Interview with Natasha Makhova

(the designer and founder of In Dresses Veritas)

Natasha, you are a fashion designer. Tell us what fashion means to you.

They say we all have our element, for some it may be water, for others it may be the earth; for me it is fashion. Fashion is the air I breathe, and it is also my job. 

In my view, fashion is not only about stylish dresses, textured fabrics, and growing trends. Fashion is a way of expressing yourself.

I make dresses that have a “voice.” They speak loudly of beauty, of character, of personality and the individuality of the woman.   

In the fashion universe, do you talk about fashion values

An ordinary simple dress is something you can buy in any store. Yet my dresses carry a meaning. The meaning of the dress carries value for each individual woman. Each woman will find a dress that is meaningful for her and that speaks to her heart.  

These meanings in the dresses are like phrases that catch your attention in books. They are eloquent, significant and powerful for your life in that moment. You might ask—what do these meanings look like in a dress? How can I find or see them? The meanings are seen through the styles, the kinds of fabric, the patterns, the textures, the combination of the materials, and of course, the prints. All of the prints are unique and are a product of collaboration with artists and photographers. 

What are your fashion values

In addition to the value of the meaning given to each dress by its owner, it is important to speak about the philosophies of my brand. When creating designs for In Dresses Veritas, we follow 4 principles:

  • Fashion Meets Art – we value and nurture the partnership with artists, and continuously bring art into fashion 
  • Standing Out in a Crowd – we are brave to stand out, to be different and to be noticed 
  • Organic Inside & Out – the colors, the materials, the themes are all organic  
  • Think Sustainability – we remind ourselves about sustainability on each step of the way from sketching and ideation to production and distribution 

Do you live into your fashion values?


Do you consider fashion an art or more of a commodity?

As I have said earlier, an ordinary dress, be it for a business meeting or a night out, could be bought at a store. 

In my opinion, fashion is an art that you carry with you. At In Dress Veritas, custom-made fabrics created based on the artists’ designs are part of our DNA, our main building block.

Each season in the fashion industry new trends arise, and we chose specific artists and designs to use in our fashion lines. We keep an eye on themes for prints and patterns for each season, and we also add our own. Our clients guide us in understanding which prints are most relevant for them at any given time. 

Some fabrics and designs prove themselves to be timeless. For example, floral patterns are classic. Our famous blouses with the “Abstract tangerine” (mobile photograph by Yulia Naganova) are always a hit before the New Year. And the silk prints with natural collages made following the “oshibana” technique by Marina Rozhkova are popular all year round. 

You live in California, can you tell us how you see the fashion landscape in California? 

California is a unique place to live in! The nature is astonishing and the sun is with us for most of the days! In addition to the weather, the “climate” among the people is wonderful as well. I am surrounded by open-hearted, creative people from all around the world! This creativity, open-heartedness, and warmness are all mirrored in the In Dresses Veritas designs. If you take a closer look you will see a lot of colors, vibrance, and love towards nature. 

Would you describe your fashion style as “California-born”? Or is it a mix? What is the strongest cultural influence in your fashion designs? How are culture and fashion interlaced?

An easy way to understand the Californian way, is to look at the local fashion in comparison to Europe. For example, if we look at the fashion trends and styles in the Netherlands or in Denmark, we will notice geometrical forms, straight lines and a color palette composed of white-grey and black shades. Such design is representative of a unanimous national look and style.  However, California is rich in cultures, languages, and traditions, and our designs show it! 

Yet the more I think about fashion around the world, the more I realize that with active globalization, new trends, new experiments, and new ideas are born every year. 

Tell us a little bit about your business and how you’ve built it? How did you start and when? 

For many years I was working as a marketing manager for American Life Insurance Company in Moscow, Russia. I started my new fashion business in California in 2015 when we moved here with my husband and our 3 kids.

Today, I am the designer and owner of In Dresses Veritas. The brand name “In Dresses Veritas” is a re-phrase of a prominent Latin proverb “In Vino Veritas,” which translates to “In wine, there is truth.” In Dresses Veritas means that a woman can express her TRUE beauty through her dress.  

We currently have two showrooms—one in the Bay Area, California and another one in Moscow, Russia.  

Who are your customers right now? 

One thing that all of my clients have in common is their love for dresses! They all appreciate art and are ready to wear it ☺ My customers are usually on a search for unique style and enjoy standing out in a crowd. 

Who were your first customers? How did they find you? Who are your customers now? Are they mostly repeat customers that love your designs or are you getting a lot of new customers?

I will share a story of how I got my first clients here in California.

