Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Signing Off For The Summer With One Very Special Photo Shoot! :-)

 The month of May is almost over and for the fourth time since the beginning of this Blog I am signing off for the Summer. Well, not entirely! Traditionally, my Summer is always very busy with production, students, travelling, preparation for the editorial of  my new Collection and million other things in-between. This particular Summer is very different in so many ways: there will be only one Session with my students, two trips overseas and one truly amazing event I have a team of 12 working on at the moment. This year will mark 5 years since the creation of my brand and I intent to celebrate it in a great way. While all the details are still in works, I can not wait to share it with you. Unlike during previous Blog years, I will post random updates during the Summer to keep you in the loop, so don't forget to check in. :-) My new Collection is ready to be photographed, editorial photo shoot of which is scheduled for this weekend in Manhattan.Today, I would like to share with you a result of larger than life photo shoot from Hamptons, styled by my friend and designer extraordinaire Leonid Gurevich. The very first image is featuring "Petergofe" hat photographed by Sarah Elizabeth Brickey.
Here you see the image of the "Pallet" hat created in my Atelier long time ago, I think this hat was a part of my very first Collection "Je Ne Regrette Rien". The name of the photo is "The Catkeeper". This extrordinary photo shoot was held in Hamptons and lasted 3 days. Leonid Gurevich was responsible for the remarkable styling so that 21 photographers from all over the Globe could join the set to capture each their own vision of the creative bliss. The photo shoot was held in the legendary Hampton's Villa. "The Catkeeper" was photographed by the remarkable Miss Aniela.
While we are still waiting for many more images to come, here you see the series of images created by Benoit Barbe and styled by Leonid Gurevich also a part of the Hamptons photo shoot marathon. "Silverlake" hat of my last "Sanctum" Collection got its shining moment. :-)
             "Silverlake" close up by Benoit Barbe .
                    So much drama! Thank you Benoit!
Another one of my earlier creations "Evening Arbat" designed in 2009 is also featured in the Hamptons photo shoot extravaganza. Photographed by Sarah Elizabeth Brickey, styled by Leonid Gurevich. I always have a soft spot for the orange/cobalt blue color combination.
This image below I wanted to include simply because I think it is truly amazing! The dress was created by Leonid  specifically for the Hamptons photo shoot and I think the photographer Miss Aniela did such a phenomenal work on the image.As soon as I have all other images I will, most certainly share it with you. For now, I am wishing you beautiful Summer. Let it be full of sun, inspiration, new friends and discoveries. I will see you here in several short weeks with a very special announcement!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Your Ship Has Sailed: One Hat, Many Versions.

 The very first Ship hat is believed to be worn in 1588. The ladies of the English Court wore it in  celebration of the victory of England over Spain in the famous battle of the fleets when English fleet in a desperate attack destroyed Spanish Armada (Grande y FelicĂ­sima Armada or Invincible Fleet) who sailed against Britain with an intention of overthrowing the Queen of England Elizabeth I. Ever since than the ship gracing the head excited and inspired many designers to create their own versions. I too wanted to create a Ship hat inspired by the most romantic book I ever read (or so I thought when I was 16) entitled "Scarlet Sails" by Alexander Green.
 I am still drawing sketches of it hoping that one day I will be able to come up with a version that has never been done before. But I do have my absolute favorite Ship hat among the existing versions: spectacular Ship Hat created by Jean Paul Gaultier, made entirely out of blood  red seed beads. Just imagine how much labor of love went into this work of art! Truly amazing.... Every time I come across a new version of the Ship Hat I look at the detailing. Anyone can take a  ready miniature ship and stick it up in the head, so to me it is always about how much time, effort and love went into creation of the piece. Below you will find a beautiful selection of Ship Hats created by many wonderful designers.
 I hope you will enjoy it. I will be adding credits to the name of every designer over the week. Wishing everyone fantastic week ahead! May is almost over and the Summer is just around the corner. :-)

Friday, May 17, 2013

My Brilliant Students, Part 7: Ma Belle Mademoiselle, Orlando, Florida.

