Natalia Alaverdian of A.W.A.K.E. Mode, provides a modernist refresh for ready-to-wear. A fashion editor, who entered the design sphere with no formal education, and the self-proclaimed “creative manager” behind the brand has honed her talents to become a household name in abstract dressing. Think asymmetrical suits in leather, cocoon-shaped coats and excessive draping.

From its founding in 2012, the womenswear mainstay has carved out a conceptual angle in fashion – all thanks to Natalia’s eye for an alternative aesthetic and flair for experimentation. Driven by storytelling and influenced by the likes of photography and Japanese art, fantasy-inspired clothes (ruffle dresses and tall straw hats à la Wizard of Oz) are aplenty where Natalia is concerned. While the concepts are often birthed from her colourful childhood (and avid interest in history), a sense of pragmatism gives the clothing a high wearability factor.

For SS19, our multidisciplinary muse draws on the brand's deconstructed forms and distinct layering. We see tailored designs take the lead role as narrator for A.W.A.K.E. Mode’s cultural view of the world.

What's the mantra you tell yourself first thing in the morning?
Coffee, coffee, coffee... And sometimes strong tea!

How do you take your coffee?
With sugar and a bit of cold milk. But sometimes I just go for very strong black tea with milk. Works better than coffee if you need to stay awake!

If you weren't doing what you're doing now, what would you be doing instead?
Living in NYC – trying to make films and pay rent.

If you could only keep one outfit in your wardrobe, which would it be?
My grey hoodie, black sweatpants and my favourite black Nike sneakers.

Who's one person you'd love to have dinner with and why?
My husband any day. I am very curious about many people dead and alive, but I'd rather watch them interact with someone else than have dinner with them, meeting strangers in a one-to-one situation can take a lot of energy and is often awkward. So I would rather spend a great evening with my husband, because it's fun and we share food!

What's the main thing you would like to achieve this year and why?
The peacefulness of a happy mind, because I'm always worried and tired, running a business and designing at the same time is a rollercoaster, and I want to be able not to get sick while staying on it.

Who would you want to record your audio autobiography, voice-wise?
I'm very torn between Tim Roth or Tom Hardy.

Why did you end up doing what you do? Because...
My husband thought it was a good idea!

More 8Qs:

+ Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding:
"I tend to pend a lot of time with my mind in the future"

+ Alex Eagle:
"I have always had a crush on Pablo Picasso!"

+ Bella Freud: 
"I dream a lot"