Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas And Happy Holidays From My Atelier With "Bisou-Bisou" Chapeaux!

 With Holiday Season in full swing and Christmas is just few short days away, I thought I would wish every one of you Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I chose  the "Bisou-Bisou" hat, created in my Atelier, to be the Holiday messenger for our outgoing Holiday Greetings sent to all corners of the World. :-) I hope your Holiday Season is full of joy, happiness, love, beautiful smiles, unforgettable surprises and, most importantly, surrounded by those you love. To me it is always about the expectation of a new beginning and a new miracle.I am a great believer miracles, you know... :-)
-"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so!? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more? "- Dr.Seuss

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

"Garnet Rouge" Hat, "Midsummer's Night Dream" Addition, SS2015 + Phenomenal Elena Bain.My Silk Flower Artist Recommendation.

 "Garnet Rouge" hat, I am introducing to you today, is the final hat of the "Midsummer's Night Dream" Addition, SS2015. For a while now I wanted to create a hat with signature colors of my Atelier: Garnet Red and Fuchsia. If you have been following my Blog for a while now you probably know how much I LOVE turbans. I think of turban as the Rolls-Royce of hats - chic, sophisticated, timeless, chapeaux with endless possibilities, dressed up or down - it always signifies the top of the line. I will choose turban any day over any other chapeaux. :-)
 When "Garnet Rouge" was first put on paper, I knew that the flower gracing it would have to be something absolutely amazing. It had to be velvet and it had to incorporate several shades of red on the head of the flower itself and had to have very special shadowing from light pink into fuchsia into black (to enhance the effect) on the leafs of the rose. It had to be bold, oversized, exaggerated, shameless in a way, in your face, but also graceful, fun, extraordinary.
 The Art of making flowers in Millinery is a separate direction. It goes beyond of your average choices you see widely available via Internet and various haberdashery stores from New-York to London. I almost never feel inspired by those choices. To me they all seem flat, limited in color, the shapes are predominantly deficient and always limited to ordinary designs, too commerical. I always seek much more in terms of just a flower and for my previous Collection my search led me as far as to Paris where for many years now beautiful hands of Legeron  worked to bring my designs to life. Nothing brings me more joy than seeing my designs come to life  under the magic spell of Legeron elves. This time, my search led me all the way to Switzerland.
 It is in Switzerland I found extraordinary Elena Bain - rare and true Silk Flower Artist who was capable of bringing my design to life. I am very difficult in production, I do not settle easily, I make on-going changes in the process, I demand precision and high quality, I am ruthless when it comes to the integrity of the design and so I am always overjoyed when I meet someone who has the same high standards. You know that I never ever run promotions on this Blog. If I choose to make recommendation to you it means I stand by the quality of the service. Not only Elena is capable of creating very specific, custom design like it was in my case, but she also has developed an amazing Collection of flower making tutorials on DVD. The tutorials are truly outstanding and I will recommend this tutorials to any of my students any time. You can find them right HERE. Simply look through the collection of what she has to offer and I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
And so in a few words, I love creating hats in my Atelier, but I also love fantastic collaborations which produce fabulous results like it happened with "Garnet Rouge". One of my favorite turbans I created to this date. I hope you like it and I hope you are enjoying your Holiday Season!:-)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

My Atelier For Lady Gaga Once Again. "Christmas At The Rockefeller Center", Christmas Tree Lighting Performance With Tony Bennett in NYC.

