Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Launching Millinery School.

 For the past several months I have been working on designing a very specific program on teaching the subject of Millinery. I have been also working on paperwork to launch a Millinery School based in my Atelier and first of its kind in New York. Today I am very excited to  announce that  the registration for Summer Sessions of 2011 will start on March 31st. Complete description of the program can be found on my website http://www.anyacaliendo.com/ .
 I do not know if I have ever told you about my pitiful experience at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in New York. FIT runs the only available independent millinery program in New York. There is also Parsons School of Design, but millinery there taught as a part of the design course in very small measure and is available only to the students of Parsons. Long before I travelled to England to be taught by Ms.Corey, I stumbled upon FIT Millinery program and immediately filed to enroll. I was beyond excited about the possibility of studying specifically to become a Milliner. All my excitement, however, disappeared by the end of the first lesson. FIT Millinery program suggested course stretched out to 2 years with lessons once a week, in the evenings on Thursday 6:30p.m to 10:00p.m  Did not make any sense to me. I have calculated that if you combine suggested hours together for, let's say, two semesters, you will barely have 60 hours at best .Not only that, but there was a class of 40 students, no materials, no blocks, no clear direction and a very overwhelmed teacher who announced that we are expected to make something like 20 hats by the end of the first semester. There was also a glass case on the wall with the designs of the hats created by graduates of the program. Sad little creatures behind the glass plunged me into depression. With that, I barely was able to sit until the end of the class, walked out and never came back. It was easier for me to travel all the way to London to study there than to suffer through what FIT for some reason decided to call Millinery Courses.
And so I developed a program that would teach my students advanced Millinery skills over 3 Sessions during the Summer, 3 weeks each at a total of over 100 hours during each Session with many sources of inspiration, craftsmanship as a main priority, adaquate attention to every student and all materials and blocks available. The program is certified and at the end of it each student will have a certificate in Millinery Arts. Don't tell me I have to much ambition because I know that I do.:-) Wish me luck! 

Friday, March 25, 2011


 Today I would like to introduce you to one of my newest hats I designed in my Atelier named "Carmen". Created out of silk french veils and hand made silk rose. She is inspired by one of my most favorite Operas written by Georges Bizet. I very well may be a subject for consideration to be in the Guinness World Records since I have went to see opera "Carmen" over 20 times and know it by heart + countless times to see ballet "Carmen."
 The passion and tragedy of the story of Carmen never fails to capture my imagination.The story itself is set in  the beautiful Seville, Spain in.1820. It is a story of Carmen, a beautiful Gypsy with a fiery temper. Her freedom to love anyone that she chooses captures the heart of corporal Don José, an inexperienced soldier.
 Carmen's passionate relationship with Don Jose leads to not only rejection of his former love, but also conspiracy against his superior. In the end, when she leaves him for the bullfighter named Escamillo, Don Jose murders Carmen...
Beyond the story itself , the inspiration for this hat came  from the movements of Flamenco which is a native dance to several regions of Southern Spain with its incredible  movements, rhythm and rich pallets of voluminous costumes - I can watch it for hours!:-)
With that, I am wishing you wonderful weekend. I am still very sick with the flue and  will spend my weekend trying to recover. The most difficult thing for me is not to be able to be with my hats and not to be able to come to my Atelier. For the first time in a very long time I am really looking forward to Monday!:-)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Velvet Monday.

 Today I woke up with a terrible case of sore throat. It looks like both Anastasia and I, finally, came down with a flue. But even despite this fact I am smiling, because yesterday I had the most beautiful Monday ever! - the velvet Monday.:-)
 My wonderful friend Clair is visiting New York from Paris and we spent entire day yesterday enjoying the most delicious tea in Velvet Lounge in Manhattan. I had,probably 3 or 4 cups of "velvet current" tea, it is such a treat for me!
 We also went for a velvet scrub treatment in one of the New York's Spas, had so much fun deliberating if Clair should try and eat her "chocolate" mask - it smelled so delicious!:-)
 One thing about Clair is that she is full of surprises. :-) I have been in love with this fabulous red velvet Antonio Berardi dress since I saw his Collection for the first time. There were several versions of it and I would love to wear them all! But the one with long sleeves and crystal detailing on the back became my number one favorite.
 Well, Clair was so kind to bring it for me from Paris and it is even more beautiful in person.Huge THANK YOU,Clair, I know you are reading this post.:-)  I simply can not take my eyes off it.:-) I will, probably, spend entire day today in bed looking at my new fabulous Antonio Berardi, trying to recover. Clair seems to think that I definitely have French blood in my veins. She says that the best medicine for a french woman is a fabulous garment. I agree!!!
Yesterday I noticed that the bushes of my velvet roses in my garden are coming to life.:-) I see tiny little green leafs sprouting from the stems. I am wishing everybody velvet week!:-))) It is 7:40a.m. in new York and normally I would be racing around being busy with millions of things. Not today!:-)
P.S. All pictues are courtesy of Dsutjacket Attic, Sarah Klassen and vogue.com .

