If anything rings more true to an artist, it’s that they can’t outrun the need to create. Someone who knows this quite well is CMC’s Web Interactive Services Manager Tatiana Shabelnik, who, since childhood, has wanted to design clothes. As a girl growing up in Minsk, she sketched outfits––sometimes for herself, and other times for her paper dolls, but always with the hope of blossoming into a real designer. And even when she wasn’t able to enroll at a fashion school in Belarus, the dream persisted.
On March 10, the emerging fashion designer put feet to fantasy when she showed her fall/winter collection, “Contrast,” on the runway at Style Fashion Week, Los Angeles, one of the biggest venues for fashion, nationally. By her own description, Contrast is a dramatic fusion of bold color, contrasting textures and global influence, inspired by the colorful works of Russian artist Vasily Kandinsky an Belarusian/French artist Marc Chagall. The show featured 30 Shabelnik “looks,” and opened with a flawless performance by Cha-Cha world champions Cristian Oviedo and Maria Zhukovskaya, and closed with another remarkable performance by runway choreographer and dancer Angie Gega (dressed in one of Shabelnik’s gowns) and Maksim Leonov.
The juggle between College work during the day and creative design at home at night seems to be paying off for Shabelnik, who works in the Office of Public Affairs and Communications. The day after her show at L.A. Live’s Event Deck, Adam Tschorn of the Los Angeles Times was more than enthusiastic in his write-up: “For such a recent addition to the local fashion fold…,” Tschorn wrote, “we found her to have mounted a surprisingly memorable, entertaining and professionally executed runway show.”
Yesterday, The Los Angeles Fashion website, publishers of The LA Fashion Magazine and The LA Fashion Weekly, posted a page of images from her runway collection, calling Shablnik’s line “whimsical and unconventional." Reviewer Janice Gonzalez was particularly smitten with a look that paired a black coat with a chiffon ruffle top and a gray metallic skirt. “Definitely a stunner,” she wrote. “Tatiana’s fashion sense is a dream come true.”