 Today I am thrilled to introduce to you another one of my very talented students, a gorgeous face behind "Ma Belle Mademoiselle", based in Orlando Florida, Elena.  "Me Belle Mademoiselle" creates fabulous little hats for ladies and children - very rare combination in Millinery business and really a gold mine since every new mother wants to set an example for her daughter and every little daughter wants to follow it. :-) Elena's own daughter Ksusha (you see her on the second picture) is the best representation of this statement, in my opinion -  a natural born model and an adorable example of tiny fashionista in love with hats. :-)
I have heard many different opinions on the subject of smaller hats, many tend to think that small hats are easy in production. I, on the other hand, think of small hats as the most difficult in terms of design. When you work with larger shapes, the shape itself  is often enough to create a statement. Smaller hats are far more demanding and that is exactly where Elena shines like a star - the detailing on each and every one of the hats she creates, color combinations she uses, not to mention superb craftsmanship - it feels as if you are looking at a jewel. :-) I remember Elena in Class as one of the most inquisitive, talented, very detail oriented, with very clear directions student I have ever met. This and her sparkling personality. :-)))) I smile every time I think of Elena and so grateful to be her friend.
 Before studding with me Elena worked on creating fabulous little knitted hats for babies and children. When I saw her work for the very first time, I was absolutely stunned by the beauty  of each and every single piece. So much so that I picked up a pair of knitting needles, some yarn and, inspired by Elena, tried to teach myself how to knit. I have to say, I did very good and even managed to finish two hats (one in pink with flowers and one in navy blue), but not nearly as good as Elena! Since studding with me Elena is now working on expending her Millinery into several new directions. She has an overwhelming number of orders in production + she is working on her very first new Collection. You can find Elena's  store right HERE
 Every time I see new hat from Elena, I feel like someone just handed me a box of chocolates. I think I ran out of words long time ago and all I can say is it is a true privileged to see Elena develop into superb milliner, with very clear vision, fantastic visual presentation and well deserved praise from her clients. My hat is off to you, Elena!!! :-)
 I am leaving you with this amazing collection of millinery confections by Elena (what a great way to start my day!) All  images in this post are photographed by Tamara Knight and Phelan M. Ebenhack. I hope you will enjoy every single one of them. :-)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What Is On Your Inspiration Board Right Now?

 Every now and again I like to share with you my inspiration points. :-) The Inspiration Board in my Atelier is always full of images, letters, swatches, tickets even and all things that usually inspire. This time is a bit different though:this time my inspiration comes from so many directions that even I find myself a bit confused. This past few weeks I spent working on the variety of very ethnic hats from Spanish Montera hat to multiple variations of  Scottish Glengarry caps inspired by Walter Scott. I find myself drawn to the darker, edgier images, clean cut lines, monotone colors and at the same time find myself  absolutely crazy about fuchsia and red, teal and deep raspberry color combinations.
 I love to surround myself with beauty and if you are to walk in my Atelier right now the first thing you would notice is the giant (and I mean it) bouquet of fuchsia peonies. Every Spring Ray sends a fabulous bouquet of peonies and it always surprises me. The aroma of peonies fills the Atelier to the very ceiling it seems. Walking in first thing in the morning it is impossible not to get inspired. The second thing you would notice is hundreds of Swarovski crystals in an amazing array of colors. I needed a very specific pallet of crystals for one of the hats I am working on right now and was lucky enough to find them in France. Yellows and fuchsias, blues, greens with so-called glacier effect is one scene to behold!
 A I am preparing to photograph editorial for my newest Collection, not a day goes by that  Atelier doesn't receive packages coming from all over the globe with wardrobe and costumes and all sorts of different props. This is my 5th Collection, a mile stone of a sort and I intent to celebrate it in a very special way. Details of this celebration I will share with you a bit later. Today, I am leaving you with spectacular set of images that inspire me today. From Jean Paul Gaultier's feathered crown, to the creatures of the deep see and Dior Haute Couture, I hope it will inspire you as much as it inspires me. :-) Wishing everyone beautiful week ahead. :-)

All images are courtesy of Vogue.com, Kareva Margarita, Inez Van Lamsweerde, Armani Couture.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Te Hats Of "The Little Black Jacket Exhibition" - Classic Revisited.

 I thought of blogging about the hats of "The Little Black Jacket Exhibition" for a long time but somehow just never managed to do it. The exhibition traveled the Globe last year and became one of the most talked about events in fashion photography. The exhibition was created by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld and consisted of the photographs of famous people wearing Chanel's little black jacket styled in the variety of ways and photographed in black and white only. I loved the aesthetics of the photo shoot, the drama of it and, of course, hats and head pieces that were used to create a reference, a connection to the original idea. I have several favorites  pictures in the series: I adore image featuring Carine Roitfeld and Natalia Vodyanova, I thought that the entire look was about their personality, I did not feel any disconnect between what they were wearing and the character.
 When "The Little Black Jacket" traveled to Russia, buro24/7 decided to welcome what is now a legendary Exhibition by styling their own photo shoot as an independent addition. I loved every single image of it (4 last photographs of this post). The idea that one single piece of clothing can be styled in such a variety of ways, with some being subtle and some very dramatic,  creating  possibilities for every mood is beyond attractive. I am convinced that it is not how you wear the jacket itself but what kind of hat you wear with the jacket creates a stunning result. So, in the end, it is always about a hat! The exhibition became a beautiful illustration to this statement in my opinion.So which image is your favorite?
 Leaving you with the selected images of The Exhibition and wishing everyone wonderful weekend and a very Happy Mother's Day! :-)