CCAD Fashion Show: Irina Burdak

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Being a fashion designer wasn't always Irina Burdak's dream. She thought years of academia and a future in medicine awaited.

After getting accepted at CCAD, though, she decided to try her hand at design, excited to make garments from scratch.

"I really wanted to learn how to make my own clothes," Burdak said. "It's really fun to create your own patterns."

Born in Ukraine, Burdak spent 11 years there until her family moved to Columbus. Her grandfather was a tailor, and although she didn't learn how to sew until college, she respects that the thread of clothing creativity runs in her family.

Choosing Mary Quant as her senior collection master designer was easy.

"I like the 1960s," she said. "I was really inspired by the furniture."

Mid-century modern couches and chairs, with their daring approaches to geometry and comfort, and the history of design classes she took the three years prior - Burdak's favorite part of her college experience - all played a part in her understanding of the movement.

The senior added her touch to the distinctive look of the '60s mod scene by switching the priority of its design elements. For example, rather than using mod's iconic polka-dot pattern as a primary material, Burdak has given her four garments a subtly dot-speckled silk lining.

Mary Quant (1960s)

Though Mary Quant's mini-skirt wasn't the first to be shown on a runway, her version is responsible for popularizing the scandalously short look.

It was one of her many contributions to the mod scene. The look consisted of clean lines, blocked colors, bold patterns and androgynous styling (like Quant's bob haircut, created just for her by Vidal Sassoon).

Mod encouraged speed, excess and flexibility - newfound luxuries in a time of burgeoning disposable incomes and women's liberation.

Irina Burdak

Age: 23

Hometown: Columbus

Master designer: Mary Quant