Mykrolab Book

Book, Editing, Interviews

Mykrolab Book

A small selection of three of a total of thirty profiles for the Mykrolab Book, edited and written by Maurits de Bruijn.

Irina Shaposhinkova

Don’t be fooled by Irina Shaposhinkova’s second collection Crystallographica, sharp lines and stark silhouettes is not the only she knows how to do. Irina just finished Antwerp Academy of Fashion and is already showing an uncanny versatility that comes from a great fascination and sensitivity for material.

‘When I came to Antwerp, I immediately liked the city. There was great atmosphere and I liked the people I met in the academy. I found Antwerp so beautiful and calm, it’s a big contrast to where I come from. Moscow is a much bigger and louder city.

Starting my own label wasn’t something I had planned, but I always knew that I wanted to do that at some point. Somehow it came to this decision now. Being in control of your own label is so different from working in the academy, there is so much more to think about. In the academy you have total freedom, you don’t have to be commercial. Now I work with a sales agent and we discuss what will sell and what won’t. I have to find the balance between when I want to experiment and when I create pieces that women should be able to wear. I have to adapt my own ideas to real life, which I find this very challenging to do.

My last collection does show my character and my vision, with every collection I try to evolve. I try to be very focused on my ideas. The hard look of that collection was not always there. If you look at the work before it was rather soft. I was working with knits, it’s completely different from working to construct certain shapes. It’s interesting to try myself in different fields. I’ve always like these clean lines.

My father has a sewing atelier in Moscow and from the age of fourteen I spent a lot of time there. I got to see how the production works and I had a chance to see the fabric factories. I wanted to develop my skills to learn more about it and that’s why I moved to London.

At the moment I work with leather, I’ve never worked with it before. I’m learning all this different techniques and I’m trying out a lot. I usually take photos during the process. I always find it challenging to work with something I haven’t done before. That’s also how I came to the clean shapes of the former collection. Material is quite essential in my work, I find a lot of inspiration in it, the aesthetic of it, the treatment of it, sometimes the inspiration lies in the idea of the material.

For me sketching is only the starting point, then I start realizing that the direction can still completely change, my process depends so much about the execution.’



Francesco Cominelli

Assistant editor at Vogue Hommes Francesco Cominelli is the most stylish young man working in fashion today. He loves mixing the contemporary with the old, the new with the vintage when assembling his own look or his looks for Vogue. It is obvious Fransesco knows exactly what he wants.

‘When I was around nine years old I had to attend a religious ceremony and I bought two different suits, one was navy blue and the other one was emerald green. I just wasn’t sure about which one would be better for that occasion! I also bought different shirts and ties to go with them.

I wouldn’t say that I choose this world, becoming a stylist was probably the only acceptable excuse I could tell my parents to excuse myself for all the times I came home with new clothes. They used to get mad at me but after I chose fashion as a job they seem more flexible. It’s funny… I got home ten minutes ago with new vintage clothes and my mother said exactly what I expected: “New clothes? Oh sure, ’cause you really need them!”

My background as a photographer influences my work as a stylist a lot, when I prepare a shoot I know exactly what I want. I consider the lights, the feeling and the way the colors of the clothes would come out better on a photo. I’m not saying that I have to decide everything myself but I’m just trying to fight the photographers’s hegemony on a shoot by letting them decide everything.

I love photography, some people still ask me why I stopped taking pictures, because they loved my work. I did love that period, I have some experience in video art too, and I studied Graphic Design during my high school years. I’d say that I have a pretty complete idea of the magazines world.

Being myself makes me different. I have a passion for vintage clothes, for the past, I’ve always tried to mix whatever I like to get a new “shape” a new “formula”. I have to be honest, so far I’ve been able to do it more on myself and less in my work, I’m still trying to find a way to put myself 100% in my work and it’s not easy cause you have to know what’s the idea you wanna give of yourself, because your job is like a mirror. Someone once said to me: “You mix your days with the old days, I think that makes you unique”. Well I still have a lot to do but I enjoy what I do, and I hope I’ll have the possibility to express more and more who I am in the near future.’



Charlie Casely-Hayford

A combination between traditional tailoring and a more innovative approach on men’s wear. It’s a description used for many men’s designers today, while Charlie Casely-Hayford seems to be one of the few designer who is actually practicing it. Charlie joined his father, who is practically fashion royalty, and together they design clothes that are best described as modern, particle and above all, completely desirable under the brand Casely Hayford.

’My parents met at St. Martin’s when they were twenty-one and they’ve been working together ever since. I spent most of my childhood in their design studio with my little sister, so fashion was almost inescapable. My concern was always with art and it still is my strongest influence, it wasn’t until I went to St. Martins that I became truly conscious of the social significance of clothing.

The Casely-Hayford look is a combination of fine tailoring and sportswear, English sartorialism and British anarchy. It is about masculinity and strength, but also about reduction and finesse. Although the heart of the brand is English, it is our driving force to capture the feelings of an ever-changing environment and to communicate society’s natural inclination to move forward. This often means that the collection is steeped in the cultural reference points which have become prevalent in the lives of most 21st century gentleman.

As a father and son partnership we have a unique outlook on bridging the gap between innovation and tradition. Rather than seeing the two as mutually exclusive and approaching them separately, we see our design process as innovation through tradition. Our different perceptions of the same subject have always created a division within the brand’s DNA. We embrace disagreement as an attribute of the two of us working side by side. Duality is at the heart of everything we do.

We believe all men possess elements of anarchy within their character. Anarchy is not about the total absence of rules, but rather the significance of autonomy. The Casely-Hayford ethos represents a unique expression of freedom. A freedom that is created when conformity threatens identity, or when convention restricts spontaneity.’

Originally published in the Mykrolab Book in 2010.

All texts and editing by Maurits de Bruijn.