It looks like yesterday we had an amazing Lady Gaga Momentum with two custom ordered hats I created for Lady Gaga: red leather "Phantom" hat made huge waves earlier in the day and brought astonishing amount of publicity just with in few short hours after Lady Gaga wore it to her appearance with Tony Bennett at "Good Morning America". I wrote a brief post about it yesterday. :-) Yesterday night, I have to be honest, I was caught off guard while watching Christmas Tree lighting ceremony in NYC at the Rockefeller Center and saw Lady Gaga, once again, wearing another custom ordered hat in white fur carefully designed in my Atelier to match the spirit of the look. I knew she will wear it, but did not know exactly when.  And than, of course, the possibility of her changing her mind is always there: after all  - it is Lady Gaga. So, in reality, I never count credits for anything until I see it in print with my own eyes. And what an appearance it was! Not only did she look absolutely stunning in all white gown designed by Brandon Maxwell and fabulous fitted matching white fur hat by your truly, but the performance itself was so powerful and soulful. It felt like the Magic of Christmas is here - a reminder I desperately needed since the hours and rhythm of production have been absolutely insane for the past several weeks. It is an indescribable feeling, a new millinery high for me to see the effort, long hours, determination pay off in such an amazing way. What a privilege it is to be trusted by the styling team of one of the great performers on the planet and be given an absolute freedom to design hats that are destined to make history... What an amazing year it has been! Truly spectacular!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

My Atelier For Lady Gaga. The "Phantom" Hat.

Super excited to see Lady Gaga wearing the "Phantom" red leather hat I have worked on, today for her appearance in "Good Morning America" with Tony Bennett. The "Phantom" hat was designed by custom order and I absolutely love the way it looks paired with monochromic red leather jumpsuit designed by Brandon Maxwell and red leather shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti. There are some days I love my job even more and today is one of those days. :-) At this point I am not able to disclose the creative process on this project due to the Confidentiality agreement I have been asked to sign. You can trust me when I say, the experience from the beginning to the end has been extraordinary on so many levels! One thing I would like to share with you as a preliminary fashion drawing of the "Phantom" hat I have created with the help of my "hands" when it comes to putting my vision down on paper, Leonid Gurevich. "Phantom" drawing is another fantastic addition to my vast fashion drawing Collection to this date!:-)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"Rouge Cardinal" Hat, "Midsummer's Night Dream" Addition, SS2015

 Every season I find myself literally obsessed with one single color. Red, also known as "Cardinal" red on the color chart of red shades became a color I chose to be in love with this season. "Rouge Cardinal" hat I am introducing to you today have been created by accident - I fell in love with the color first and than decided to experiment with a new technique of creating feathers out of leather. There was no initial plan for "Rouge Cardinal", no preliminary sketches, not even an idea on what would it end up looking. The result. however, surpassed all expectations.
 There are some hats that are born out of function and than there are hats that are born out of pure fantasy. "Rouge Cardinal" is a perfect example of it. Painstakingly difficult in production, stubborn, hard to manage and hard to control, but what a beauty! I have learned time ago that some hats are especially difficult to photograph. No matter how much effort you put into it often hats fade away on the images while looking fabulous in real life. "Rouge Cardinal" photographed exceptionally well all due to the fact that Cardinal Red is not the only color which was incorporated into the hat. I know it is difficult to see on the images but if you were to inspect hat closely you would notice lighter and darker shades of burgundy and even a subtle note of violate hue - all contributed to the final result
 I received tremendous response on "Rouge Cardinal" during my "Ghost Gardens"  Collection Presentation at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Everyone seemed to be infatuated with this hat, some of my colleagues who came to see my presentation could not get over the shier work scope on this hat along! And so here it is, photographed by Ed Hafizov, Styled by yours truly, Make Up by Roshar. Its moments like this, when I see editorial images of each hat I realize with clarity how much really I love what I do!
 Wishing everyone wonderful week ahead! While the Atelier continues to be extremely busy with production, I am looking forward to Holiday Season. It is hard to believe that Christmas is only few short weeks away!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The "Silverfall " Hat of "Midsummer's Night Dream" Addition, SS2015

