Friday, April 27, 2012

The "Imperial Faberge" Hat.

 One of the hats I created as a part of "Moskovita" collection is this unique "Faberge" hat. I will also be presenting this hat during the Russian Nobility Ball here in New York, in May. As I have mentioned before, "Moskovita" is inspired by the history of the House of Romanoffs and Faberge is a big part of it.
 The most famous eggs produced by the Faberge were made for Alexander III and Nicholas II of Russia.These are referred to as the "Imperial Faberge" eggs. 50 Imperial Eggs have been created and only 42 survived. Additional two eggs, The Constellation and Karelian Birch eggs, were planned for 1918 but never delivered because of the Revolution of 1917. shortly after which Nicholas  and his Family were assassinated. 
 Each Faberge Imperial was crafted out of precious metals or hard stones decorated with combinations of enamel and gem stones. "The Imperial Faberge" egg has become a symbol of luxury, and the eggs are regarded as masterpieces of the jeweler's art. Last Thursday evening I have presented "The Imperial Faberge" hat along with two other new designs at T43 Gallery in Manhattan. It instantly became one of every one's favorite.It was one of the most challenging, difficult and wonderful hats I have ever worked with. The veil was also created by me and embroidered with sequins by my sister Polina. Month in planning, several weeks in production  - I loved every single minute!
 The final result was an effort on my phenomenal team: my brilliant photographer Ed Hafizov, my fantastic make up artist Lucia Fabiola of Lfs Artistry, my beautiful models, Vera, Anastasia and Elmira. Tahnk you, guys, for your continuous support and your genuine effort. :-)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sneak Peek: "Moskovita". On Production of The "Faberge" Hat.

 Usually I never ever reveal the images of the production process but today I have decided to make an exception and give you a sneak peek into creation of one very special hat - "Faberge". Inspired by the House Of Romanoffs and the glory of the Russian Imperial Court before the Revolution of 1917. Extensive research went onto creation of this hat, starting from reading almost the entire encyclopedia on the history of Faberge.  
 Once I drew preliminary drawings of the Hat and had a clear idea on direction, I started to design the block , which took me almost 2 weeks to complete simply because I wanted to make sure that the proportions are exactly how I need them to be. I then sent my drawings and calculations to Britain and three weeks later I have received the box with the most beautiful hat block I have ever seen ( you will have a chance to see the block in the documentary which will be released in the Fall). From that point on, I spent more days than I can remember on finalizing the exterior details of the hat. Trying different approaches: gold embroidery, beading, gold lace, carefully measuring and creating medallions (the process you see here), changing location of the elements on the body of "Faberge", adding new elements... I completely lost myself in this hat. :-)You would have to wait until this Friday to meet "Faberge" :-)
 Another thing I never ever do is releasing the designs for the new Collection before the entire Collection is completed. This time is very different. "Faberge" along with another three hats will be presented at The Russian Nobility Ball in May and it means you will get to meet all three much sooner. :-)
Such an incredible honour to be personally invited to present several hats during the Russian Spring Ball organised by Russian Nobility Association under the Royal Patronage of Prince Michael of Yugoslavia, under the gracious patronage of Prince and Princess Nicholas Romanoff, Prince and Princess Dimitry Romanoff, Prince and Princess Andrew Romanoff, Princess Nikita Romanoff, Princess Alexander Romanoff, at The Pierre Hotel in New York.. Not only an honour but I feel like it is almost a homecoming to me in a sense. I look back at my very first post, dated June 3rd of 2009 (right here) with which I started this Blog and realize that I am now at the gate of the House that once inspired me to become what I am today. A Modiste.

Friday, April 20, 2012

My Interview For HATalk Magazine: On Creating The Collection.

 I am so very excited to see one of my hats on the cover of  74Th Issue of  HATtalk Magazine along with the Interview on the subject of "Creating The Collection". I have to admit: I have a soft spot for HATtalk: there are several magazines dedicated to everything that is Millinery but number one must read for me personally is always  HATtalk. I think of it is a boutique-like magazine filled with helpful information, news in Millinery, fantastic interviews, gorgeous hats. The 74Th Issue of HATtalk also contains fantastic interview with Stephen Jones, very insightful and honest. I recommend it to everyone who is in business of creating hats, really enjoyed it.
 If you a a milliner or a millinery student I also recommend subscribing to HATalk. Perfect time since HATtalk is running a special subscription campaign. You can always visit HATtalk by simply going to or finding them on Facebook. :-)))
 I, of course, can talk about hats for hours on end. :-) It is early morning here and I am still recovering from what was an amazing evening with some of the hats of my newest Collection being a stars of a very special event in Manhattan. Now that the pictures has been taken, I will  be introducing you to the new designs and inspirations behind each design I completed for "Moskovita". Have a very hatty weekend everyone!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Atelier Inspiration Board: What Makes My Heart Smile Today.

