Friday, October 26, 2012

"Gold November" Fedora.

 Several  asymmetrical fedoras were created as a part of my new Collection entitled "Sanctum". All of the same style but in array of beautiful Fall colors: Purple, Plum, Chocolate, Bordeaux, Wine and Orange. Orange is one f my favorite colors maybe because it reminds me of Fall (admittedly my favorite season out of the entire year). Autumn to me is one of the most serene and quite places. So, here it is "Gold November" in Orange.
 Each fedora has gold foiled or silver foiled leafs on the front part of the brim. I loved working on this classic style tremendously and looks like many of my customers loved it too and especially so in Orange (well, no surprise there). :-)  
 I am wishing everyone great weekend. November is almost here with the most beautiful colors nature has to offer. I am planning to spend this weekend in the country side, visiting my friend's estate, picking more pumpkins, enjoying hot apple cider and well, wearing my "Gold November" in Orange. :-)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"Be The Hattiest Of Them All!" #2 Of My Lessons In Millinery + "Meadow" Topper.

 Couple of weeks ago, I have posted my #1 Lesson learned in Millinery "Dream Big!" . Today I will be posting about another very important lesson I have learned in my profession I entitled - "Be The Hattiest Of Them All!". For this post our model Anastasia is wearing a "Meadow" mini top hat created out of crinkled silk with jeweled embroidery. Now, what does it exactly mean "be the hattiest of them all"? To me it simply means : do not compromise your vision. I always remind myself that beautiful millinery happens outside of your comfort zone. All you need to do is find the boundaries of your comfort zone and step out of them. If you are working on a hat and something inside tells you that something is not right ( the color pallet is off, the materials don't quite work together and so on) - don't force it, listen to it! This is your creative  speaking to you. Creative people always have this internal barometer, but very little of them know how to listen to it. Another thing to remember: being original and trying to be an original are two very different things. 
 Express yourself freely, but remember that there is a thin line between fabulous Couture hat and costumie creation (unless you are working for a Theater). It is extraordinarily important to understand where this line is. There must be a certain degree of sense of humor about the design BUT sense of humor is by far is not  the most important ingredient in hat design. If someone tells you that it is, take it as a caution. If your hat is all about sense of humor and not much else, most likely, you will end up looking like one of those weird ladies with a chicken on their head, trying so desperately to stand out of the crowd. Having this said: expect to make mistakes.Welcome them, embrace them!Making mistakes will help you grow and, more importantly, it will help you to develop your unique signature style, to help you understand where you stand with regards to your point of view on design. You must accept it as constant presence in you work. As a result you will create hats that will vary from ordinary to extraordinary. Extraordinary is what will make you "The Hattiest Of Them All" in every sense of this phrase. :-) Wishing everyone a beautiful week ahead, for me it will be packed with hats, hats, hats!

Friday, October 19, 2012

The "Bubble Head Dreamer" Hat And Few Words On My New "Sanctum" Collection.

 There are some millinery designs I carry around in my head for a long time before attempting to create them. "Bubble Head Dreamer" is one of this designs. How do you create a hat constructed entirely out of glass (not plastic) balls of multiple sizes? Every time I work with materials that are not considered suited for millinery, I have to remind to myself that truly beautiful Millinery happens outside of any comfort zone. Stepping out of it is always an adventure full of challenges and trials, but the more of both you encounter in the process the more satisfying the final result. "Bubble Head Dreamer" demanded every bit of my patience, attention and skills and it was worth every single disappointment  along the way: I probably should mention that I had to create three different versions of mock-ups with in  four month period before finalizing the design. For a while my Atelier was buried  in colorful bubbles and, well, yes, since it is glass - in gazillion tiny pieces of glass bubbles.
 "Bubble Head Dreamer" became a part of my new Collection entitled "Sanctum" . Sanctum means a sacred place or, as I think of it, a sacred inner place where one is free of any kind of intrusion, a place free of anything but creative, a safe place, a place of many memories and many dreams, free of negative presences of any kind, a place where you can allow yourself to be the most you . "Sanctum" is, perhaps, the largest Collection I have ever created so far. I, of course, will be introducing you to each design in person just like I always do with every Collection. I am wishing everyone great weekend. :-)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"Russian Night". The Final Hat Of "Moskovita" Capsule Collection.