 Once in a while I get carried away. "Silverfall" head piece is a perfect example of it. The challenge of creating drama while working with what is traditionally thought of as compact property - hats, has always been unbelievably attractive to me and I take full advantage of it. "Silverfall" is a sister hat to one of the most requested  by editors hat titled "Silverlake" which I created a while ago for my "Sanctum" Collection. You can see it right HERE. Only true milliner will understand the challenges presented by the design which has large volume of feathers. 20 to be exact when it comes to "Silverfall".
 Color combination of greys and pastel pinks always felt sublime to me and for a while now I wanted to create the head piece infused with this pallet, the head piece that would carry over not only the theme it was inspired by ("Midsummer's Night Dream" play ) but also would create a powerful presence. To me "Silverfall" is an ultimate millinery fantasy removed from the concern of  purpose and function. How lucky am I to be able to work beyond what is necessary and instead indulge, treat myself to creating something simply for the beauty of it...
 The entire "Midsummer's Night Dream" Addition has been a privilege to work with. The "Ghost Gardens" Collection took a second place to it although originally "Ghost Gardens'" was the core of what I have presented for SS2015. This editorial has been styled by me (which believe me has not been easy at all), photographed by Ed Hafizov, Make Up by Roshar. A beautiful month of November is coming to an end. I am wishing all of you beautiful Thanksgiving and will see you back here next week with another beautiful chapeaux I have created for "Midsummer's Night Dream" Addition.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"Lady Noir" Chapeau , "Midsummer's Night Dream" Addition, "Ghost Gardens" Collection SS2015.

 "Lady Noir" is a new hat of "Midsummer's Night Dream" Addition I decided to introduce to you today. As much as love working with color, I still think that there is nothing more powerful in terms of delivering dramatic image than beautifully made black hat. I have mentioned before how difficult it can be to photograph black hats and I had my share of very disappointing results when it comes this. "Lady Noir" however is a different story.
 "Lady Noir" is a hat-reflection of the extraordinary writing of the play. Once I was done reading and rereading it, I tried to imagine how the night in the Forrest full of magical creatures would look and "Lady Noir" is it. One of my friends, who saw the entire addition of "Midsummer's Night Dream" when it was still in production pointed out to me that " Lady Noir" reminded him of the Unknown Lady from the poem by Alexander Block. I can only explain it by the simple fact that my Russian blood somehow speaks through the creative process. In any case, "Lady Noir" is one of my favorite hats for many reasons, but beyond that, because anyone who is looking at it will draw their own visual association. :-)
 Created and styled by Anya Caliendo, Photographed by Ed Hafizov, Make Up by Roshar.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The "Awake" Hat, "Midsummer's Night Dream" Addition, SS2015

 The entire "Midsummer's Dream Night" addition to my "Ghost Gardens" Collection has been nothing but a joy to work with. Each hat designed for this addition presented not only a significant technical challenge but also became a result of a very strong inspiration influence. Each hat of the "Ghost Gardens" is my favorite hat including the "Awake" hat I am debuting today on my Blog. The entire series had me dreaming about hats that would awake ones glamorous fantasy, that moment when you left breathless out of appreciation of shier beauty.
 I am asked many times over why not to post the process of the creation of the hat from the beginning to end. I am told people would love to see how it all works. Maybe one day I will, but for now I strongly believe that revealing the process of creation is almost like showing a lady who is always very cautious of her appearances  without make up and hair done. For me the creation of the hat is always a very intimate process, a process when technical moments, often very unattractive in nature, are capable of destroying the perception of what final result should be. No one needs to know the mechanics of fantasy: it must look effortless, chic, carefree. I often tell my students that the final vision of the hat emerges only in the last 5% of production. Until then it is endless stitching, demanding wire work, shreds of fabric and feathers, damaged fingers... Well, lets just say I am not brave enough yet to show up-close and in detail the very intimate process of the creation of the hat.
 I will repeat once and again: I am incredibly proud of my work. Looking back at my very first post on this Blog dating almost 6 years now, I feel I have come a long way both when it comes to my technical range to the way I style my photo shoots and present my Collection. It is a labor of blood, sweat, tears and love. The formula that works best for me. This and the fact that I have incredible team of people working by my side to secure the result. This series of images have been styled by me, photographed by the phenomenal Ed Hafizov, make-up by Roshar. Wishing everyone great week ahead. I, for once, completely lost sense of time and have been submerged into production routing for weeks now. There are few fantastic projects in works and I am looking forward to sharing them with you very soon. :-)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

