Meet Marina Afonina, one of Australia's most in-demand stylist working across high-end magazines and the go-to stylist for Australian style icons including Elle Macpherson, Tessa James and Lara Worthington. In 2015 Marina launched her label Albus Lumen and we are excited to welcome it to The UNDONE for Resort18 a collection titled 'The Lemon Pickers'.
To celebrate we spoke to Marina, a style muse in her own right on everything from the inception of the label to how she relaxes in her downtime.
QUESTION ONE: What does Albus Lumen stand for?
ALBUS LUMEN - it means white light in Latin
QUESTION TWO: What background do you have and what made you start Albus Lumen?
My background is Russian and I moved to Australia when I was 18. I think my aesthetic is influenced mainly by Eastern Europe..
Starting Albus Lumen was inspired by my travels. I felt there was a gap in the market for simple clothes that are good quality, chic and with an uncomplicated design. Albus Lumen represents pure simplicity in style. We like to keep it uncomplicated but with attention to detail to make it more special. This season we used shell buttons which were inspired by the sea side.
QUESTION THREE: What was the first piece of clothing you ever made?
I have been making clothes since I was little, playing with fabrics as a child.. My mother was an amazing dress maker when I was little so I think I have a desire for fashion and design from her..
QUESTIONS FOUR: What do you enjoy most about the creative process?
I love the whole process from choosing fabrics to creating the shapes to seeing it all as a final product. And most of all, seeing other people wearing it. It gives me satisfaction that other people love what we create and appreciate the aesthetic.
QUESTION FIVE: Who would you love to see wearing your pieces? Is there a particular Albus Lumen girl?
My ultimate Albus girls/muses would be real women with inner self confidence and effortless style. I am lucky to have amazing women and my friends wearing and loving my brand to name a few: Elle McPherson, Lara Worthington, Tessa James etc..
QUESTIONS SIX: What or who are your biggest creative influences? Do they change from one collection to the next?
I think this varies from season to season. I can be inspired by anything from colour palette to a particular texture and other things like movies, art, travel...
QUESTIONS SEVEN: What is your process when it comes to making each piece?
I think the main thing is to have a clear vision of what you want to create... Once you have that it doesn't take that long to make it. Also another thing is choosing the right fabrication which is very important.
QUESTIONS EIGHT: What is it about Resort that people are so drawn to?
Resort wear means comfort and a relaxed style. With everyone's busy lifestyle, every person has a desire of escape and I think the right Resort wear has an ability to do so.
QUESTION NINE: What's next for Albus Lumen?
I want to take the brand global. We had a great response from our Resort 18 and also our current High Summer collection which we just took to Paris. I am very excited to grow the brand stronger season to season. Albus Lumen is all about Life Style and I would like to take that vision to a wider range of offering.
QUESTION TEN: What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a business?
Be 1000% sure you have a clear vision of what you are doing and I think the main thing is to keep it individual, unique and keep true to yourself otherwise it won't last. Being a fashion designer is a very inspiring and creative job but it takes a lot of "blood and tears" and hard work. Nothing comes easy, it's a 24 hour a day job.
QUESTION ELEVEN: What music do you have playing in the ALBUS LUMEN studio?
Any French music.
QUESTION TWELVE: With a styling background, what's the most common mistake people make when it comes to getting dressed?
Being a follower and not true to yourself.
QUESTION THIRTEEN: What do you do in your down time?
I love Summer time - I love being by the beach. The Sun and ocean make me super happy.
QUESTION FOURTEEN: In Sydney where is the best...
Coffee - Espresso at home,
Cocktail - Margarita,
Place to visit: Camp Cove in Summer.
QUESTION FIFTEEN: Who are your biggest personal influences?
Women around me.
QUESTION SIXTEEN: Where is the next place you want to travel to or visit?
I am obsessed with Egypt. Would love to go one day...
QUESTION SEVENTEEN: What's your favourite city in the world?
Paris! Paris is a unique city with a beautiful light, amazing architecture, food and culture.
QUESTION EIGHTEEN: What's the best advice you have ever received?
Believe in yourself.