 Today I have decided to blog about the final hat I created for my capsule Collection "Moskovita", "Russian Night" photographed by my brilliant photographer Ed Hafizov. Three previous creations "Petergof", "Boyarynya" and "Imperial Egg" of the same Collection have been introduced to you before. "Russian Night" took me a little while to create since I first had to design a block itself. Always challenging, but one of the most interesting parts of the hat design process for me.
 I wanted "Russian Night" to be in a shape of the domes of gold headed churches you see all over my  country Russia, creating a small tribute to what is so close to my heart.It was not an easy hat to create, but I am delighted with the result. It reminds me of so many things I though I no longer remember... Turns out, Nostalgia is a very powerful thing...
 Wishing everyone great week ahead. :-)

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Second Life Of Legendary Hats. Time Travelers.

I have wrote many times about different sources of inspiration before, but one especially remains separate from everything else: the legendary millinery creations that have been designed before. I often come across black and white images of the well known designs and wish that they would , somehow, be still present today. It is very easy to get inspired by the beauty of the past: sometimes the design of the past is so beautiful that one simply wants to give her a second life with minor alterations to the design, of course. In part, I know it is true for me, when I attempt to recreate one of the legendary creations of the past, I wonder if I have enough ability in my hands to do it..So, today I am posting about the second life of millinery legends. The one above was created in 1954 by Henry Clarke for Balenciaga.
While the original was long gone, phenomenal Stephen Jones gave this hat the second life. As you can see, it is still relevant today: so elegant, so chic with only one difference: back than nobody would object to fur.
It was believed all along that Philip Treacy was the one who invented the famous "Lobster" hat, but in fact the idea was photographed in 1932, I am not entirely sure if the original was design by Elsa Schiaparelly (big question here), but the "Lobster" hat since became a legend and now enjoys it's second life in many different variations.
Here you see late Isabella Blow wearing a Lobster hat created for her by Philip Treacy.
Lady Gaga also wore a similar version of the "Lobster" hat created by Philip Treacy.
In my opinion, the best version of the hat was created for Dior Haute Couture by Galliano with deviation  from the original design - Lobster Tail. I love the color and rich embroidery of the hat. :-)
Than there was this magnificent hat created by Elsa Schiaparelly in 1949. The name of the hat was "Satin Rouge". Brilliant Ellen Christine gave it a second life.
And it landed on the cover of Italian Vogue and it is as stylish and relevant today as it was back in 1949.
When I was commissioned by Vogue Mexico to create a hat inspired by the past masters of millinery, I immediately decided to go with the hat created by Frank Horvat for Givenchy. It is one of the most favorite vintage designs on my inspiration board: so much grace and beauty. 
I gave the second life to the hat and it was photographed for one of the editorials in Vogue Mexico in 2010.
This famous hat is also a legend, created by Cecil Beaton, it is a s famous as Audrey Hepburn herself.
Mr. Jones was the one to give this delicate creature it's second life. And, again, it is as in Vogue today as it was back then. :-)
Another legendary hat, the embodiment of Hepburn's Style now became not only a legend but a name of the shape in millinery. When the customer says "Audrey Hepburn style, please" chances are this hat is exactly what she has in mind.
One of my favorite versions of the hat was created by Stephen Jones back in 2010. I actually blocked this beauty while apprenticing with Stephen in his Atelier. :-)
Once again, very Avant-garde hat created by Elsa Schiaparelly. I see it now recreated by so many different designers. Just yesterday I ran into a version of it in the jeweled version of it by Erickson Beamon.
But I still think that Stephen Jones gave it the most beautiful second life with a gold spin when he created this "Fashion Pate" hat for his 2012 Collection.
Everyone knows the legendary Shoe hat by Elsa Schiaparelly. The Queen of all hats of the 20th Century. 
The second life to this hat was given by Mr. Jones and Manolo Blahnik who joined their efforts into giving it an entire new identity.
This s also one of my all time favorite designs created by Stephen Jones for Christian Dior Haute Couture. Simply stunning! When I was preparing my portfolio for Stephen Jones in hopes for the apprenticeship,
I made sure to include my version of the Painter's Pallet hat. I created  it back in 2008 and named it "Tribute to Stephen Jones", since he was always an inspiration in my millinery life. The rest is history, but I think Mr.Jones loved my version enough to grant me an apprenticeship in his Atelier. :-)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dream Big! My Lessons Learned In Millinery + "Frida" hat.

