Friday, March 29, 2013

Wishing Happy Easter With Iconic "Bunny Ears" Hat! :-)

Since it is the last post of this week, I thought I would wish everyone Happy Easter! :-) You know, it is almost customary to talk about traditional Easter bonnets around this time and every Easter I would dedicate a post to the bonnets. Today I thought it would be a great idea to look back at one of the most popular designs of the iconic "Bunny Ears" hat. The very first appearance of "Bunny Ears" is dated back 1952. Since then the world of Fashion fell in love with this fun, unorthodox hat and as a result "Bunny Ears" have many different versions created by many different designers. I, personally, had so much fun creating my version of "Bunny Ears" (picture above) encrusted with tiny pearls and jewels. I think of it now and it makes me smile. :-)
Let this Easter bring Light and Happiness into everyone's life. :-) Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My Brilliant Students, Part 1: "Chapeau Egoiste. Atelier De Modiste", Russia.

 Since announcing the opening of my Millinery School few years ago, I had a privilege of meeting many extraordinary, gifted, talented people who often traveled very long distances from all the way across the world to study in my Atelier. I stay in touch with almost all of my students and truly treasure my friendship with each and very one of them. They inspire me, surprise me and encourage me in so many different ways! During the months of April and May, I will be posting series of articles about those of my students who, after studding with me, went on creating millinery magic and opening there own successful Ateliers. There are not enough words to describe how happy I feel to see the talent of my former students shine. And so, today, I am introducing to you "Chapeau Egoiste. Atelier De Modiste", based in Novosibirsk (Siberia Region), Russia.
 Svetlana and Denis (husband and wife team) studied with me last year over the period of two month. To say that I was thrilled to have them in my class is to say nothing at all: eager to learn, extremely dedicated to mastering craftsmanship, patient and endlessly gifted, I new I had a very special couple in training with a capacity of becoming  amazing millinery designers. Not a single detail, not a single little stitch was unimportant to them - the approach that thrilled me to no end  since I am a great believer in attention to details. It clearly shows in their work. Here on the picture above you see a gorgeous hat named "Shoes". Svetlana and Denis worked on this hat after arriving from the US home.  When I first received images of this hat I simply froze in my chair: impeccable craftsmanship, invisible stitching, complexity of the design and brilliant execution of the design  - this was a work of master milliner.
 This hat, was inspired by  the pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes Svetlana received as a gift here, in the US. :-)
 Some of the hats Svetlana and Denis created after studding with me were inspired by their stay in New York, like, for example, this beautiful darling hat named "NYC Aquarium".
 This little hat named "Leaf Fall" was actually created during the Millinery Course here, in my Atelier. I have seen what a great attention to every single bit of the composition went into this fabulous little creature and another thing: I am blown away by the quality of the images and presentation.
 Another fabulous hat - turban, mandatory hat of the Millinery Course, was also created by Svetlana and Denis in my Atelier. Turban, as I like to say, is a great indicator of how patient the student really is. Turbans often became the subject matter of frustration and even tears. Flawless execution of this very complicated design by Svetlana and Denis (they created two turbans, one of which you see on the picture above), the way both of them approached the process, the way they embraced every single difficulty along the way  made me appreciate them even more.
 This gorgeous hat named "Manhattan" was created long after our Millinery Course together. If guys would ask me to pick my favorite hat by them "Manhattan" would be right there in the list of top ten. Great work and flawless execution of my method of the "wrapped edge" - not every one can master this edge closure.
 Another hat named "June 17th" was also created by Svetlana or Denis (can't recall who exactly worked on this hat) in my Atelier. Fabulous little cloche, chic and elegant - I know what a joy it brought once it was finished!
 This beret named "Choosing My Way" was another fabulous little creation Svetlana and Denis worked on in their Atelier in Novosibirsk after returning from the US. I love the seeming simplicity of it. :-)
 In the beginning of March Sevtalana and Denis entered their first competition in Millinery( theme: cartoon, computer game villain/hero) with this two entries below: "Gorgona" hat blew me out of my socks. I can not even begin to imagine what went into creation of this head piece and I swear, if you look at this image in high resolution with a magnifying glass you will not find a single flaw, a single stitch out of place.
 When I was preparing the series of articles on the work of my students it suddenly occurred to me that it is not me who really make a difference, it is them - talented, dedicated, generous and kind bring joy into my life with their work, new designs, news of another exciting project. Every time I receive an e-mail with something in attachment, I feel almost as if I am just about to open a gift. Since leaving my Atelier in the Summer of 2012, Svetlana and Denis went on to opening their own Atelier they named " Chapeau Egoiste. Atelier De Modiste", based in Novosibirsk, Russia. In high demand, they are now designing their own Collections and bespoke hats to order. You can visit their website to see more fabulous hats. Guys, I know you are probably reading it right now - I just want you to know how truly proud I am of you and what you have been able to achieve. I cherish our friendship and I look forward to more phenomenal hats from 'Chapeau Egoiste. Atelier De Modiste".
Images by: Yirii Svirin, Model: Milana Plekhanova, Make Up Artist: Svetlana Zhukova. All hats are created by 'Chapeau Egoiste.Atelier de Modiste"