"In Vogue" Oversized Bow Hat, "Midsummer's Night Dream" Addition. SS2015

 "In Vogue" is the second hat of the "Midsummer's Night Dream" addition of the "Ghost Gardens" Collection SS2015. You can read on the general inspiration for this addition right HERE. Fabulous, structured, oversized bow inspired by the effortless, overwhelming feeling of carefree joy. It has been every bit of fun to work with as it was to style it on the set. The theme of bows is frequently recycled in Millinery: you can see gazillion versions of all types of bows starting from the tiny ones and to cascades of bows in every imaginable color. :-) There is something very chic, elegant, luxurious about the bow but only if it is well thought through and well designed.
 "In Vogue" is my tribute to the theme of the bow in Fashion. The choice of blue pallet was very obvious ever since I decided to go ahead with this hat. Royal blue is one of my favorite colors and when it came to "In Vogue" hat, the idea was to pair it with a liquid open back gown I created for my "Ghost Gardens" presentation. If you follow me on Instagram @anyacliendo, you probably had a chance to see the gown too. :-) The gown itself along with several other garments by me have been requested by the Lady Gaga's styling team. :-) Will see what will come out of it.
 I am wishing everyone fantastic day and although it is rainy in NYC, I am looking forward to several meetings in the city all catering to one very special project in the making. Much love to all of you!
 Designed and styled by Anya Caliendo, Photographed by Ed Hafizov, Make-up - Roshar.

Friday, October 31, 2014

My Ateier For Vogue Germany, November 2014. Happy Halloween! :-)

 It is incredible to see the increase in interest in beautiful hats. Now, more than ever, my Atelier receives requests from editors in stylists for hats to be featured in millinery stories. Yes, millinery stories, not just editorials where hats become a part of the stylist's vision, but where hats become a focal point of the editorial instead. One of hat focused editorials has been released in November issue of Vogue Germany and I am absolutely thrilled to see my "Editor's Beret" on the pages of Vogue. "Editor's Beret" is one of my most favorite hats and one of the most ordered hats too. :-) You can see entire editorial full of gorgeous hats right HERE. It was photographed by brilliant Greg Kadel. Models Natali Eydelman, Eleonora Baumann, Charlotte Kay and Jo Molenaar star in the feature modeling colorful outfits to go with their chic headpieces styled by Nicola Knels. I am wishing everyone beautiful Friday and a Happy Halloween! :-)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"Infanta" Jeweled Crown, " A Midsummer's Night Dream" Addition of the "Ghost Gardens'' Collection, SS2015.

