Interview with Valentin Yudashkin
Fashion House of famous Russian fashion designer Valentin Yudaskin has celebrated its 25th anniversary in spectacular style with a runway show of the luxurious anniversary collection. For a quarter of a century, the talented fashion designer had time to release 78 collections, including haute couture, and was awarded the status of Associate Member of the Paris Haute Couture Syndicate. Yudashkin became the first Russian fashion designer in history to be accepted into this prestige organisation. His name is strongly associated with High Fashion. His works are displayed in many museums around the world. His clients are celebrities. His every show is sensational and turns into a grand celebration.
Lifestyle Magazine VictoryON held an exclusive interview with Valentin Yudashkin devoted to his artistic achievements, fashion and lifestyle.
Mr. Yudashkin, when and how did you choose your life's trade? In fact, at the time when you were just starting your career, there was no such profession as fashion designer in Russia, not to mention couturier.
You know, my choice was probably genetically predetermined. My grandfather on one side was a tailor, the other one was an architect. Maybe that is why I have loved drawing since I was a boy. Then, my love for drawing gradually grew into a desire to experiment with my clothing. There was no fashion as it is now at that time in Russia. And I had to alter, redye my outfit and create its decoration. I remember tailoring a tie for my prompt party all by myself; I have kept it until now.
Who can you name as your teachers?
First of all, there is Pierre Cardin. We met at my first fashion show in Paris in 1991. After the show he came backstage to greet me. Since that time we have been great friends. Pierre Cardin helped me a lot and gave me many useful pieces of advice when we had just started to work in France: he even provided his press office to organize my fashion shows.
Tell us about the happiest moment of your life?
I have had lots of happy moments and I think it would be difficult for me to single out just one of them. My first fashion show, creating my own fashion house, opening my first boutique, launching new fashion lines, showing every new collection. At the moment I am working on a new jewelry direction, Valentin Yudashkin Amber. We will present amber in its marvelous beauty in a present-day rendering, haute bijouterie. And that’s another happy moment of my oeuvre.
What inspires you to create a new collection?
Sources of inspiration can be so very different: music, masterpieces or even traveling experiences. Last year, at the 25th anniversary of my Fashion House, I published a book in cooperation with a French Publishing House, Les Editions de la Martiniere. The book reveals how fashion collections are created, how much variously one and the same idea or topic can be interpreted and embodied depending on a mood and a world-view, or how a couturier works with different textures, materials and colors.
Mr. Yudashkin, is it difficult for you as a deeply creative thinker to make to order?
Maybe it will sound quite surprising but the work of a designer not only requires a creative approach but it also demands a harsh self-discipline. Our Fashion House holds four shows a year. We present two season prêt-a-porter collections and two prêt-a-porter shows. Work on each collection takes about six months and that means careful scheduling and deadlines that cannot be broken. Everything is thoroughly planned: developing design sketches, choosing and procuring texture, tailoring clothes items, fitting them, preparing defile and launching collection into production. At the end of September we present the Spring-Summer 2015 collection and, immediately after that, we start getting ready for winter season 2015/16.
Your dress from the Faberge collection of 1991 is presented in the Louvre. Do you feel like a classic couturier?
Of course, it is very pleasant that dresses from my collection have become exponents in such famous museums as the Louvre in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the California Fashion Museum. Though it is too early for me to feel like a classic couturier and rest on my laurels. In 2006, I initiated the creation of the Moscow Fashion Museum. We hold lots of exhibitions of historical and national costumes, contemporary designer collections, we cooperate with colleges, hold lectures and workshops. The Water Museum exhibition in Vologda has come to an end. Vologda is a Russian town well-known for its lacework.
Do you have a favorite dress model?
My favorite model, as well as my favorite collection, is the one that has not been created yet. I think about it, work it out up to the smallest detail: color, drapery, embroidery, decorations, etc. Now I am working on the Spring-Summer 2015 collection which we traditionally present in the Kremlin on March 8th, International Women’s Day. And I have intentionally chosen a floral bouquet as a topic for the holiday show.
Your wedding. Your daughter’s birth. Opening Valentin Yudashkin Fashion House. Presenting your haute couture collection in Paris. Two prominent awards — the Russian medal ‘For Merit to the Fatherland’ and the French Legion of Honor Medal. Which of these events has become the most significant for you? Which of them has made you worry the most?
Every such event is of special importance and significance for me. Family events, both my wedding with Marina and my daughter Galia’s birth, her prompt party, as well as her recent engagement are always dear to my heart. Of course being awarded brings lots of excitement. I learned that I was being awarded the Legion of Honor Medal when I was at a fashion show in Paris. That was the second award from the Republic of France: my first French award — ‘For Merit to Literature and Art’ — was given to me in 2007. I remember those bright emotions and excitement overwhelming me at that moment.
Your wife Marina is a top manager at Valentin Yudashkin Fashion House. Do you constantly talk about your work or leave the topic at your doorstep?
At the moment our daughter Galina is also a top manager at Fashion House. She is an Art Director. She is responsible for shooting advertising campaigns and she also works with haute couture archives which have become quite considerable for 25 years of Fashion House activity. Though our mutual work does not prevent us from spending time in a small family circle or with our friends. Well, topics for conversations can be quite various.
Mr. Yudashkin, are you a sensitive and soft kind of person or do you have a determined character intrinsic to you? How do you feel backstage or with your close friends?
In order to manage Fashion House, Fashion Museum, I teach my students and take on lots of projects (since 2012 I have been the President of the Russian Sport Dance Union) it is obligatory to have a determined character. Otherwise, as you probably know yourself, it is impossible to build up the right strategy, defend your interests and achieve success.
