Tuesday, February 9, 2016

"The Two Fridas" Editorial, Final Part 3. Frida Kahlo.

 Today I am posting out the final part 3 of "The Two Fridas" editorial inspired by Frida Kahlo. You can see Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE to read on the inspiration behind this editorial and collection of floral head bands with crystal encrusted veils. The image above  is perhaps one of my most favorite shots of the entire editorial. This particular image I decided to call "Frida". The model is wearing the "Frida" hat full of fabulous silk roses. The hat was created for my 'Balthazar" SS2016 Collection. You can see the "Frida" hat on its own on the image below. The amazing selection of jewels I styled the editorial with came from the most magnificent names in business; Lanvin, Alessandro Dell 'Acqua , YSL and, of course, Miriam Haskell. One in particular piece of jewelry you see on the bottom image, deserves, in my opinion, few very special words:
 YSL Pendant you see on the image below, embellished with genuine pearls and gemstones was given to me by my husband for our 2 year Anniversary. He found this piece by lucky chance in one of the antique stores and knowing how much I love the work of YSL purchased it for me. Since than it was and still remains one of the most treasured possessions in my privet jewelry collections and this is the first time actually I decided to photograph it for my own editorial. It was created some time in early 50s and there were less than 10 pieces created of this unique pendant. Anyway, I felt that Frida would appreciate the beauty of it too. :-) And so, here is "The Two Fridas", final part.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

"The Two Fridas" Editorial, Part 2. Frida Kahlo.

 Today I am releasing a second part of "The Two Fridas" editorial created by my team and I. You can read more on the inspiration source for this editorial in Part 1 (my previous post) right HERE . Above is the image of  "Frida in Amethyst" and below is the image of "Frida in Tourmaline". It has been a great privilege to be able to style this photo shoot with absolutely otherworldly jewelry by Miriam Haskell and Vera Wang. In addition, it took me quite a bit of time to find a model for this photo shoot. I had very specific vision of young Frida in my mind and it was extremely important to me that the model has just the right face. Here you see amazing young model Vonlotus as Frida. We gave a lot of thought to the idea of painting unibrow Frida was so famous for, but in the end both our remarkable Make Up Artist KUMA and I came to the same conclusion - fashion should never be literal. And so here you have it. :-)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

"The Two Fridas" Editorial, Part 1. Frida Kahlo.

 Frida Kahlo to this day remains one of the most prolific sources of inspiration in Fashion. Not a year goes by that you don't see stunning editorials in various Vogues dedicated to Frida and her unique, very authentic style. I have been wanting to create my own version of Frida Kahlo inspired editorial for a long time now. Ultimately it became my personal Anthem not only to the artist herself, but to the beauty of floral crowns and crystal encrusted veils - one of the most beloved options in modern day headgear so much so that, in my opinion, floral headbands made a list of classic millinery creations. They will never go out of style and they will always be a what I call a "forever piece" - so very chic, so elegant and feminine and above all a subject to so many interpretations.

My "Two Fridas" editorial was inspired by the namesake painting "The Two Fridas" created by Frida Kahlo in 1939. This is probably one of my most favorite self-portraits by Frida. The year of 1939 was the year of unrecoverable heartbreak for Frida - she just divorced  the love of her life Diego Rivera, the acclaimed Mexican muralist. You can almost see the pain of her loss in this painting, it is palpable, it is physical, very raw...One Frida sits on the left of the painting; this is the Frida that was rejected by Rivera. Her blouse is ripped open, exposing her broken and bleeding heart. The Frida to the right is the Frida that Rivera still loves, has a heart that is still whole. She holds a small portrait of Rivera in her hand. After her death, this small portrait of Rivera was found amon Kahlo’s belongings, and is now on display at the Museum of Frida Kahlo in Mexico.

And so for my editorial I have created three sets of  "The Two Fridas", each one of the sets is celebrating the spirit of love and unique style Frida is so famous for. Here you see "Frida In Sapphire" and "Frida In Emerald" . Editorial was photographed by Ed Hafizov and styled by me. Every single silk flower created for each of the floral bands was created in my Atelier. It has been a labor of love for me and a bit of an emotional journey too because every subject I work on in my Atelier becomes more than a subject of research, it becomes a subject of deep affection not only for the source of inspiration itself, but also for the Art of Millinery.

Below is "The Two Fridas" oil on canvas by Frida Kahlo, 1939.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The "Fire Bird" Headdress, "Balthazar" SS2016 Collection.

