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Bulgarian fashion designer Mylèna Atanassova – with a reserved place in the world of haute couture

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Photo: личен архив

"Taste can be cultivated. Elegance is happiness”- this is how Mylèna Atanassova's path to success in the world of haute couture begins with guidelines for elegance in everything and everywhere. The Bulgarian designer and artist has been dividing her engagements and time between Sofia and Paris for years.

She has won the high praise of world dictators in haute couture such as Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, and even the demanding Karl Lagerfeld praised her master class held in Paris.

"I learned a lot from these people, from the way they would overcome difficulties. In their own manner, they taught me qualities and knowledge, and this now gives me peace of mind that I have everything necessary for creativity and stability in a world full of fierce competition," Mylena Atanassova admits.

Her style is already recognizable around the world, she is on the list of artists with remarkable overall work, and her biography will be available in 17 languages in the Encyclopaedia of World Heritage, which is currently being developed.

The key elements that determine the work of the Bulgarian designer in international haute couture are style and elegance. For her, they are a talent that a person develops since childhood. "A person’s style of dressing speaks volumes - this is our first interaction with the world and with others," says Mylèna Atanassova:

"I grew up in modest conditions. I was surrounded by people who loved beauty and elegance, not only as an outward expression, but also as a thought process. My mother was from the generation that survived World War II and told me how she used to admire the elegant attire before the war. What beautiful dresses they used to wear back then, going to the opera, for example. She used to narrate those stories to me andused to hum some wonderful arias at the same time. My grandmother was a talented artist and aesthete, she had a great influence on me. So every time I saw clothes in shop windows, I would pull my mother's hand and start begging her to buy me one. However, she immediately replied that I would learn and create them myself one day, even more beautiful. Based on these memories, I can say that fashion chose me. Finding one’s own style of dressingmeans working on oneself. Good combinations always make a good impression”.

"The world of haute couture is amazing. It is a movement beyond words, and the philosophy of the designers is absolutely eclectic," says Mylèna Atanassova, who today is among the established theorists and practitioners in the field of fashion and fine arts in France:

"The most expensive lessons for me are the most difficult - paradoxically, after them life becomes easier. Young people think that talent is everything, but one needs more than that. It's about personal energy, and it increases as you go through different stages, and over time I've learned how important it is to be very humble. Everything can be overcome with a new spirit, a new idea and a different mechanism of action.


Mylèna Atanassova created her own technique "Drawing Vivaldi", which she also teaches to her students abroad. She also calls it a "rhythmic relief", because the movement of the brush is done in the rhythm and beat of the music. She presented it for the first time in 2012 in the Parisian art gallery "Gallerie Du Colombier", the venue of her first solo exhibition "Harmony of the Seasons". It was dedicated to her mother and the analogy that the designer discovered with her childhood was very strong - they were four children in the family, similar to the four seasons in Vivaldi's musical work.

To this day, every detail of Mylèna Atanassova's work brings her back to Bulgaria and to her home in Sofia, where the love of classical music awakened her desire for elegance and refined taste, but also her aspiration to the high podium.

English version Rossitsa Petcova

Photos: courtesy of Mylèna Atanassova

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