Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The "A La Russe" Kokoshnik, National Museum Of Scotland.

 Every hat that goes into production in my Atelier is very close to my heart, but there are some hats and headdresses that take a special place. Several weeks ago my office has been contacted by The National Museum Of Scotland. One of the curators in charge wrote to me about the new "Cutting Edge" exposition which is a part of the new permanent Fashion & Style Gallery opening on July 8th of 2016. It is currently in preparatory stages and will be featuring amazing designs from few select Master Milliners from around the globe. I have been asked to create something unique, otherworldly and I, of course, immediately accepted the challenge especially because I was given complete creative freedom. It has been an honor to receive a request from the National Museum of Scotland - a privilege I do not hold lightly. Three weeks later "A La Russe" was born - a couture piece inspired not only by traditional culture of my native Russia, but in large part by the Prima Assoluta and the principle artist of the Imperial Russian Ballet and the Ballet Russes of Sergei Diaghilev, magnificent Anna Pavlova.
 Anna Pavlova was known for her love of traditional Russian head gear of the most intricate, elaborate designs. She continues to be one of the most prolific sources of inspiration in my work. "A la Russe" took over three weeks to create. It was created completely by hand without a single machine stitch or a drop of glue. It incorporates unique millinery techniques, pearl and Swarovski crystals embroidery as well as silk flower making techniques and the creation of 3D elements such as felt and lace acorns. All of this elements in combination with beautiful materials like Italian shimmering silk, gold lace, French flocked lace helped me to achieve a main goal of painting an impression of early Spring in Russia, when the snow is still everywhere but you can feel the Spring  awakening nature.
 I wanted to say few special words about extraordinary  Lilly of the Valley flowers custom created for "A la Russe" Kokoshnik. This specific type of flowers are extremely difficult to create and as much as I love working with silk flowers I knew that the ones I had in mind would be an impossible task for me. And so , once again, I turned to the amazing Artist, incredible Lady Elena Bain for this specific task. When the box with Lilly of the Valley from Elena has finally arrived from Switzerland - the flowers took my breath away...Elena has an incredible ability to see what I see in my mind and recreate this vision with perfection. "Cutting Edge" display will be open to general public on July 8th of 2016 in The National Museum Of Scotland. It will display hats by Stephen Jones William Chambers and many other brilliant millinery minds of contemporary millinery. If you will find yourself in Edinburgh this Spring, go see the exhibition. "A la Russe" from now on will live in the Museum as a part of the permanent Collection.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Wishing All Happy Valentine's Day With "Scarlett Rouge" Hat.

 Wishing everyone Happy Valentine's Day with "Scarlett Rouge" Hat created in my Atelier for SS2016 "Balthazar" Collection. I hope this day is filled with love and beauty for each and everyone of you. After all, today we celebrate LOVE and it is Love that will save the world. :-)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

"The Two Fridas" Editorial, Final Part 3. Frida Kahlo.

 Today I am posting out the final part 3 of "The Two Fridas" editorial inspired by Frida Kahlo. You can see Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE to read on the inspiration behind this editorial and collection of floral head bands with crystal encrusted veils. The image above  is perhaps one of my most favorite shots of the entire editorial. This particular image I decided to call "Frida". The model is wearing the "Frida" hat full of fabulous silk roses. The hat was created for my 'Balthazar" SS2016 Collection. You can see the "Frida" hat on its own on the image below. The amazing selection of jewels I styled the editorial with came from the most magnificent names in business; Lanvin, Alessandro Dell 'Acqua , YSL and, of course, Miriam Haskell. One in particular piece of jewelry you see on the bottom image, deserves, in my opinion, few very special words:
 YSL Pendant you see on the image below, embellished with genuine pearls and gemstones was given to me by my husband for our 2 year Anniversary. He found this piece by lucky chance in one of the antique stores and knowing how much I love the work of YSL purchased it for me. Since than it was and still remains one of the most treasured possessions in my privet jewelry collections and this is the first time actually I decided to photograph it for my own editorial. It was created some time in early 50s and there were less than 10 pieces created of this unique pendant. Anyway, I felt that Frida would appreciate the beauty of it too. :-) And so, here is "The Two Fridas", final part.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

"The Two Fridas" Editorial, Part 2. Frida Kahlo.

 Today I am releasing a second part of "The Two Fridas" editorial created by my team and I. You can read more on the inspiration source for this editorial in Part 1 (my previous post) right HERE . Above is the image of  "Frida in Amethyst" and below is the image of "Frida in Tourmaline". It has been a great privilege to be able to style this photo shoot with absolutely otherworldly jewelry by Miriam Haskell and Vera Wang. In addition, it took me quite a bit of time to find a model for this photo shoot. I had very specific vision of young Frida in my mind and it was extremely important to me that the model has just the right face. Here you see amazing young model Vonlotus as Frida. We gave a lot of thought to the idea of painting unibrow Frida was so famous for, but in the end both our remarkable Make Up Artist KUMA and I came to the same conclusion - fashion should never be literal. And so here you have it. :-)