 My Inspiration Board is usually a mixture of swatches selected for the new designs, images that has touched me, remembrances of places I have visited just yesterday, letters from those who inspire me, colors that make my heart smile. :-)
 Red satin pointe shoes I have received from one of the dancers of Mariinski Theater in Russia,  a note from Tolentino, endless swatches, unique glass beads, french gold lace, images from Dior jewelry catalogue.
 This, by the way, is the picture of my Alter Ego. Yes, that's right! Miss Piggy and she is fabulous!
 From the works of Diego Velasquez to old photographs from the era long gone, a post card from my beautiful best friend, giant silk flower I brought from my last visit to Legeron, the letter from Guy Morse-Brown sent to me with the spectacular new block I have designed for one of the hats of "Moskovita"...if I am feeling a bit down all I need to do is to stop by my Inspiration board. A little reminder of how lucky I really am to be able to do what I love the most an be surrounded by talented, genuine souls whose support I feel every step of the way. If there is such thing as professional happiness than I think it feels like this. :-)
 With inspiration points constantly adding, I keep attaching new little reminders . I am wondering what inspires you today? Wishing everyone fantastic week ahead , it is Tuesday and means Atelier is in full production with the final week of the April Session for my students. I have a full room of brilliant and I really mean it BRILLIANT! people. :-)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Atelier Life: Flowerettes.

 "Flowerettes" is a term I use to describe smaller hats that carry strong floral motive. :-)  This Flowerettes were designed in my Atelier: the one on the right (in white and green) for one of my clients for a Spring Tea Party, the second "Frida"was designed to accommodate Vogue's request for a floral headpiece in vivid, bright colors.
 I often get asked to provide more images of the production process, with step by step shots of how the hat is actually created and I always respond with "no". There are two reasons for it. #1 Aesthetics. To me my Blog became more than a Blog. It is now my professional diary where I document not only inspiration points, editorials with my hats and carefully record the progression of my work from the day I have opened my Atelier. It is also a very strong visual project where the aim is always to see the final result, a part where each hat comes to life. The most precious moment!
 #2. To be honest: hat production, generally, is not a very attractive process: it involves a mixture of all things undone: raw cuts, stitch lines, adhesive, steaming...often frustration, uncertainty of the design in the early stages (when the hat leads you to its creation, but you as a milliner, do not have any idea yet of what the hat will become) especially so when it comes to the complex hats. Complex hats, since I am working on many of them currently for my "Moskovita" production, are what I now call "deviation territory" - when the density of the design is felt every step of the way with constant changes applied to the original idea. This process is very intense and intimate and, in my opinion, has to be left behind the scenes as a secret between you and the hat. Think of it as of a very sensitive beauty that agrees to be photographed only when she knows that she looks her best. This is my philosophy.
 Both Flowerettes are made out of silk and finished with vintage French veils, all by hand, of course, not a single sewing machine line. I look at them and my heart smiles and I feel that Spring is, finally, here. I am wishing you wonderful weekend and looking forward to Saturday and Sunday of intense production for the extraordinary  Event I am planning to write extensively about over the span of three posts (if not more) :-)))

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Atelier Life: Waiting To Be Picked Up For Delivery. :-)

 Happy Tuesday everyone!!! It is 6 a.m. in the morning. I have been up since 5a.m. and looking forward to a  full day packed with things to do. I, literally, can not wait for the day to begin.:-))) Today I have decided to share with you a small moment in the life of my Atelier and the crowning moment of the production: when every single hat is completed, carefully checked and packed with love destination client.:-)
 Aesthetics in everything are always very important to me and especially so in packaging. This is the main reason, I think, I am so in love with France. :-) The only country I know where presentation of the product is as important as the product itself. Equal effort is distributed between the packaging and the item. This plush, colorful velvet boxes full of hats will be travelling all the way to Spain and Norway.
 With this I am wishing you wonderful day and week. My message today: do something beautiful for yourself and people your love. Bring more color into your heart. With love from new York. Me. :-))))

Friday, April 6, 2012

Wishing Happy Easter!

 Wishing everyone wonderful and very Happy Easter.:-)''  The story of Easter is the story of God's wonderful window of divine surprise."  ~Carl Knudsen and so I wish that your Easter is full of divine surprises as well.
 I love this little Collection of Easter eggs courtesy Vogue who has decided to ask several designers to create what they think what would be a decadent egg. So, here you have it.:-) I love the egg created by the millinery Albertas Swanepoel, but my absolute favorite is the egg by Jason Wu - something about the combination of lace and red lipstick that sings to me. :-)
 I am very excited about this weekend: it will be all about family and friends, guests and celebration of this beautiful Holiday!Very rare weekend when I  will not be working at all, not even a little bit!:-)
    " The stars shall fade away, the sun himself
     Grow dim with age, and Nature sink in years;
     But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth,
     Unhurt amid the war of elements,
     The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds."  ~Joseph Addison

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


 With love from my Atelier comes this little hat as a result of an inspiration from the extravagance of Baroque style. Made out of Chantilly lace and heavily embroidered with sequins,seed beads, multiple sized pearls and Swarovski crystals. The term Baroque was derived from a Portuguese word meaning "a pearl of irregular shape" and so I made it a special point to use as many irregular shaped pearls as possible.
 When I look at this perfect example of Baroque, I immediately get inspired: paintings, architecture, music - all have such an amazing impact on my imagination.Great splendor, rich ornamentation, endless pallet of color, vastness of proportion - all are so overwhelming with detail, I often find myself lost in trying to capture every single line.
 I hope you all are having fantastic week. Mine is very intense, almost like Baroque painting, at times overwhelming, but I truly enjoy every single minute of it.:-))) Tonight I got entire quite hour to myself. I feel almost rich! What a wonderful evening to spend over the rare collection of books I have received from Hermitage museum very recently. Such a treasure and such a tremendous help in my research for new Collection "Moskovita".