"I start learning fashion about 4 years ago with a daytime job in bank and I realized fashion is my passion ever since. But I found myself struggles to design with traditional academic approach that I couldn’t create something interesting. After I took draping courses with Elena, I finally break through my barrier on designing. However, I encounter another issue that I could only make one interesting piece. When it comes to design a whole collection, the connection between outfits is so weak that there is no a concrete idea.
Before I decided to take the Fashion Collection 1& 2, I did hesitate because I quit my stable job to fully put myself into fashion with limited budget. But based on my previous courses with Elena, she is a knowledgeable, open-mined and kind teacher and her way of teaching somehow connects me, I took it. And now I am sure that I made the right choice. I am now more clear of my strength, the way I need to work and most importantly, how to create a collection with a solid idea.
More than only fashion collection, with help from Max who is also a knowledgeable and kind teacher, it covers other information like textiles, art history, fashion history and some drawing and creative techniques like collage, which actually helps to add meaningful contents in my collection. After 3 weeks intensive lessons, I made nearly 3 garments that can mix-and-match with each other, 3 concrete ideas of garment with mock up and ideas for my second collection.
I do recommend to people have similar situation like me, start learning fashion in nowhere and find difficulties in it, and those who had great experience with Elena before and want to strengthen their skills. I believe Elena is starting a revolution in fashion learning and I am so lucky to be a part of it."
Jeffrey Leung, fashion designer, Hong Kong
"Elena is an exceptional teacher. Her knowledge, insight and wisdom around fashion and sustainability are built on years of dedication to the applied art of constructing unique garments and her own individual research that continually asks how to create beautiful things without causing harm or generating waste. Elena structured her own approaches to zero waste draping on hundreds of her own experiments, thus her understanding of zero waste design practices is deep and embodied. Studying with her is both creatively inspiring and confidence building, there is a balanced emphasis on free expression and technical precision. Elena is a highly principled person, it comes through in every aspect of her work from the nuanced and considered craft of how she approaches pattern design, garment construction, to how she structures her classes and workshops and the respect she shows her students. Most importantly, she loves her work and it is contagious. if you have the chance to study with Elena, take it."
Lucie Ketelsen, MA Textile &Fashion, Australia
"Thank you so much to you and Max for conducting a quick Eco-Fashion workshop that covers main topic of sustainability. I am very much glad to have come across this and be a part of it. I have been working as a communication designer in Bangalore although I come from an apparel design background.
During this workshop, I realized how much doing things you love makes you happy. I have been recently a lot into sustainability and I keep taking every opportunity to learn more and more about it. And this workshop was a great kick start for me to take this forward and focus on doing more of what I should be doing.
Initially I took time to understand why we were doing the random paintings on different materials like paper, plastic and fabric but later I appreciate how smoothly we ended up in doing and intuitive fashion art which drove us to making a garment. I have not used the sewing machine much but it was the first time ever I sat down myself and stitched the most of the garment. Although they weren't perfect, it was a great feeling.
I am planning on buying a sewing machine and learning how to stitch and create zero-waste patterns. My ideas towards sustainable fashion is growing and I cannot wait to execute them. I loved the team, the efforts, the fun, the learning that went into this workshop."
Vandana, Fashion Designer, India
"Elena's workshop gives more than I can expect. She is supportive and knowledgeable to allow us free to explore and push boundaries on ourselves yet she could provide the best solution to each student individually. Even more, she builds a community that we all fashion-lovers could learn from each other and support each other to pursue our dream. I am so grateful to her that she shows me a great fashion designer can be bad at illustration."
Jeffrey Leung, fashion designer, Hong Kong
"I am willing to share my memorable experience on fashion design major at BIFT International College with Elena Ryleeva . She is an excellent and professional professor I have ever met. With her help I have laid a solid foundation and acquired theoretical knowledge about different cultures and different clothing markets. She is definitely knowledgeable in sketching, draping, sewing and pattern drafting. The most memorable moments for me are those when we communicate on the creative process, and I have learned a variety of perspectives about fashion from her. She has deeply influenced me and inspired me to become a successful fashion designer in the future."
