Friday, January 31, 2014

"Matilda" Twin Hat, "Confessions" Collection SS2014 by my Atelier.

 Couple of weeks ago I shared with you the first out of the twin hat series - "Claudette". In case you didn't see it before, you can find it right HERE. Both hats were created as a result of me meeting two very special twin sisters - Claudette and Matilda. And so today I am introducing you to "Matilda" hat and a little description of a sparkling personality of a real life Matilda who inspired it. Matilda lives in Paris with hers sister Claudette and they are both writers. While Claudette is a freelance writer and a contributing writer to many different magazines, Matilda is a children's writer: she writes adorable short stories and currently working on her very first children's book. Unlike her sister, Matilda prefers tea in the morning and you will never find a drop of cognac in it . She knits her own scarfs and gloves and has entire closet in her apartment dedicated to the things she knitted for herself. She is all about comfort - you will never see her wearing high heels, she prefers chic little flats. She takes tango lessons as well as cooking lessons  and she is, in fact, an amazing cook! She loves flowers and especially tulips. She always has a bouquet of tulips on her kitchen table.
 She believes in love at first sight but says she did not have a chance to meet her special someone yet. Her favorite colors are "true violet" and "pale lilac". She hates anything by Guy de Maupassant and is an adamant collector of old books. She says that her most favorite thing to do on Saturdays is to visit flea markets: "They are full of treasures if one is not blind enough to notice them!" . Matilda loves to make her own cherry jam, she says it makes her feel happy! She doesn't have any regrets except for one - she wishes she would continue with ballet lessons instead of quitting at the age of 9. She is an amazing conversationalist. She is sharp, ironic, inquisitive and she does not forgive easily, nor does she let anyone close without first making sure this is her kind of person. Once you have made Matilda's cut - you are up for a treat. She is a Galaxy. :-)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Hats Of Spring 2014 Paris Haute Couture Week: Hats of The Street Style Files.

 Here is, probably, one of the most interesting things I look forward to during Paris Haute Couture Week every season - hats of the street style files. I have been documenting it for nearly 5 years now and at this point one would have to be blind not to notice transformation of Street Style to anything but Street Style. If not for the hats, I would, probably, ignore it all together by now. Fortunately my main focus are hats in the context of Street Style, they manage to keep it fresh and unique. To me they still remain the small ambassadors of style successfully surviving new trends and countless objects of attention of the "it" moment. Street Style is, certainly,  not what it was back in 2006 when with the help of Sartorialist new dimension of documenting Fashion Weeks was first born. For a while it was truly a sight to behold.
 Never ever before did we see amazing interpretations runway vs. street before. Runway was never copied so bluntly, without a shred of a personal touch. I remember it was a mixture of vintage and modern, monochrome and color, layering and knits (often self made in colors of the season), colorful furs and suspicious eye glasses frames. It was a carousel of style. The Golden Age has passed, it is no longer. What I see now doesn't bring joy and inspiration as it use to do before. Instead, it brings disappointment and boredom.
 Street style now is a mixture of blunt self-promotion, polished examples of sales pitches and open display of personal wealth. Neither one of this three make me feel warm and fuzzy, combination of all three make me feel disgusted at times. Pretenders, imposters, posers, narcissists, fashion wanna-bes are now the majority of the crowd surrounding Fashion Weeks. Thankfully, we do have fabulous few who have managed to keep it interesting: Catherine Baba, for example or Nasiba Adilova. To me the latest article on the subject of Street Style transformation came from BOF, " What Happened To Street Style" by Max Berlinger: "Paradoxically, as the Internet provides instant access to everything, street style has lost its immediacy and vitality. We’re hypnotized by the material goods, but the indefinable characteristics of true style remain underrepresented. There was a time when the runways and magazines reflected a world of fantasy, and real life was, well, real life. Which didn’t mean that you had to dress like a bore, but you certainly didn’t borrow clothes from a showroom either."

All Images are courtesy of W Magazine,, Harper's Bazaar,, Vogue Italy, Buro 24/7

Friday, January 24, 2014

"Hattitude: The Milliner In Culture And Couture" New Exhibition in New York On View Feb 11- April 12, 2014.

I am incredibly honored to be invited by the Council of Arts Westchester  to display five of my millinery designs in the context of the new upcoming Exhibition titled "Hattitude: The Milliner In Culture And Couture" with a spotlight on 40 contemporary milliners with 150 hats on display. Not only that, but I have been incredibly honored to be trusted with the creation of the head image for the Exhibition. Initially, two versions were developed by me and our in-house phenomenal illustrator Leonid Gurevich. Until couple of days ago I had no idea which image will be chosen out of two. Happy to see that Arts Westchester chose the laced overlay version of the "Claudette" hat. :-)
 If you are in New York, I suggest you visit "Hattitude" Exhibition. Hats rarely get a chance to shine solo and this is one of those events you really don't want to miss. Below you will find the information on the dates and content. It has been such an incredible honor to work with curators of the Exhibition Kathleen Recklin. MA, Tom Buren, Ph.D. and Judith Schwartz, PhD. I, personally, can not wait not only to be a part of it, but to see it from the stand point of a visitor too. :-) Hope to see you there very soon! :-)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

"Pins And Needles", Haute Couture Alert.

