Monday, September 28, 2009

interview for ROUGE magazine (september issue)

one of the best gifts for my 30th birthday this september was a 4-pages long interview for ROUGE magazine.
i have a long-term relationship with ROUGE, and i dearly love this glossy bulgarian publication for its quality and very personal, warm attitude of people who work there.

for about an hour i talked to natalia georgieva, one of ROUGE's editor, over the phone. she was curious to know about my childhood back in russia, about my experience being a lawyer, and how i became a fashion photographer at the end, about my vision, goals, and dreams. for me this interview (one of the most deep and detailed interviews i ever gave) became sort of journey into myself. answering natalia's questions i came to understanding of many events and coincidences in my life.

i won't bore you with translation of all 4 pages (alas for my english-speaking readers even though given originally in english my interview was translated into bulgarian which i myself hardly understand) but give you just a little tease consisting of first 3 questions (which is something i never publicized before):

1. Let’s start with your childhood. You grew up in St Petersburg. What was your childhood in Russia?
Actually, my childhood was split between St.Petersburg (where my parents moved shortly after I was born) and Nerekhta, small town in the province of Kostroma, 4 hours by train north-east from Moscow where all my family, both mom’s and dad’s side, still lives. Most of the time I lived with my parents in St.Pete but in summer it was always time to go to my grandparents. It was like living 2 different lives – in St.Pete my childhood was filled with weekly visits to children’s theaters and museums, art school where I was taught to draw since I was 6, my father’s restoring workshop where I was allowed to stamp on little round metal plates, my mom’s sewing machine and hand-made toys and clothes she was making for me since I was little, my parents’ extensive library with art books my dad used to collect. While at my grandparents life was more simple and close to nature: they had a house and little garden, as well as chickens, rabbits, and a goat, and I enjoyed spending time there taking care of animals, or riding my bike, or going fishing with my grandpa, or spending time at the clinic where my grandma used to work.

2. Tell us more about your parents? What do they do?
My dad is an antique restorer, he works with metal; He used to work for both private antique stores and museums, including restoration of the Peter&Paul’s chiming clock. He is also a jeweler (but he only makes jewelry for me and my Mom) and a very good photographer himself. (Since early childhood I vividly I remember his Zenith camera he took with him everywhere and spending nights with him printing pictures in our blacked-out living room)
My mom got her degree in nuclear engineering but since I was a sickish child and could barely attend kindergarten she quit her job and stayed with me at home. Thanks to her I learnt to read and write before going to school, as well as for years she used to be our home fashion designer making beautiful, perfectly fitting clothes for all our family. Later on when I was already going to high-school she got herself a job as a secretary in St.Peterbsurg State University, and couple years ago she, being 52 y.o., undertook a degree program in accounting and changed her career drastically. I am very proud of my parents, they have always been my role models and most important people in my life.

3. Do you come back to Russia nowadays? Has it changed? Would you like to live there?
I usually go to visit my family once a year. For the past 5 years since I am in United States the country has definitely changed but so did I, and my perspective of the world. It’s hard to say which is more. I was happy there and never intended to leave but it happened so, and I have neither regrets nor plans to come back to Russia anytime soon. I started new life here, and for what I do right now it is better to be in New York. It was a conscious and very reasonable decision. In couple years it might change and I might move to Europe or somewhere else– I don’t know. I guess I am a rolling stone, I’ve always been, for me it’s hard to settle in one place, doing just one thing. But no matter where I live and what I do I am proud to be Russian.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

interview with mitch de leon [SlashMaraud]

excerpt from my interview with mitch de leon


That’s my favorite question! It’s also the most difficult one *)

Hmm, three things.. Let me see!

1) So why “nymfea?” Despite of numerous associations you might have with this word, originally Nymfea was a boy – the main character of Sasha Sokolov’s novel “School for fools”; this boy suffered from split personality and irrevocable daydreaming, and every time he wanted to escape the harsh reality he “dissolved into Nymfea, a water lily with long brown stems” to travel along Leta river to the neverland where Leonardo was drawing his Mona Lisa and pearl-like dragonflies were circling above the water. I fell in love with the story when I was 14, and I wrote my own one inspired by Nymfea. That story won 1st place at the city literature contest, and during the time along with many coincidences, mysterious signs, and romantic stories “nymfea” became my intimate nickname and second self.

2) When I was 21, I was a managing director of Nabokov museum in St.Petersburg. It was the most romantic job one could have! Museum is located in Nabokov’s family house on Bolshaya Morskaya street where Vladimir Nabokov was born and his family lived before revolution. One of the most precious exhibits there were: his father’s encyclopedia on butterflies with young Vladmir Nabokov’s color pencil drawings; his pince-nez he wore later in life for occasions of picture taking (in reality he had a perfect eyesight!), and first edition of “Lolita” with his handwriting on the front page. It was magical to hold these things in your hands, to be so close to the life story of his amazing talent.

3) I don’t like chocolate! Unless it is a white one *)

full version of the interview can be read here

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


well, now i know that the main advantage of local fashion week (in comparison to the ones in far away cities/countries) is that you get invited to many shows since you know lots of people, but the main disadvantage of it is that since you are "at home" and fashion shows are not part of your job (we won't put a tag "job" on networking, even though sometimes it feels this way), it is really hard to find time in your working schedule to attend all the shows you've been invited too. ah, sweet vicious circle and recurring dreams about cloning myself!

from the shows and events i managed to attend nevertheless, i wanted to mention beloved PORTS 1961 (can't wait to see this japanese inspired nude-colored collection in stores and on my stylist's racks! i especially liked the shoes and back details on dresses and jackets) and custo barcelona (while not being too crazy about patterns and cuts of the women's collection i find men's collection to be very photogenic and sleek), and to applaud to the great idea of fashion night out which finally brought high fashion out to the streets - literally! for the first time fashion week felt not like a private event for the selected group of people from the industry, but as an all-city festival celebrating fashion in style.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


as some of you may know that i am crazy about pop-up books, and consider them to be collectibles. (at least on my book shelves!)
one of the most delightful and smartly done one with an outstanding design is ABC 3D pop-up alphabet i bought in hirshhorn museum in washington DC

i planned to doing some still shots of the pop-up letters to share with you, but then realized that the bext part of the book is actually the motion. that's why here is the video for you to enjoy.