 "Fire Bird" head dress of my "Balthazar" SS2016 Collection  is, probably, one of the top favorite hats I have worked on to date and, without a doubt, one of the most technically challenging head dresses I ever created in my Atelier. I first put it into preliminary drawings back in 2013 but decided to "sit on it" because general idea was still lacking details and I wanted to give myself some time to make sure that when I go into production of "Fire Bird", fabulous details of it will be well thought through and fully developed. And so here it is. Inspiration for the creation of "Fire Bird" came from Russian Folklore where the Fire Bird is always a magical glowing bird from a Faraway Land. No one ever knew where it lives but many dreamt of capturing it knowing that it brings both a blessing and a doom to its captor.

In every single Fairy Tale the Fire Bird is described as a large bird with majestic plumage that glows with red and orange light like a bonfire that is just past the turbulent flame. The feathers do not cease glowing even when removed, and one feather can light a large room if not concealed. To me it was always such a magnificent image - a room lit by a a single feather of a magic creature. The story of the Firebird inspired many literary works, but  perhaps most famous production of the "Firebird" was done by Sergei Diaghilev of Ballet Russe who commissioned composer Igor Stravinsky to create the enormously popular large-scale ballet score known as The Firebird. I lost count of how many times I saw the production of  The Firebird" ballet and every single time it was experience no words can describe.
 And so it is once again, I find myself inspired by tremendous cultural heritage of Russia, whether it is literature of Russian Ballet.  I will never be able to describe to you how much love, pain and joy went into creation of the "Fire Bird". I hope you love it as much as I loved working on the piece. Adaptation of this nature to Couture always run a serious risk of looking too costume. I wanted to create a Couture piece: magnificent, rich in detail, breathtaking just like the Fire Bird itself.  One might say, I tried to capture my own Fire Bird hoping that it will bring me a blessing. :-)

Monday, January 11, 2016

Starting 2016 With Editorial in V Magazine, Issue 99. Gaga's Fashion Guard Edited by Lady Gaga.

 Starting year 2016 in the most fabulous way possible. Long awaited Issue of V Magazine, Issue 99 became legendary long before release. 16 magnificent covers and top secret content was revealed just few short days ago. The reason - guest editor of the Issue is Lady Gaga, a living legend herself, wanted to bring to the Issue her very own unique vision of what she views as Fashion influences in her own creative life, featuring those she considers her own Fashion Guard. To my knowledge majority of the Covers have been completely sold out. Prior to it we have received an e-mail from V Magazine congratulating me on making the cut as one of Gaga's Fashion Guard ( believe me, this is something I do not take lightly) and letting us know that complimentary issue is on its way.

And so here it is - fabulously creepy, inspired by American Horror Story, image of Gaga, wearing the hat created by me. There is actually another hat, white hat by Philip Treacy (not a bad company! LOL) nested in the structure. The stylist on the set, Brandon Maxwell, laired head gear to give very unique look and mood to the image. Dressed in Balenciaga and photographed by the legendary duo Inez and Vinoodh.  The Issue contains only few hats, vast majority of which are created by Gaga's long time friend and my colleague - Philip Treacy.

It is both thrilling and tiny bit scary to be included in this amazing, magnificent line up of talent. At time feels like a dream. :-) The bar is set extremely high and to say it is extremely challenging to remain on the level of world recognized stars is to say very little. And so, with this Issue,  I am welcoming my Atelier into the magnificent 2016! We have several super exciting projects lined up. Of course, when the time is right, you will be the first ones to see the outcome of our effort.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas And Happy Holidays With "Carolette" Hat. :-)

With 2015 is almost over and magic of  Christmas is just around the corner, I would like to wish everyone of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. :-) To me Christmas and New Year celebration is never a date - it is always a state of mind, an expectation of miracles and a chance of new beginnings. I hope your Holiday Season is filled with beauty, kindness, love and surrounded by those who love you, your family and friends. It has been another phenomenal year in my Atelier and I am looking forward to the new 2016.
"Carolette" hat was created by me in my Atelier as a reflection of the fairy tale mood of Christmas and the reflection of wonder which fills every heart around this time of the year. :-) See you in 2016! :-)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

"Vogue" Hat, "Balthazar" SS2016 Collection.

