Couture Millinery by Iva Ksenevich

January 2, 2017

Millinery has always been an art form and it is definitely that to Iva Ksenevich who offers beautiful millinery at that intersection where art and couture collide.  Born in Belarus, she learnt her trade in Paris and London, citing both cities as well as nature and the geometry of architecture, as key inspirations to her designs.  We spent five minutes with Iva to discuss couture headwear…

Tell us how you started in millinery?

I started millinery after my first trip to London. I was indeed fascinated by the diversity of styles in the streets, people dared to wear hats everywhere!  After conservative Russia, it looked just fantastic.  A hat, as an accessory, struck me at the heart by its power.  It is such an exclusive peculiar thing, it has the character and gives the mood.  I have decided to start with a royal milliner Rose Cory.  She had a great sense of British humor and incredibly skillful hands. My second teacher was Estelle Ramousse in Paris. She was more experimental and motivated me to think out of the box..

What fascinates you about the industry?

That it is a narrow industry, there are not many milliners in the world.  I always have fun watching people getting perplexed when I say that I am a milliner – more than a half doesn’t know this word at all.  Also, as millinery has its strict rules on the same hand it is very artistic. I like this combination.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

That it is never boring.  There is a huge variety of forms, decorations, colors, materials. Normally, I would be making a couple of hats at a time – switching in between them throughout the day.

Where do you draw your inspiration?

The inspiration is everywhere around us!  You just have to be attentive and look around carefully.  Parks, galleries, streets, new cities, artistic studios people.  I also go a lot to museums of course, but the real surprise comes when I get inspired by a stranger or an unexpected situation.  Like once I saved a little swallow who bumped into a tree trying to learn how to flight and fell down.  For a couple of days it was helpless, I took it home and helped it to recover.  Then it flew away and I have made a hat “Swallow” which looks exactly like this pretty creature.

Which is your favourite collection to date and why?

My favourite collection is the one I am working at the moment.  And it will always be like that. The unknown, the new baby is being born, I am excited to see what will it look like when it is finally there.  The process of creating makes you love and hate your collection at the same time. But these emotions are the best part of it all.  And then, of course, the moment, when it goes out to the world and people start wearing it.  Each piece is unique, each realised idea is priceless.

What are your plans for the future?

My plans for the future are to make beautiful shows, travel the world and bring my art everywhere.  To make hats for various projects, international collaborations and people who will wear them with dignity and joy.

Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Felicity Williams

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