Designing Handbags with Mariya Dykalo

A creative force behind the brand, Aspinal's Creative Director Mariya Dykalo gives viewers a behind the scenes insight into her world of colour and handbags. Mariya will teach viewers how to design the perfect handbag, from putting their idea on paper to talking through the importance of sketching, colour and proportions.

Masterclass Available on Our Aspinal Instagram TV Channel Now

Masterclass Description

Go behind the scenes with Mariya with a step by step guide of how to design the perfect handbag.

What you will need:

• A sketchbook or sheets of paper
• Sketching pencil of your choice
• Something to add colour to your drawing such as felt tip pens, watercolours or coloured pencils

Mariya Dykalo

Having possessed a lifelong passion for fashion, Ukrainian born Mariya Dykalo began working as an intern with Aspinal of London in 2006. She quickly rose through the ranks, initially becoming a designer then the head of design before being appointed as the brand's Creative Director in 2013.

When designing, Mariya likes playing with the shapes of the bags and textures of the leathers and other materials to bring the pieces to life. As the Creative Director, Mariya has collaborated with talented individuals on capsule collections for the brand including Michelle Dockery, Emma Shipley, David Gandy and Giles Deacon, to name a few.

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Learn More About Mariya in Our Exclusive Interview

What made you pursue a career in design?

I always knew I wanted to be a designer from a very young age. I was born in Ukraine, where my Mother greatly influenced my love for fashion from an early age as she used to make clothes with me when I was a child. I went to my first sewing class when I was 13 years old and ignited my passion for creativity and fashion.

Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?

I love working with artistic and talented people - as the Creative Director, my job involves leading our design team to build exciting collections every season. It's incredibly satisfying to see my ideas evolve into reality. I am forever inspired by people, street style, art, movies, and I am fortunate my job allows me to travel so frequently; from the English countryside where we live, to London and around the world. I find travel a very important part of inspiration - learning about different cultures, architectures and landscape, although this will probably change and slow down now.

Do you have a favourite era of style?

Many different eras inspire me - I would say a constant mood for Aspinal is luxury vintage style and travel. I love references to old school Hollywood glamour meets the golden era of travel as it is so synonymous with the brand, for me it is a seasonless, forever muse. For our current Spring Summer '20 collection, we took inspirations from the energetic aesthetic of the '60s, a decade famous for its incredible style, spirit of creativity and freedom. Aspinal's SS20 collection embodies the playful attitude of the sixties with of our boldest colour palette to date including Penelope Pink, Bright Mustard and English Lavender. We have also introduced five new designs into the collection which is always exciting, each of which have their own individual inspirations, the Lady P, for example, took inspiration from the debutantes of the '60s who always carried their bags on their arms, whereas the Pandora captures the fun, free spirit of London town.

What is your personal design style?

My personal style is classic with a twist; I know what silhouettes suit me. I love layering tailored jackets and blazers; experimenting with colours and textures. I am never without high heels and an Aspinal handbag, or even two handbags! I love to play with layering bags, often I wear a small crossbody bag with my phone in and carry a larger bag such as our London tote for my everyday essentials. My current favourite combination is the camera bag paired with the Marylebone tote; perfect for a day in the office.

Where do you seek inspiration?

I am fortunate to have the city of London on my doorstep, a city that offers a never-ending source of varied and diverse inspiration. We have many incredible museums that showcase British artists, painters, and textiles from over the decades, all of which relate to back London in some way. One constant for us is looking at the duality of city life and the English countryside. The relationship between these two lifestyles is a common thread of inspiration we feature in every collection. For our upcoming AW20 collection, we were inspired by nature and art. In particular, the works of the Sussex based artist Ivon Hitchens who moved to Sussex after living in London. Sussex is the home of Aspinal's head office, which we felt captured the relationship between town and countryside.

I am continually watching how women dress on the streets of London, and around the world when I travel - it's exciting to see how fashion evolves so fast at the moment. Social channels such as TikTok and Instagram are incredibly insightful when researching the latest fashion trends and what's is hot now. We are very lucky to have customers from all parts of the world; London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Dubai feature some of the most well-dressed women. I find it so interesting to see the differences in the shape and size of the bags women carry, especially how much it can vary!