 Once in a while, the process of the creation of Couture Millinery Collection gets a life of its own. The "Ghost Gardens" Collection became a perfect example of it. Several months into development of the "Ghost Gardens" I  noticed I had difficult time stopping myself. Usually, I would have very specific outline of the hats and a very clear idea of how the entire Collection would end up looking. Not with "Ghost Gardens". I felt I had so much to say, so many techniques to demonstrate! As a result, the Collection production continued to be in development for almost the very last minute. Seven of the very special hats of the "Ghost Gardens" Collection have been inspired by one of the most recognized and known plays written by Shakespeare titled "A Midsummer's Night Dream".
 "Infanta" jeweled crown, adorned with Swarovski crystals, gold thread embroidery, encrusted with pearls and jewels is the first of the seven hats of the "A Midsummer's Night Dream" addition of my "Ghost Gardens" Collection. Here you see complete editorial images for this addition we photographed to illustrate seven of my most beloved hats of the "Ghost Gardens" Collection. The story of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer's Night Dream" is intricate in its genius simplicity. But again, most of the works by Shakespeare are. The play describes events surrounding the marriage of Duke Of Athens, Theseus, to Hippolyta, the adventures of young lovers who are controlled and manipulated in their actions by the Fairies of the Forrest where the action of the play is set.
 The play itself is jewel and without trying to be literal, I felt "Infanta" hat is a reflection of the mood, the colors and the story of the "A Midsummer's Night Dream". I will, of course, introduce you to the all seven hats of the addition. We had tremendous fun photographing this editorial and, I am very proud of the styling I have been able to achieve and incredibly proud of my phenomenal team who worked on the set: my right wing man - photographer Ed Hafizov, and my beloved make-up artists - incredible Roshar. I always say that I am in the business of creating Fantasy. Chapeax Fantasy if you will. This, to me, is an absolute fantasy and I loved this fantasy through the stages of first drawing it out, through complex production process and planning editorial images. I love every pixel of it now. I hope you love it too.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"Argyle Jockey" Crystal Hat, SS 2015 by my Atelier.

It has been a while since my last Blog post and I have been incredibly busy with production, new orders, new exciting projects and my students! October Session with my last group of milliners in training is coming to an end. This is the last Session for the year 2014 and I am looking forward to dedicating my time to production process entirely. There are many happenings and hats I would like to share with you here and while I am still working on several blog posts, today, I decided to introduce to you one of the hats of the "Ghost Gardens" Collections SS2015 I named "Argyle Jockey"
I have a slight addiction to working with tiny Swarovski crystals and in this case, the hat was nothing but a walk in the park in terms of creative pleasure. Argyle print is one of the most recognizable prints in the world and I think we all feel its presence whether it is in the elements of the newest apparel Collections or vintage designs going back several decades. I have never saw it to be done on the hat and thought it would be a great idea to give it a try. "Argyle Jockey" ended up being one of the darlings of the Collection.
Of course, in person it looks even better - the sparkles of crystals dance in the light making it impossible to take your eyes off the hat. :-) "Argyle Jockey" became a point of great attention during the "Ghost Gardens" presentation at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New-York. It received so many compliments which made me believe even more that new spin on old classics capable of delivering fantastic results. To date over 50 "Argyle Jockey" hats will be leaving my Atelier to travel to many global destinations. In terms of Swarovski crystals - my life is sparkling with excitement! :-)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sharing my "Red Caviar" Lady Gaga moment with you. :-)

Very excited to share with you Lady Gaga moment. Incredible feeling to see Lady Gaga wearing my "Red Caviar" hat on tour on "Cheek To Cheek" album in Europe a week ago. My work is filled with intense production and packed with grueling schedule but is also filled by beautiful people and beautiful moments. This moment is one of those you really never forget, just like you never forget your very first cover or your very first Vogue editorial. Dreams do come true. I can not go into details about anything else regarding Lady Gaga due to a signed confidentiality agreement, but I am thrilled, absolutely thrilled she is enjoying her fabulous hat.  In Lady Gaga's own words: "I am celebrating our " Cheek To Cheek" rave reviews, such a beautiful time. Crack the champagne and the "Caviar crown". Feel very humbled and proud, pure joy from the inside out". :-) / Photographed by MTV

Friday, October 3, 2014

My Atelier for Nancy O' Dell And The Fall Issue of Runaway Magazine.

One of the editorials I wanted to share with you is the editorial for the Fall Issue of Runway Magazine which was recently released. The cover girl, Nancy O'Dell, a journalist and an anchor of Entertainment  Tonight, is modeling to hats by my Atelier: "Avatar" and "Vertigo". The editorial was styled by the amazing Jen Summers. You can watch behind the scenes video of the photo shoot right here on Runway TV: Very excited to see the final result and it was such an incredible pleasure to work with Jen Summers! :-) Tremendous work ethic!