Anastasiya Gouchtchina '20


Designer goes beyond fashion history

Anastasiya V. Gouchtchina, ’20, has always had a passion to work as a costume design for theater or archival work with historic clothing in the curatorial arts. To succeed, she knew she’d need to study not only fashion history but also learn more about textiles, garment construction and sewing. 

Her high school home economics teacher was a Mount Mary fashion alumna, and Anastasiya looked forward to each spring’s field trip to the Mount Mary campus to attend the CREO runway show,  featuring student designed fashion looks. 

Finding a hidden gem

Anastasiya discovered that Mount Mary’s Fashion Design program offered courses to fulfill a BA in Fine Arts – study that would allow her to learn the hands-on skills of patterning and sewing, the history and psychology of dress, and the process of developing apparel for individuals and industry. 

Design studio classes encompass all that Anastasiya loves about fashion.  She learned that finding inspiration and creating a mood is only the first step of the design process.  Sketching ideas to find the best solution to fill a need, fabric selection, patterning and then constructing a garment can be challenging. 

Anastasiya relishes the atmosphere in the design studio – where classmates freely interact and collaborate to support each other as they work. “While there is some level of competition, a good relationship among students in a class allows us to feel much more comfortable as we share ideas and give critiques.”

The atmosphere can become tense for design students in the days leading up to the CREO runway show.  “Even though everyone is stressed from many hours of work to complete their collections, there’s a sense of excitement and eagerness to finish, similar to the feeling I get before a theater performance.”

Internship in Thiensville

Anastasiya’s student internship at retailer Fifth-Main, a resale shop in Thiensville, Wis., involved “intense research of objects ranging from Louis Vuitton handbags to 1920s kimonos.”  As the online content writer for Fifth-Main shops on eBay and 1stDibs, the work was fast-paced and required a considerable amount of merchandising knowledge to encourage sales. 

The internship allowed Anastasiya to identify her interest in fashion history, and discover her strengths and weaknesses regarding research and content writing. 

Her education has just begun

Although Anastasiya knows she’s benefited from Mount Mary’s fashion design program focus – which is to prepare graduates for jobs in the fashion industry – she doesn’t plan to seek a position in design and development for a large corporate brand like Kohl’s and Land’s End, or work as a designer for a smaller, less commercial label.  

Now that she’s mastered fashion design, Anastasiya plans to “go back to school to focus further on art history and curatorial arts – to round out my education and work in a field where I can apply my knowledge of fashion, art, and history.”

Advice from Anastasiya V. Gouchtchina

“It’s easy to work yourself into a creative rut, where you’re coming up with the same ideas or feel like you don’t have anything new to give.  Work through ideas quickly and without much excessive thought to get things out, then come back to them later – otherwise you’ll wear yourself out trying to come up with the Next Best Thing.”