Phoebe Yang Pei , currently student of London College of Fashion,UK
"According to my mom, there is no a good school without good teachers. No doubt, I really do feel lucky and honored to meet such an awesome teacher as Elena. Elena has really challenged me a lot, helping me to rethink my whole design from head to toe. She has inspired me to love innovative pattern making and appreciate unique things. Thus, I would like to say many thanks to Elena for the effective mentor-ship of all my projects especially for her great support of my fashion collection Past Lessons | Future Protection shown in JFW 2014. To be honest, I was having tons of fun while making Fashion design collection under Elena guidance with all those discussions we have had that helped me to dig more for who I am as a designer. As what our juniors said, we love you Elena."
Maria Valentina Lydia, Fashion Designer, Jakarta
"I have had unforgettable experiences and feelings as student of Elena. She was my favorite teacher. She is very knowledgeable, and I remember that she has helped me a lot during my preparation of graduation collection. I think that Fashion design is a free profession as soon as anything can be the source of inspiration for a designer. At this point, Elena has never limited our thinking, moreover she has stimulated our creativity an inspired students to do their best. Apart of giving me detailed theoretical guidance, Elena has also instructed me how to solve various technical issues concerned with Fashion Design making. I have learned many things from Elena, including her unique concept of Fashion Design."
Sissi Liu Si Yu, Fashion Designer,China
"Special thanks to Elena, a teacher you meet once in a lifetime. All of the great designers owe it to their teachers. Elena has been pushing and inspiring me to create a great collection; her innovative ideas and techniques have taught me a lot. Her suggestions and advices will makes you think twice, but in a good way. Creating my mini collection with her is a experience that will never be forgotten. Again, big thanks to Elena, for teaching me, and how I will ever repay you? :)"
Rachel Abygail, Fashion Design student, Jakarta
"I just want to say; thank you so much for the support you have given me throughout my college year. I was going to give up on fashion school because of the burden. Luckily you came you broadened the meaning of fashion for me. Fashion becomes so interesting with you. I am really grateful to have a lecturer like you, Elena."
Cindy Elrika, Fashion Design student, Jakarta
"I choose to learn from the best. When it comes to learning about fashion, Elena Ryleeva is that person. She is skillful, humble, passionate, teaching from personal experience, and excited to show me the right way. Elena has been pushing me to create a wonderful collection with innovative ideas and techniques. Her advices, feedback, and supports really help me to improve my thinking to become a better designer. Thus, I would like to personally thank you for your efforts in teaching and guiding me throughout my mini collection class. You are indeed an inspiration to me. :)"
Marsha Marcella Tatang, currently student of Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, LA, CA
"She’s a great teacher! That’s what I can say to describe Miss Elena. It is such an honor to meet and been taught by such a talented and creative teacher like her. She has a huge passion and she is really open minded. Elena taught me lots of great things and I had great experience with her in my collage year. I want to say thank you for supporting me and helping me whenever I am about to fail. I hope more and more people can experience learning fashion from you.."
Anita Natalia, student Fashion Design, Jakarta
Information Technology, Marketing, Consultancy, Environment, Sustainability and Fashion Design
"I found Elena on LinkedIn after a long search for a sustainable fashion designer. It was a very nice surprise to see that she accepted my connection request. Not only that, Elena has become the most supportive person to my idea of starting a sustainable fashion design business in Oman. She accepted reviewing my business plan and gave me many valuable comments and suggestions. I really appreciate all the efforts she put into supporting me. Her opinion has been always of a great positive effect on me. Her support reflected a great deal of passion and adoration to Zero Waste and what she does in general. More than that, she has a wonderful website of amazing collections and interesting articles.
I would recommend Elena with closed eyes to any individual or organisation to deal with. She is indeed a fabulous person and designer."