Bimbushka Studio is a jewellery brand by designer and creative Elizabeta Dimitria, whose world is conjured by visions of nymphs, magical forests, water, and astral beings that become organic-shaped embellishments. She shares with us her vision and creative process on her very first campaign, In Between Realms.
Elizabeth, could you introduce yourself and tell us what inspires your creations?
I guess I’m very driven by my imagination or dreams; I think that’s an important factor to who I am if I have to introduce myself briefly. I have always liked to further develop the filter through which I see the world, and it has grown so large since I started my personal and spiritual journey to exploring and connecting with all parts of myself – like my inner child, parts of my subconscious, my ancestry, etc.
I also spent a lot of time building a visual world in which I relate those themes, and essentially, I found that being able to bring different ‘ideas’ from that realm to life is what has driven me to want to create, along with following the paths that pursuing my interests led me towards.
You were born in Minsk, Belarus, and grew up in Marbella, Spain. Would you say that cultural impact influenced your creative process?
Yes, completely. It has shaped me as a person in general, I’m very lucky to have experienced such different worlds and to have that perspective. I’d say it’s had a huge impact on me. Belarus was my home for the first years of my life and it was a privilege to grow around nature the way I did, a lot of my memories are of the forest and picking mushrooms and berries with my babushkas. That, and growing up near my family, who are all, how do I put it… quite esoteric. The women both from my mother’s and my father’s side of the family are what you could call ‘witches’. I think that soviet folklore and fairytale imagery that I grew up on, the way magic was culturally normalised, and being in contact with nature are authentic pillars that hold up my inner world.
My mother and I moved to Spain when I was around six years old. Though the shift was severe, I think I was just happy to be near the sea since I had been obsessed with it since I was a little girl. Growing up in Marbella, however, was challenging for the most part. I found it hard to relate to a lot of aspects of it, especially in school and such, so I became quite sheltered on the internet, which I would say is also a huge part of who I am today and what I do.
You said that growing up on the internet has had an effect on your creative process, even the name of your recent brand project is Bimbushka, which is a play on the words ‘bimbo’ and ‘babushka’, derived from the internet culture. How exactly would you say it is so relevant to your creations?
When I say growing up on the internet, I mean I had a Tumblr account since I was thirteen. I still have an account that I actively use. I think that’s probably where I got the inspiration for the name of the brand also. I’ve never felt more identified with a fusion of archetypes; I see myself as an old, wise grandma in an effortlessly fashionable head scarf just as much as I see myself as a ‘foolish’ pretty, young, frivolous woman. I am a babushka and a bimbo. I own that, especially since they’re commonly derogatory terms for women, it feels nice to take it back and flip it.
It’s what my jewellery is about, it just fits. A lot of my inspiration comes from my roots and beliefs, but at the end of the day, I’m also looking to create something ‘pretty’. It makes sense. But really, the main role that the internet has played in the creation of my brand is developing a connection to references, to a broader understanding of fashion and trends, to other talented people, to an audience that I felt would understand and relate to my vision. I wouldn’t have had the tools or the courage to start a brand if it wasn’t for being on the internet, especially on communities like fashion Twitter, who I can thank my origins for.
That’s right. I researched, and Bimbushka isn’t really your first brand project as a creative, in fact, it was Lil Uglies. Celebrities like Manu Rios and Orion Carloto wore your designs back in 2018, how did you start involving yourself in the process of creating a brand?
My first project was not really planned, it sort of just happened, which was a nice surprise. This was before I moved to Madrid to study fashion styling, I was nineteen and chronically online. I started doodling line drawings of faces onto shirts, then moved onto printing similar designs on to phone cases, t-shirts, posters, etc. I definitely didn’t invent line drawing on clothes, but it was definitely a boom, and I made a bit of a statement out of it. I never expected it to have the success that it did, and it made me realise that this is what I wanted to do and that I was capable.
I honestly didn’t exactly know what I was doing but I’m glad I threw myself into it regardless. I learned that I like building a ‘brand’ and all that involved, I just wanted it to be more authentic and less trend-motivated, which is why my next project had to be separate and it had to be created through much self-discovery. That’s why Bimbushka Studio was born almost five years later.
