereotypes about the way people dress in this or that particular country. So, one can say that London is known for best quality classic style, bespoke tailored outfit, Paris – classic, more feminine style with greater attention to accessories, in the USA women dresses are in general much brighter and varied in colour, printed fabrics are very popular, and in Germany and Austria the best looks are in solid block colours. Though these are very simplified ideas/images of the way people dress in those countries, as you can find any of the styles mentioned in any of these places.
And are there any similarities that you’ve seen? Professional women anywhere in the world appreciate the same things – high quality, perfect tailoring, natural fabrics, clean lines and strict silhouettes. And, of course, great accessories, which can be used for self-expression. Professional women should always look chic and their looks should reflect their status and the fact that they are good at dealing with business and financial matters and that they are confident, reliable, trustworthy. And luxury high quality accessories are must-have for anyone.
Personally, which country / city do you think has the best style? We believe that every woman should follow the principle that great style is the style that is truly her own! We enjoy classic chic, and contemporary luxury style. We are also convinced that it is crucial to be dressed appropriately to the occasion, and also not to underestimate the importance of accessories.
You are artists; why put your work on scarves rather than any other item of clothing? The scarf is an ideal item to realize the ideas related to textile design and to show patterns. We personally love scarves, because a scarf is a great accessory, they can be worn in so many different ways. And they can reflect the mood and give you a very special feeling. We also find the silk carre square a statement accessory, which, just like jewellery, can boost confidence and change the overall style of the outfit. Moreover, women in all parts of the world, from Paris and Vienna to Shanghai and Delhi, enjoy wearing scarves. A chic silk scarf can be a statement accessory, and a confidence booster to help the career. Even when you don’t wear it around the neck, you can still knot it onto your bag, and it will still make a difference to the overall look.
What makes your scarves/artworks able to transcend different national languages and styles? Our mixed backgrounds – being of Armenian origins, we travelled, studied and lived in diverse metropolises ranging from London and Moscow to Paris and Vienna – hugely influenced our designs and the philosophy of our brand. We believe that the fusion of cultures brings a fabulous, wonderful blend, especially when it comes to art and design. Our scarves are inspired by classic literature, poetry, music and art, which are understood anywhere in the world. Our prints are inspired by the fusion of cultures, and never by a particular land, they never feature a culture-specific pattern. We are true cosmopolitan people, we believe that true art, design and fashion can overcome national boundaries and unite people around the world.
What inspired your latest collection Sonnet? The collection is inspired by English romantic poetry – poems by Wordsworth, Shelley and Byron – the greatest classics of world literature, which, we are convinced, is easily understood anywhere in the world. Romanticism is a 19th century artistic and literary movement, which originated in Europe, was very strong in Britain, Germany and France, but also reached Spain, Russia, Latin America and North America. It produced great work and masterpieces in music (Verdi, Berlioz, Wagner, Liszt, Schumann, Mendelssohn), literature (Goethe, Fichte and Schelling in Germany; Duma, Hugo, Stendal in France; Pushkin, Lermontov in Russia) and fine art (William Turner in Britain, Delacroix in France, Goya in Spain, Ivan Aivazovsky in Russia).
You say that the designs unleash unexpected combinations of colour and pattern; where does the inspiration for these come from? Are you swayed by current trends or is it something bigger than that? We see our scarves as timeless, classic accessories, so we tend to apply more of our creative vision, rather than follow changing trends. Though we personally enjoy discovering fashion trends, AMYKARINE reflects more of our aesthetic and artistic vision, and when choosing the colours, we tend to think more of what we would like to wear ourselves.
Why are there only 77 of each piece? The philosophy of the brand is creativity and uniqueness and our collections are not intended for mass market. We want our scarves to be truly exclusive pieces. “7” is a magic number – there are 7 days of the week, 7 colours of the rainbow, 7 notes on a musical scale, 7 sees and 7 continents. It is the most significant number across religions and cultures. And as the ethos of our brand is to transcend cultures and nationalities, we chose “7” as lucky number for people across the globe.
Do you see your scarves as practicalities or art? Or both? Both, a luxury scarf is a statement accessory, it is about beauty and style. It adds the final touch to the way a woman dresses, it is the signature. And it is an art form as well, because when we create the prints, we act like artists – the picture always comes from our imagination, it is a fantasy, we first draw the image with a pencil, then fill it with colours, often watercolours are used, and the final scarf becomes a true “wearable art”.
Who is the AMYKARINE woman? What is her style, where does she go, what does she do? Strong, confident, hard-working, successful, feminine, elegant, with subtle sense of beauty and style, a true lady, who has passion for all sorts of accessories – belts, shoes, jewellery. Her job can be in any sphere – from business and journalism to creative fields, she sets high standards for herself, and she aspires to the very best luxury things, which reflect her status, so she prefers very high quality timeless items, doesn’t follow changing trends and stays loyal to her style. In addition, she enjoys luxury dining, fine wines and opera.
Should we be thinking about a scarf the same way we do our necklace / rings – as a vital accessory that makes our outfit? Certainly. We personally are true lovers of scarves and can hardly be seen going out not wearing a scarf, though each time styled differently depending on our mood or occasion. Scarves are timeless and classic printed scarves are created regardless of fading trends, they always look stylish.
How many different ways are there to wear our AMYKARINE scarf? Scarves are amazing in how many different ways of styling you can experiment with. They can give you a touch of colour, and brighten up basic clothing. We advise to choose the scarf, which matches the colour of your hair, eyes and skin. Also, the scarf should be either a little brighter or a little darker than the main dress or shirt, or jacket, so that it has a contrasting colour. Alternatively, you can choose a matching color as an enhancing touch. One of our favourite styles is the classical wide triangle over your chest. For an elegant look it can also be tied into a bow.
By your own admission AMYKARINE scarves can be very bold; should we wear a simple outfit to let our scarf do the talking or should the rest of our outfit be just as strong? The scarves fit perfectly well with mono-coloured shirts, jackets or dresses, though skirts and trousers in the ensemble can be in a different colour. A multi-colour scarf is also a great choice for those who like black colour, but avoid wearing black, because of it ages the face. A bright scarf can tweak and freshen any monochromatic look, so you can wear your favourite black, or charcoal, dark brown or dark blue ensemble and freshen it up by a lighter scarf.
Our readers are professional women who may well have to travel a lot with their job, so, apart from an AMYKARINE scarf, what are your travel essentials? Apart from office outfit, or an outfit for conferences/business meetings, when travelling, a small black dress and a chic leather clutch are must-have items, plus a pair of heels.
And do you have any tips for surviving long haul flights? Yes, as we travel a lot – we always wear a very comfortable outfit for the plane, take a cashmere shawl, a facial skin moisturizer, which makes skin look fresh after long-haul flights.