Friday, March 22, 2013

The "Poison" Hat, "Sanctum" Collection.

 Today I had all together different post prepared for blogging, but decided to change my mind and instead introduce you to another hat of my "Sanctum" Collection I named "Poison". It is all about rich reds and golds inspired by one of the most beloved Russian Fairy Tales. I, of course, realize that there are far more scenarios in existence which involve poisoned apple. ;-) It was a fun hat to work on but there were plenty of challenges as well.
 First of all, it is never easy to work with real leaves covered in gold: they are too fragile and delicate, secondly gold plating an apple was somewhat of a project of its own. The hat came out very light and easy to wear and I have already sent out several versions of it with yellow apples and green apples to my customers overseas.
 Another week is over, almost end of March and I see light snow covering the ground out of my window. This past two weeks of cold weather passed by unnoticed. I spent a part of it attending some very tense and time consuming meetings in the City, in preparation for a major event of my career. Right now I know that I never worked as hard as I am working right now. I hope to share everything with you very soon, but until then I have to keep everything a secret. I am wishing everyone wonderful weekend. :-)))

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My Atelier For The Art Issue Of Relapse Magazine, The Barren Estate Editorial.

Today I am posting the result of the wonderful creative collaboration with a young and super talented stylist Lauren Temple. "The Barren Estate" Editorial has been published in the art Issue of Relapse Magazine and featured several of my hats, including  white silk magnolia headband encrusted with pearls, jeweled encrusted  white and silver straw canotier hat, "Provocateur" hat and silver pleated boater. Editorial was photographed by Matt Licari. Wishing everyone fantastic, creative week ahead. Have to keep it really short today but hope you are enjoying your March. :-)

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Lady With The Dog.

 Once in a while I get very tired of being in a constant state of production. The new collection is only half way through, there are pending orders, there are special projects, there are million little things you have to think about when you are running your own Atelier: like, for example, spending very long and boring afternoon with my brilliant bookkeeper because it is time to file taxes or spend what seemed like endless hours on the phone trying to arrange a very special delivery from Madrid, Spain for a very special photo shoot, write an hour long lecture requested by one very respectful Historical Society, prepare for the workshop for 30 people, sketch out new additional designs, assemble swatch book for the new Collection, responding to never ending e-mails - all of it while maneuvering between appointments and fittings...well, it is just the way it is. Many of you know that feeling as if the walls are closing in. My way of dealing with it is a day or two to myself, away from the madness of day to day business operation.Yes, that's right, I learned how to walk away as soon as I feel the pressure building up. An "ostrich method" of sorts.
 And so, this week, I checked myself into Plaza for two days of uninterrupted, selfish ( don't you just love this word?), quite time. Those of you who know me personally, know that I don't own a cell phone and I do not own a car. I can tell you even more, the day you will learn I have a cell phone, please, call my doctor, because, clearly I must be out of my mind. I am an extremely privet person and fight for every inch of my privacy. The idea that someone can reach me any time day or night - well, not happening! So, anyway, I spent my entire Plaza getaway in the bubble bath reading (yet again) a book of short stories by Anton Chekhov, drinking Irish coffee ( St.Patrick's day is almost here) and watching old Hollywood movies. One of the stories entitled  "The Lady With The Dog" got me thinking about the image that became almost iconic since 1899: the lady with the dog. Seen in so many editorials of glossy fashion publications, in so many variations, photographed by so many renowned photographers it is as alive and relevant today as it was well over hundred years ago. And so, today, I am posting a Collection of images representing "The Lady With The Dog". The best part of it: the Lady always wears a hat just like during Chekhov's time. And in some case the dog wears a hat too. :-))))) I hope this post will bring smile to your face. :-) Wishing everyone fantastic weekend ahead!

All images are courtesy of Vogue archives.