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Look between the seams: Virginia Beach local becomes Seamless Fashion icon

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In the summer of 2010, Yanina Popel-Gurina revealed an entirely new approach to fashion (well, within Virginia Beach) when she opened her unique online store, Seamless Fashion.

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Gurina is a seamstress without the seams. Each felt creation she makes by hand in a small room where she keeps her fabric, working table and photo corner within her Virginia Beach home.

“All of my items are seamless—I do not sew,” said Gurina. “I only use my hands, bubble wrap, soapy water and I do a lot of rolling.”

Gurina says that just one garment could take anywhere from two to 10 days to be finished, depending on the design and amount of time that she has.

This process that Gurina has made an art out of is commonly known as “felting.” Felt is essentially made by matting, condensing and pressing fibers together.

During the felting process, layers of wool are laid out on bubble wrap, and then, the wool is dampened in soapy water. After wetting the wool, it is rolled tightly in the bubble wrap. The roll is then tied together and rolled back and forth several times in order to give it the friction it needs to migrate.

“I mostly work with ultra-fine merino wool from sheep hair and silk fibers from the spun cocoons of silkworms,” said Gurina. “On top of those fibers, I like to use tencel fibers (viscose), bamboo fibers, banana fibers, wool locks and other.”

By using wool locks Gurina said she is able to create “no-kill” fur scarves.

“It is real alpaca or sheep fur, but the animal is not killed for their wool,” she said.

Designing became a quick passion for Gurina.

“I knew I would be a designer when I was very young,” she said. “I used to design clothes for myself, as well as sew clothing for my mother.”

Gurina grew up in city Miass, which is in the golden valley located in the heart of the Ural Mountains of Russia. She pursued her designing career and attended South Ural State University, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in designing women’s’ clothing.

In October the “Russian Team on Etsy” featured Gurina’s Seamless Fashion Spring/Summer 2014 Collection in an article on their website. This collection was presented at the 2014 D.C. Fashion Week.

See more of Gurina’s designs on her Facebook page!

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