 Since opening my Atelier in 2010 (so long ago and almost seems like yesterday!) I have learned many lessons, some came to me in a form of unexpected discoveries, some through different experiences, some felt like revelations when another ones felt like a good kick in the gut. Today, I am sharing with you some of the most important lessons I have learned while navigating my business of Millinery Atelier.Last week, while shooting editorial for my new Collection, we have asked our beautiful model Anastasia to pose for this image and several more to accompany series of posts on lessons learned. Without further ado I am starting with # 1 Lesson "Dream Big" . :-)  Dream Big might seem like a phrase delivered by a motivational speaker, usually easily disregarded , almost a cliche, one of those general phrases you find irrelevant to yourself. I almost made a mistake of disregarding it too .
 I discovered that dreaming big is what helps me keep my goals in focus,  maintain my vision for my business and ultimately sets the bar for me which is, well, usually in the stratosphere. The higher you will set your bar, the higher you will jump. The higher you will learn to jump, the sooner you will touch the sky. I discovered that there is absolutely nothing impossible once you allow yourself to dream big and unleash your professional ambitions. If anything, I am a perfect poster child for having big dreams. If someone would have told me  10 years ago when I just landed in New York JFK, with only 20$ in my pocket leaving behind all that I knew and loved, that I will become a milliner ( wait, who!!???), I would never believe it. If someone would have told me that I will have the most amazing teachers in my profession (me!? seriously!?), I would never believe it. If someone would have told me that in just few short years I will be operating my own Atelier - I would never believe it. If someone would have told me that with in 2 years of establishing my label, my hats would be requested by major fashion publications, that I would be invited to present my Collection in Paris at Premiere Classe and one of the contemporary books on Millinery would include the segment on my hats right next to the biggest names in business  - I would think that this someone is totally nuts. Today I consider it my #1 lesson learned: dream big, work hard and you will be lucky!:-)
For this post Anastasia is wearing "Frida" hat, which I created a little while ago for my Atelier. Inspired by Frida Kahlo. :-) Wishing you beautiful week ahead and don't forget to always Dream Big!:-)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Brillinat Display Of Millinery At Milan And Paris Fashion Weeks, SS 2013

I always look forward to London, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks mainly because I always know that there will be abundance of beautiful hats, head gear and hair accessories. It almost feels like getting a deluxe box of assorted chocolates: the taste of chocolate is all too familiar but at the same time surprises you with new flavors. This time Milan and Paris, especially Paris, put on a brilliant display of millinery from scarf wraps from Dolce & Gabbana, Rochas, MaxMara and Luisa Beccaria, slick shapes from Giorgio Armani and Jean Paul Gaultier, transperant shapes from A.F. Vandervorst and insanely beautiful hats created by Noel Stewart for Chalayan, to the extreme examples of millinery by Alexander Mcqueen, gorgeous jeweled head pieces by Manish Arora. 
   Luisa Beccaria, Milan SS2013
There were extraordinary hats I can only call the hats of the Fourth Kind or hats of the 7th dimension created by Julien D'YS for Comme Des Garcons. I think this round up  is the best yet by any account. There is always that delicate balance between High Fashion and Theater and it is truly amazing to see such a great range of millinery creations from classic YSL shapes to almost insane displays by Junya Watanabe. It was delicious to watch! I hope you enjoy the images courtesy of and . The Fall is here - my favorite time of the year. Enjoy the beauty of it. :-) Wishing you wonderful weekend ahead.
Dolce&Gabbana, Milan SS 2013

Dsquared, Milan SS 2013

Genny, Milan SS 2013

Giorgio Armani, Milan SS 2013

MaxMara, Milan SS 2013

Missoni, Milan SS 2013

Moschino, Milan SS 2013

A.F.Vandervorst, Paris SS 2013

Alexander McQueen, Paris SS 2013

Chalayan, Paris SS 2013

Comme Des Garcons, Paris SS 2013

Costume National, Paris SS 2013

Gareth Pugh, Paris SS 2013
Jean Paul Gaultier, Paris SS 2013

John Galliano, Paris SS 2013

Junya Watanabe, Paris SS 2013

Limi Feu, Paris SS 2013

Manish Arora, Paris SS 2013

Martin Grant, Paris SS 2013

Moncler Gamme Rouge, Paris SS 2013

Rochas, Paris SS 2013

Vivienne Westwood, Paris SS 2013

Saint Laurent, Paris SS 2013