So how are you approaching this new brand differently?
Though I’m not quite sure I know what I’m doing even now, Bimbushka is my second child and I’m facing it with more experience. I’m still learning every step of the way what it is to develop a brand on a little budget and with a lot of creativity. But I wouldn’t want to do anything else, I don’t think. After I moved to Madrid and worked as a stylist for quite some time, I did a lot of soul searching, and I inevitably ended up back at the realisation that I wanted to be in charge of my creative projects, that I wanted to create for myself.
Why has jewellery become the focus of your creations, and how did you start making it?
I have always had an affinity to jewellery, my mother has adorned me with amulets ever since I was a little girl and I’ve grown with the idea that it carries significant meaning – protection, affection, identity. It had its own presence. Apart from being beautiful, shiny objects, of course. I’ve collected from charms, rings and bracelets to rocks and different kinds of crystals ever since I can remember, and they have always accompanied me through different stages in life and have changed with me. Each time, they became more specific, more intentional. Hence, the transition to making my own jewellery came naturally. I always knew I wanted to do something in relation to fashion and I feel like jewellery can live beyond the trend cycle, I like that it’s more personal.
How I actually started making jewellery is one of my favourite butterfly effect stories: when I was working as a stylist, I came across a beautiful set of crystal-incrusted rings that really stood out to me. I asked who they belonged to, and that’s how I ended up meeting one of my closest friends and super talented jeweller, Alex Sobrón. For the longest time, I was fascinated by the way he would work, and when I wanted to take the step to turn my ideas into my first ring, he was right there to guide me along the way and teach me his techniques.
What is your creative process when it comes to making jewellery?
I like to think that my pieces come to life through me, like I am a channel through which these ideas become materialised. I believe that we are moved in the form of ideas, dreams, impulses stemmed from the unconscious, that travel through references and data gathered in the subconscious which then become conscious. I like to reference these as different dimensions within the Bimbushka universe.
The Water Nymph collection is a reference to the subconscious that I relate to the deep, dark femininity of the ocean; Forest Nymph is an ode to consciousness or the search for it and the fascination towards magical organisms that are here on earth. Meanwhile, the Astros collection is inspired by the ‘unconscious’ that reside out in our galaxy, up in the sky, yet weave the patterns in our world. The reason I wanted to distinguish these themes are because they’re collections I’m planning to grow and expand, all in my time, and are endless sources of inspiration for me.
Are there any materials that you particularly like to use?
I like working with the lost wax technique. I feel that working with wax helps me to create a very organic shape to my jewellery. I like working with my hands and creating a feel that the pieces were crafted by nature itself. Once I have the wax figure of the piece, I bring it to my local jewellers here in Madrid and they help me finish the pieces. I generally like working with silver because I like the way it looks, but I’m not adverse to working with other materials, in fact, I am open to working with my customers on customising the pieces when it comes to types of crystals or metals. I like people to be able to connect to their jewellery as much as I do.
This campaign is the first time you organised a photo shoot, how was the experience? What did you want to evoke with this campaign?
I was extremely excited for this part of the project. Especially after working so many jobs on the sidelines, I had always dreamed of taking creative direction like this. I wanted not so much to show off the jewellery but to capture the essence of Bimbushka. Somewhere between a dream and real life, magic and the exaggeration of itself, I wanted it to be editorial yet unserious, like something you could slap a corny inspirational quote over and use as a meme. I really wanted to have fun with these photos. Most of all, I think that we did and it shows, they turned out exactly like I had envisioned them.
There are many reasons why this project is incredibly dear to me, but it is especially because it could have only come to life through the differently unique hands that moulded it; for the talented creatives who believed in my vision and wanted to be a part of it from walking with me through the artistic direction, the styling, the makeup, the photographers, to the models, who are genuinely super cool girls in real life too, as the rest of the team. I think that really translates in the final product. I’d like to dedicate this to them and take a moment to thank them from the bottom of my heart.