It was not long ago that apparel designer, Camelia Skikos, had the dream of furthering her education. Little did she know that after enrolling in a newly installed fashion department at school that the activity would lead her into a ﬂourishing and life-changing career. That decision also encouraged the birth of her eponymous fashion label.
Hailing originally from Romania, Skikos has deﬁnitely paved her own way as a hard-working creative thinker who uses keen insight of human form as inspiration to turn out one dynamic collection after another. Her reputation for employing geometric shapes and understanding the female body gives Bay Area beauties an edgy look polished enough to wear for future seasons.
As a passionate teenager growing up under communism, Skikos longed for change in everyday dress. ‘I started to design my own clothing at age 14 as a way to evade the uniformity of those days,’ Skikos said.
After graduating from art school in Romania, she headed to London to work in illustration and design while refining her knowledge of the fashion industry. Afterward, she transitioned to San Francisco, Calif., where she was given the opportunity to work at Levi Strauss as a head designer. She also became an illustration savant at the Academy of Art University and still holds the position presently while producing high-fashion apparel.
‘I was really inspired by the energy of this city from my ﬁrst visit here … I think my style became more versatile and practical since I moved here,’ Skikos said.
In the Camelia Skikos collection there’s a fundamental boldness that’s exuded in each piece, ranging from the hues chosen to the style lines and tailoring. The clientèle embodies a contemporary woman who’s conﬁdent with her independent style. There are powerful dresses in ﬁgure-hugging silhouettes throughout the line. ‘I was inspired by my ﬁrst experiments with fashion. I used to modify and transform the school uniforms I had to wear as a teenager,’ the designer said.
The enterprising designer uses her illustrative skills to interpret today’s commanding sophisticate. Her garments call upon a woman who adores the hard–soft edge in all seams worn. There is also divine inﬂuence from French artist Yves Klein in Skikos’s collection, lending an electric pop of colour in clever pieces such as a wool one-shoulder shrug. Each garment from the line is special in its artistic shape and may be worn alone or coalesced, creating one completely striking ensemble. However, it’s the homogeneous appeal in Skikos’s work, for example in the wool loop dress, and the wool one-shoulder dress that showcases her eagle eye for fashion engineering. Skikos is a woman who speaks with ardour and certainty about fashion.
She uses materials ranging from silk, wool, and varied selections of knits, focusing more on the fabric’s impression in contrast, whether it be between the tactility of a fabric, weight, or mere æsthetic. There’s also leather throughout the collection, giving each outﬁt more personality. Leather harnesses and straps act as the perfect companion for knit dresses and structured coats. ‘In the end, though, it’s not about the material you use, but how you use it,’ Skikos said.
Pieces from the Camelia Skikos collection may be acquired in San Francisco and New York. However, Skikos is planning to expand her label in Europe and Asia in the near future. You may also see her showcased in the upcoming Los Angeles Focus fashion show. So, be on the look out. For more information visit: www.cameliaskikos.com.—Tamara Madison