When the very first collection of the dresses was ready and it was time to make the first step, I decided to make a post in a Facebook group. I wrote about myself and the dresses. The post caught the attention of the readers, but it was very short-lived. Thirty minutes after the post aired, the moderator of the group took it down. It turned out that I was not allowed to sell products in the group, and I did not know that. 

Nonetheless, in just those 30 minutes that the post was up, my dresses were noticed, and my first 20 customers came from that group! These women then brought their friends, colleagues and friends of friends. In one year, the customer number grew to 100, and in the next year, doubled to 200. This was very powerful! The ball started rolling. All these people who were once unknown to me are now my close friends and followers of my brand.

Today I have both repeat customers who enjoy wearing all of the new designs, and a growing number of new customers as well. My goal is to gain a larger audience, so that I can infuse more lives with comfort, elegance, and radiance.

Do you design with a specific woman in mind? Type of a woman? Could you paint it for our readers?

Here is a personality portrait of the woman whom I have in mind: 

She is creative in her thoughts, she enjoys nature and art. She surrounds herself with elegance, she is confident and easy-going. She loves to read, travel, and meet with her friends. She is open to the world, respectful towards people, and grounded.

Do you showcase your designs? Where? 

June 2015 – “ART WE WEAR”, San Francisco, California

December 2015 – RUMI AWARDS, San Francisco, California

December 2016 – RUMI AWARDS, Oakland, California

March 2017 – Tango collection, Russian Cultural Center , San Francisco, California

April 2017 – «Slavic Woman in Tech», Mangosteen Show, California

December 2018 – Fashion Show SS 2018, Moscow, Russia

March 2019 – Fashion Show SS 2019, Moscow, Russia

Where can our readers see your styles?

On my website

FB: In Dresses Veritas

Instagram: @In_Dresses_Veritas

We would like to ask you about your personal take on fashion. What are your “go-to” items? What do you usually wear? Do you wear your own designs? Any favorite piece?

Of course I wear my own designs! I have a collection of the In Dresses Veritas blouses with all of the prints. There are about 15 of them in total. My “go-to” items are definitely my designs, I love that depending on the occasion, I can choose from a variety of blouses, dresses, and skirts. Dresses are my true love. They are practical, stylish, and a dress creates a full look, so you do not have to worry about mixing and matching.

I enjoy the styles from natural fabrics. Using organic materials is an important part of the brand. I use viscose, natural silk, cotton, and knit fabrics. For example, the pieces made from knit materials feel like a second skin, they shape beautifully on the body and don’t wrinkle. 

When a new design is created or a new fabric is used, I personally test it to understand what they would feel like for the women and to ensure the quality of all of the materials. 

Do you like accessories? What are your favorite ones and why?

The accessories I wear are all very minimalistic; they are mostly silver and are always harmonious with the look. It is important for the accessories to compliment the look. I collaborate with artists and jewelry craftsmen from the US, Russia, and Ukraine to find the perfect accessories to go along with the dresses. The accessories are not limited to rings, earrings and pendants; they also include small belts, scarves, and pins. 

I value when the look is complete. When purchasing a new dress, my customers can choose to buy an accessory to go with it as well. That way they know right away what to wear it with! 

What do you do to get inspired to design your dresses and blouses? Do you have any daily routines that help you keep being inspired and creative?

Many of my designs are inspired by nature and the visual arts. Leisurely evening walks and museum visits are both great sources of inspiration for me. Also, my lovely friends and customers are an important inspiration. New ideas are often born in conversations.

As for my daily routine, you may be familiar with free-writing, but I enjoy free-sketching. It is important for me to find a time in the day to sit down with a pencil and my notebook to sketch out my ideas. Through free-association I am able to let out on paper all of the pictures, words, ideas, and thoughts.

Name two fashion styles (items, colors?) to take to 2020.

Style trend 2020: If we look into 2020 predictions of style, we will see that the focus is fixed on the shoulders of women’s clothing. The styles tend to open up the women’s shoulders, calling the attention to their elegance. 

Texture trend 2020: Among the many textures the stylists suggest we take a closer look at are the net-like materials. In the spring- summer 2020 we will see whole sets and clothing pieces made from a fine net-like material, referred to as Fendi. We will also notice dresses and coats with a sheer outer layer. In preparation for the colder season, we will see long-sleeved tops, sweaters, and jumpers knitted with openwork patterns, visually creating a net-like effect. 

And to finish the interview we would like to ask you what will be the “go-to” styles this holiday season? Any advice you can give to our readers of what to wear this Xmas / New Year’s Eve?

A dress is always a great choice! But, as Yves Saint Laurent said, “Over the years, I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it” ☺ So I wish that this Xmas and New Year, along with the dress, you will bring out your passion, your light, and your smile.  

I hope this New Year will be full of joy, celebration, and beauty! 

Follow Natasha on Facebook

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