ALENA AKHADULLINA – Interview with the Russian fairy tale fashion designer

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Alena Akhmadullina – Resort 2018 Collection

There is an intricacy, luxury, uniqueness and other-world appeal to your designs – is
there an overarching inspiration that ties your collections together, or do you
approach each one with an individual train of thought?
Each collection is devoted to a fairy tale, and tales as is known, have common ancient roots in all cultures. In my collections there are repetitive images that have become part of the brand’s DNA, for example, the image of a magical female bird, the image of a Russian fairy tale princess or images of flowers as symbols of life, femininity and  beauty.

Can you describe your latest collection, Pre-Fall 2018, and what you hope it evokes
within the women that wear your designs? If you could name the collection, what
would it be called?
I would call her, ‘The Snow Queen of Disco’. This is a famous fairy tale by Hans Christian
Andersen in our ironic interpretation in the style of the 80’s: a lot of asymmetry, a lot of
spark. I think that it’s a collection for a brave, intellectual woman who has a very strong
sense of style.

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Your Resort 2018 collection is a particular favourite of mine, with each piece so
gorgeously woven together with luxury fabrics, impeccable details and fairy tale
sensibilities. Do you have a particularly loved piece within this collection?
One of my favorites is a fur* coat-kaftan made of svakara, tinted according to our individual pantone, with fairy tale plants and birds, made with an intarsia technique. An extremely complicated and a very beautiful piece.

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Your handbags are more than a fashion statement – they are timeless pieces that
speak of individuality and the possession of something mythical. From the curling
mountain design of your leather cylindrical bags to your recent embellished bird
motifs with creature of prey claws. How important is a bag when completing or
enhancing an outfit?
Every piece in the Alena Akhmadullina collection can be ‘read’ as part of the fairy tale
story that we tell through our collections. Bags are no exception. We create them not as
accessories, complementing the look, but as objects that can become its main part.

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What do you love about fairy tales and romantic story telling? Is there one tale that
stands out for you personally?
Fairy tales are something that we remember from childhood, and when we grow up, we
discover their new depths, the ancient cultural overtones. Since childhood I have loved
“The Tale of Tsar Saltan” with its beautiful image of the Princess Swan – a magic female bird who became the heroine of many Alena Akhmadullina collections.

How would you explain your own sense of personal style?
My personal style is reflected within my collections.

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Do you draw a lot of inspiration from your home country of Russia? What do you
think sets it apart in terms of fashion?
Russia and Russian culture is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for my collections. I
often use elements of the Russian historical costume: A-silhouette, swinging sleeves,
“Byzantine” form of the top, as in the clothes of Russian tsars, as well as a large number of complex decor. Such decorativeness is an integral feature of “Russianness” in fashion.

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Are you predominantly based in Russia currently or do you travel often and have a
second home?
I visit many countries, but I travel across Russia the most. There are so many beautiful
places here – Kamchatka, Sakhalin, Altay. I was born in St. Petersburg and it is still a
great pleasure for me to go back there. But now I think my home is Moscow – here I have
my family, friends and business.

What is next on the horizon for Alena Akhmadullina?
The Fall/Winter’18 collection, which will continue the theme of the Snow Queen and will
present this heroine in a new light.

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SHORT & SWEET QUESTIONS
Is there a designer, past or present, that you adore?
Elsa Schiaparelli.
Favorite piece of jewelry that you own?
Engagement ring with a prayer on the inner side.
Favorite piece of clothing in your wardrobe?
A new favorite piece appears after each new collection.
Best holiday destination in the world?
A place where I can go with my friends and family.
Most loved fairy tale heroine?
Vasilisa the Beautiful
Mythical creature you wish were alive and real?
Golden fish that make wishes come true.
Preferred material to design and dress with?
Fur.*

*Please note that Pen To Paper Media does not endorse the use of real fur in fashion.

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To view more of Alena’s breathtaking collections, head to: http://www.alenaakhmadullina.com/

 

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