 For the past 10 years I have been an adamant Vogue Collector. Not only Vogue US, but also Vogue Italia, Vogue Espania, and Vogue Paris. To me this publications represent an Institution of the very essence of Fashion. I remember when I just started this Blog in 2009 after the release of my first Collection hoping that one day, my hats will grace pages of Vogue. Fast forward to 2015, I am absolutely delighted to see my dream come true in the most magnificent way, with my hats featured in Vogue Germany, Vogue Paris, Vogue China, Vogue Japan, Vogue Latin America. The feeling is indescribable and those of you who work in design and fashion will probably understand what I am talking about. Every time I see my hats in Vogue, to me it is not only recognition of my hats, but also a little proof that what I do is good enough to be put on the pages of world's best publications.
 And so "Vogue" hat is a tribute to the institution of  Vogue. It is full of incredible millinery techniques, some of which I tried for the very first time like, for instance, illustration with acrylic on silk. I always believe in details and in my work details play  critical part. To me this where the hat's soul is: crystal and pearl embroidery, appliques, creation of three dimensional design on flat surface and use of the delicate trimmings, almost invisible at first but always have such an important presence in overall design. With 2015 is almost over and few more Vogues behind my belt, I hope that the next year will bring even more spectacular Vogue editorials. I am looking forward to that! :-)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

"Sleeping Fox" Hat, "Balthazar" SS2016 Collection.

 December is always about ruby reds, expectation of miracles and new beginnings. And so with in the spirit of Holiday Season I am introducing you to "Sleeping Fox" hat, created for SS2016 "Balthazar" Collection. Inspiration for "Sleeping Fox" came from Russian Folklore, where the Fox character is always present as a devious, seductive force. I let images speak for themselves. :-)
I hope you are enjoying your Holiday Season. I always think we spent it in so much rush trying finish things before the end of the year. Take a moment to observe the beauty of it, spend more time with your family and fiends 2015 is almost over and what a wonderful,generous, gracious year it has been!

Friday, December 4, 2015

My Atelier For Lady Gaga + The incredible journey of the "Bow Supreme" hat.

 Lady Gaga was spotted Monday arriving from London to JFK wearing the "Bow Supreme" hat created in my Atelier. Earlier in the month we have received a very special inquiry from Lady Gaga's team to send over hats for editorial and cover story in Billboard magazine. The Issue was preparing to announce that Lady Gaga is Billboard's choice for a Woman of the Year annual title. The stylist on set ended up going in different direction and not using any hats at all but "Bow Supreme" caught everyone's attention on the set and as a result was commissioned by Lady Gaga. Well, because how else do you travel, people, other than while wearing fabulous oversized bow? :-)
 I wrote before and I will write again how incredibly privileged I am to work with the global phenomenon we know as Lady Gaga and her immensely, insanely talented team headed by Brandon Maxwell. It is not just the fact that I am able to see my hats worn by the singer and artist I admire so much, but also shier fact of continuous consideration and acknowledgement of your talent and craftsmanship by the best in business. It doesn't get any better than this. So very grateful.
 My "Bow Supreme" hat is having quite a momentum. :-) The idea is very simple - large oversized silk bow, bias cut, beautifully draped  - not the most complicated work I have done by far. But sometimes the most simple ideas have the largest presence. With in the past few weeks "Bow Supreme" have been photographed for Vogue China, SCHON Magazine, Haunted Magazine and, of course, found home with Lady Gaga and on top of it all, not a day goes by that we do not receive new requests for "Bow Supreme" in many different colors and versions. On the image below, you can see "Bow Supreme" styled as a collar piece. :-) Well, here in the Atelier, we decided that "Bow Supreme" is totally taking an honorable title "The Hat Of The Month". :-)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Amy Fine Collins. My Atelier for AS IF Magazine, December 2015 Issue.

 It is a special day in the office when you discover new editorial courtesy of "AS IF Magazine", Issue #8, featuring Amy Fine Collins wearing hats by my Atelier. The "Awake" and "J'adore Transat" hats were selected by the stylist Stacey Jones for the Interview and editorial by Tatijana Shoan in the latest issue of "AS IF" Magazine. Many years ago I started writing a segment dedicated to fabulous contemporaries. Amy Fine Collins is one of them. Incomparable style guru, a former art historian, a woman who heads up International Best Dressed List, a person who is responsible for the very clear definition of decades of style, a special correspondent to Vanity Fair. The List goes on and on. It would be an understatement to say that Ami Fine Collins is a definition of style herself.
The Interview for AS IF is incredibly interesting and I recommend it as great read to anyone who loves the art of Fashion as much as I do. Knowing how specific and how selective Ms. Collins is, it is a great pleasure to see my hats, styled so beautifully in the Interview and Editorial by Amy fine Collins.