An interview with couture milliner Iva Ksenevich
Iva Ksenevich is without a doubt the most exciting milliner on the scene. Producing headwear that is timelessly elegant and forever chic, she merges this with her artistic direction.
Having learnt her trade in London and Paris she has drawn inspiration from both cities, where a rebellious London meet a classic Paris. She also cites nature as an inspiration which can be seen through her use of feathers, and also the geometry of architecture, apparent through the statement nature of her designs.
We chat to Iva to learn more about her and her couture brand.
Where did you learn your craft?
I learned my craft in London and Paris. Combining the styles of these remarkable cities, gave my brand a particular charm. London gave me a very classical millinery school, while Paris was more about experiments & burlesque.
When did you establish your brand, what made you do it?
I established my brand in 2013. Just starting off with pure interest for the craft, it gradually grew into a profession. I couldn’t stop making hats – at first, separate pieces, then collections and now fashion&art projects. Then I understood, that there is no other way, but to quit my previous job completely and invest all the time and effort into life passion.
What is it about millinery that you love?
Millinery is a very particular kind of craft. It requires a lot of skills, taste, feeling of form, composition, an eye for beauty and even some scientific researches. It has everything in one pot and it fascinates me. It is never boring, always gives you the field for self-developing and study. It also brings emotions to people and grace.
Who/what has had the biggest impact on your career?
I think the artistic side of millinery. Maybe I will not be very original, but when I saw hats by Philip Treacy – I was mesmerised. He was the first one to actually give new life and future for the art of millinery. This is it – creations – beautiful, elegant, vibrant. I felt, that my millinery has follow the same direction, otherwise there is no point of making it at all. So, I experiment a lot, always looking for new shapes and materials, adding twists and accents.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Order – disorder – movement, as simple as that. I try to combine all these three in one piece and not to loose the concept. It has to be very structured, by the means of geometry for example. At the same time a bit arty – creative chaos. On the top of it all – not static – it’s a dance of beauty, it has to be alive.
Do you have a style icon?
Not really, I am not obsessed with anybody particular, there are many styles that fascinate me. But if I would talk about someone – I would mention ladies like Idiosyncratic Fashionistas (Valery&Jean) from New York or Style Crone, a fashion blogger from Denver. It is easy to look stylish and smart when you are young and naturally beautiful, or have money to get a good stylist. But how about a fabulous look& energy when you are aged enough and not a millionaire? These ladies are superheroes for me – they have fantastic outfits in combination with colourful and very positive personalities! And I love seeing my hats on them!
Who is your customer?
Elegant and stylish women.
Is there anyone you would love to dress?
Yes, I would like to make a piece for Daphne Guinness. I find her very elegant and chic.