 While Paris is reporting couture-delicious, intriguing and well, not so fabulous details from Paris Haute Couture Week, while some of us are still trying to form cohesive opinion of the long awaited Schiaparelli Haute Couture Collection and reframing from reading reviews on purpose to make sure the opinion is not clouded nor tainted by provocatively neutral, carefully formed nothings, while Dior Haute Couture continues to insist on creating plain disappointment titled "Where did Dior go ?", and while I am finding myself eternally grateful for the outstanding true Haute Couture by Alexis Mabille and Giambattista Valli (with several more shows to come) , I decided to post images of "Pins And Needles" tiny hat I created just for the shier fun of it as a little reminder to myself that nothing, read it out loud NO-THING, can replace the beauty created by the capable Les petite mains.
 Some time ago I discovered my love for working with veils. Embroidering fine, web-lite silk veil is a challenge on its own but the result is always breathtaking as it is in case of "Pins And Needles" . Embroidery along the edge of the veil was done with the thinnest plastic thread specifically to give veil that beautiful wave effect all around. And so, I am intrigued to see what else Haute Couture Week in Paris holds in store.Wishing everyone great week ahead!

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Most Memorable Hats Of 2013.

 Traditionally, I love writing the post on my favorite hats of the year in late December, just before the year is over. Not this time. December and early January have been extremely busy for me so much so I had to stop Blogging for just a little bit to get things in order. One little admission: for the first time in my life I am happy that Holiday Season is over. :-) This year it was more overwhelming that relaxing. And so, coming after Holiday break, the first post of 2014 is dedicated to the most memorable (in my opinion) hats of the past 2013.
 Flower bonnets by Dior were first created several decades ago. Transformed, updated, added with more colors - I thought the latest version of Dior flower bonnets created for one of the Dior's add campaigns were exquisite.
In 2013 gradually revived House of Schiaparelli presented first long awaited 18 look Collection created by Christian Lacroix. Each and every single look was inspired by Schiaparelli's aesthetics and favorite color combinations. To me this Tribute to Schiaparelli by Christian Lacroix was a perfect marriage of sublime genius in Haute Couture and the great Legend's legacy.
I miss Christian Lacroix. When it was announced that House Of Schiaparelli chose him as a guest designer I hoped that it would resolve in long term collaboration. After all aesthetics of Lacroix are very close to aesthetics of Schiaparelli. One might wonder if they share he same creative DNA :-) But no luck. House of Schiaparelli announced that Marco Zanini is appointed as a head designed for the brand.With Haute Couture Week in Paris due to begin just in a few short weeks I am looking forward to seeing his vision for the legendary house.

Admittedly, I was extremely disappointed by MET's highly publicized exhibition "PUNK: From Chaos To Couture." To me it felt  flat and poorly versed in material. Or, perhaps, I thought the exhibition itself was ordinary and we have "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" to blame for setting high standards for visual display and sound. The only things that I thought gave "PUNK" exhibition flavor and character were crazy colorful wig hats created by Guido Palau. Critics argued that his wigs turned mannequins in Troll dolls, but I still disagree. If not for the wig hats, this exhibition would choke on complete absence of taste.
Yesterday you literally couldn't visit any on-line fashion publication without seeing Happy Birthday wishes to Kate Moss - a beloved supermodel who turned 40. Her Birthday was celebrated universally in media and social networks going viral on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 40 is not an easy number to digest for any woman - you will not convince me otherwise. And so I thought Kate's very brave editorial for Playboy was not only much awaited event of December 2013, it was also a way for Kate to flip number 40. She did it brilliantly in one of the best versions of Bunny Ears hat created by Stephen Jones I have ever seen. It was delicious, surprising, fresh. It was Kate.
In late September of 2013 Marc Jacobs announced his departure from the legendary House Of Louis Vuitton. His final Collection was more a statement than a suggestion of function in any capacity. What elevated his final show from being just a show was amazing, dramatic head gear created by Stephen Jones.
Year 2013 was a year of unforgettable exhibitions. One of them, "The Fashion world Of Jean Paul Gaultier: from The Sidewalk To The Catwalk" displayed in Brooklyn Museum was a sight to behold. I went to see it 5 times. Extraordinary head gear on display  defined every law of gravity and told a very powerful story.

I loved the hat worn by Sarah Jessica Parker for the MET 2013 Ball created by Philip Treacy. It was chic, punk, very appropriate for the occasion. :-)

One more exhibition filled with remarkable hats curated by Stephen Jones titled "Anna Piaggis' Hat-Ologie opened in Milan in tribute of late Anna Piaggi. Known for her eccentric taste and vast collection of fabulous hats majority of which were created for her by Stephen Jones, the exhibition became one of the most awaited hat events of 2013.

I thought ensemble of hats displayed by Philip Treacy for Swarovski Wien was spectacular. I just wish I could see it up close. The amount of work that went into this hats are truly remarkable.
Finally, how could I not mention one of the most anticipated exhibitions of the year filled with spectacular head gear titled "Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore" which opened in Somerset House in London displaying Isabella's eclectic wardrobe? Hats created by Philip Treacy with many of which you are familiar of course, served not only as display's high point but also somehow made Isabella more  present. I only hope that 2014 will be as rich with amazing examples in head gear as 2013 was. Wishing everyone great weekend. Make it a point to wear a great topper just for the joy of it. :-)