Friday, March 18, 2011


 Out of long forgotten memories of the past, childhood fantasies, black and white old photographs of people whose faces  I no longer remember came the hat I named "Nostalgie".
 It has a touch of sadness I found in the old letters of lovers who are long gone. Only the words written on the paper remain true and full of passion.
 She is full of grace and beauty  and all the things you can find in the magic of ascetic pallet of black and white.
 I remember standing backstage at the age of 5 breathless, looking at the dancers of Russian ballet rehearsing "Sleeping Beauty". The memory is so far away, but I still remember the whisper of the tulle moving around dancer's tutus...
 I remember thinking that I would be willing to give everything I own, including my favorite doll, for an opportunity of being one of them, wrapped in the air of tulle and flying over the stage...
 I used to believe that the sea is full of mysterious creatures - mermaids. I used to throw shiny coins in the water thinking that one of them will find my coin and  put it in the beautiful treasure chest somewhere on the bottom of the sea. :-)
 I always loved Winter and snow.I used to think that snowflakes are sugar powder falling down from the sky because  little Angels in the clouds just had their breakfast .
 I used to make a wish every time tiny snowflake would land on tip of my nose. :-))) I used to not being afraid of the dark.
 I miss the innocence of my own childhood fantasies and the ability to see life as an endless Fairy Tale. This simple fact became my inspiration behind creation of "Nostalgie". :-)
 I am wishing you wonderful weekend.The Spring has, finally, arrived, and I am looking forward to the weekend full of sunshine.:-) Sending all of you million kisses from New York!:-)
Pictures are courtesy Fashion Gone Rogue and "Anya Caliendo.Couture Millinery Atelier."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

In Love With Nudes And Reds.

Each Spring I find myself in love with one particular color combination. Last Spring, for example, I could not get enough of vibrant combinations of orange and cobalt blue . This time I am discovering the beauty of nudes and reds. :-))) Meet my very fabulous new skirt from Dolce&Gabbana in flowy nude silk you see on the top picture. It arrived last week and now I can not wait for a chance to wear it. :-)
I think there is something very delicate and chic in the pallet of nudes. My latest discovery is how extraordinary well combination of red and nude work together. To me it is almost like a clean canvas touched by red splashes.
Did I mention that actually wore out this raffled Valentino top and this turban to one of the parties during the fashion week and received tones of complements? :-))) I, of course, ended up with a fever next morning - cold weather doesn't really care for color combination. We are still waiting for Spring here in new York: coats, parkas, scarves are still walking the streets. Am I the only crazy person wearing silks and more silks with a little cashmere cardigan? Well, I don't mind!
What is your favorite color combination for this Spring? I am very interested in hearing your input on color since my new Collection is just about to transition from sketches and swatch books into the actual designs.I am always looking for a perfect color combination. Wishing everybody wonderful week ahead. Sending you many kisses from New York!:-)
P.S. All pictures are courtesy of Vogue.com. , Fashion Gone Rogue, Jack&Jill Blog and Anya Caliendo.Couture Millinery Atelier.

Friday, March 11, 2011


"Be reckless enough to gamble all or nothing to follow your dreams"- John Galliano
I have been asked  many times what is my take on the disastrous fall of John Galliano. I have been also advised by the people closest to me to not to touch this subject  at all. Or, better yet, wait when general direction of the collective mind will become clear and follow it, so much safer. But here it is: I do not presume to have an authority to pass judgements or ask for punishment nor do I intent to do it. I have made far too many terrible mistakes along the 36 years of my life  to grand myself this right . Over the past two weeks I have struggled to reconcile with in myself  fast moving events at Dior. I have found myself literally devastated by the entire story , unable to work or concentrate on anything . Not good.
 I have arrived to the conclusion that despite the terrible words John carelessly spoke and for which he will pay a very dear price - he is NOT a racist and he is NOT an anti-Semite. If the art of Galliano is the reflection of his artistic soul, than I do not believe that a racist could draw inspiration for his magnificent collections from so many ethnic backgrounds. For those of us, who speak Galliano language, it is easy to see that he does not see the clothes he creates as a separate entity, divorced from his own soul.  His extravagant, fearless, outrageous Collections is the embodiment of his own spiritual being  extended to the undisputed heights of High Fashion. Galliano is responsible for not only creating History, he is responsible for creating entirely new type of woman - Galliano woman.
 With that, I want to say: John, thank you for the privilege of seeing your work and being a witness to the most magnificent Collections sent down Dior runway for the past many years. I wish you everything a kind good friend would wish to another kind good friend. I will wait for your recovery and return. I know you will reinvent your life in the most spectacular way and will come back. Until then you will be greatly missed. With much love. Anya