Hello! My name is Irina Tsapreva and I’m the person behind the one-man show that is “Penumbra-Designs”.
My interest in costume design and weird fashion was formed at a fairly young age under the influence of both Eastern and Western pop culture. I spent the entirety of my teenage years and early twenties as a cosplayer, reaching a semi-professional level as an international competitor and judge.
In 2020 I graduated NATFA with a Bachelor’s degree in Set and Costume Design and have since proceeded to pursue my passion of creating alternative wear.
“Penumbra-Designs” is the manifestation of a lifelong dream of mine. To me it’s more than just a personal brand, but also a comfortable space of my own where I can explore my imagination and express my inner self.
The name “Penumbra-Designs” was something I chose rather impulsively (since I liked the sound of the word “penumbra”), but it’s also quite fitting for my work.
“Penumbra” is indicative of an area, partially obscured by shadow. The type of alternative style I’ve chosen, while meant to be highly expressive, is still, in current days partially overshadowed by a stigma of abnormality and shunned by the more conservative members of the general populace.
Therefore, I see myself as operating in a sort of gray area meant for lovers of the eccentric.
“Penumbra-Designs” is not a commercial store, but rather a small indie fashion boutique. Every product displayed here is 100% handmade with a lot of love and dedication. The materials I work with are in limited quantities, meaning that a lot of the pieces are one of a kind.
The main focus of this boutique is the so called “harness” – a universal body accessory consisting of a system of belts. However, you can also find a wide array of other derivative accessories as well as apparel.
Who is this fashion for?
There’s no right or wrong type of people these designs are meant for. My aim is for my pieces to be worn and enjoyed by everyone, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, occupation and general fashion style.
A harness can be worn in a variety of ways, including (but not limited to):
As an addition to everyday wear; as an accent to more elegant wear; as an accessory to lingerie; as an eccentric party outfit; as a photo shoot art piece; as a stage performance costume for dancers and aerial artists.
I am willing to experiment with a vast assortment of materials, techniques and styles to accommodate to a kaleidoscope of subcultures like Gothic, Punk, Grunge, Kawaii, Kink, Urban, Rave and many more.