How often do your close friends and family wear items made according to your design sketches?
I always make myself design sketches for all collections, both haute couture and prêt-a-porter. So, I can say that my near and dear ones quite often wear clothes made according to my design sketches. As for special occasions, I have drawn a very special design sketch of a wedding dress for my wife Marina, and another one has been made for my daughter Galina’s prompt party. I think her wedding dress will be my next very special design sketch.
Living with two such beautiful women as your wife and daughter, have you ever thought about creating a collection for Daughters and Mothers?
Not a separate collection, I suppose. But in every season collection when we get models ready for our boutiques, we think about the assortment in such a way so that outfits for Daughters and Mothers could be assembled in a single style.
What happens more often: friends become clients or clients become friends?
Of course, everything can be shaped in quite a different way. Though there is a reason why the notion of ‘Fashion House’ contains the word ‘house’. We develop friendly, very ‘homely’ relations with almost every client. Because in order to create the right image of a dress or a suit, to develop a stage persona or total look for a client, it is necessary to be on the same wavelength and acquire mutual understanding. So, such open communication quite often turns into a friendship.
What circumstances influence fashion? Why were long red dresses in fashion five years ago and now short black dresses are at a premium, for example?
A short black dress has already become the classic that will never be out of fashion. If we consider circumstances, then lots of factors influence fashion: seasonality, economic situation, national factor. In the case of Russia, for example, we have a very short summer and, therefore, we long to see lots of bright colors and light flying fabrics in fashion collections. Cold winters make it necessary to have some fur outerwear.
Why does mankind need fashion and why are we so very interested in it?
Fashion is not only about clothes, footwear or accessories. Fashion is everything we are surrounded by. These days, large fashion houses not only provide tendencies for what is trendy to wear but also create a complete lifestyle and even recommend what to surround ourselves with. Our Fashion House has also developed an interior items line made under the Valentin Yudashkin trademark. It not only includes dinnerware, silverware, interior design items and textiles but also furniture. And from this year on, we are going to produce wallpaper too.
Mr. Yudashkin, what colors are going to become your favorite ones in the new season Autumn-Winter 2014/2015?
I have chosen monochrome colors as the leading ones for this season, such as reserved black, gray, beige and brown. They are going to make the basis of the autumn-winter outfit. Icy blue and grayish blue will complement the color group.
Everyone has a certain life philosophy. It may be trust in the Lord, the idea of ‘non-resistance to evil with violence’ developed by Leo Tolstoy or Jen Buddhism etc. What feeds you spiritually?
The basic principle of my life philosophy is to love the trade you are engaged in. Design and fashion are not observed solely on world catwalks. They are a powerful educational tool. Both in Russia and abroad, I always attempt to create broad public awareness of history, culture and national traditions with the help of the fashion language. Last year, we did a remarkable project with the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. It is called ‘Fashion in Art Space’. The objective of the exhibition was to show that fashion is tightly connected with all art trends and drew analogy between masterpieces of the greatest sculptures and artists and haute couture models.
Our Lifestyle Magazine Victory ON represents lifestyle where beauty and active kindness go hand in hand. Mr Yudashkin, you create beauty and bring kindness into the world. Tell us some details of your past and future charity projects.
We participate in many charity and educational projects as well as public sales held by fashion magazines such as VOGUE, Harper’s Bazaar among others. Every yea r, the special campaign ‘Let’s Help Graduates to Get Ready for Prompt Party’ is held upon the initiative of Fashion House and the Department of Social Protection of Moscow Citizens for Children from Needy Families. We closely cooperate with the Northern Crown Charity Fund, organize contests for talented children from foster homes. Models from Valentin Yudashkin collections took part in charitable campaigns led by the Naked Hearts Fund and Naomi Campbell’s Neon
the ultimate yacht experience
Solandge was delivered in October 2013 and has a length of 85 metres. She is a family yacht built for pleasure, but great care has been taken to ensure that she becomes an iconic yacht on the charter market. Above all other considerations, she is a yacht intended to be self-sufficient during extended voyages on the high seas and well equipped for whatever she may face.
Yacht-building means team-work, and to execute such a big project, an excellent team is necessary. In this case, the team consists of Richard Masters, the owner's project manager, exterior designer Espen Oeino, interior designer Aileen Rodriguez and, of course, the project team of Lürssen.
When entering Solandge through the main entrance into the wooden floor and onyx inlay floored foyer, you are instantly captured by the golden "Tree of Life" — a lighted sculpture where more than 1,200 points of light act as tropical rain drops that bring coloured glass flowers to bloom. The tree is approximately 16 metres (50 feet) high and covers the entire height from the tank deck up to the bridge deck.
In addition to the very impressive staircase, which is encompassed by an antique Venetian mirror and edge-lit, hand-carved art glass, there is an elevator clad in custom leather panels, which feels like a luxurious jigsaw of different colours and textures. The elevator provides access to all decks from the tank deck to the bridge deck.
Aft of the foyer, guests enter the main salon directly. Unlike most layouts on other yachts of this size, the main salon onboard Solandge is one large area where the main dining table is located in the middle of the salon. It provides seated dining for up to twelve guests.
Above the custom dining table made from a variety of materials such as semi-precious stone, mother of pearl, gold leaf and specialty burl inlays are three Schonbek chandeliers with large crystals of amethyst and rose quartz. Forward of the dining table, there is a very colourful and comfortable seating area with a view of a fire place as well as a hidden television. Further aft there is another seating area and bar.
The bar is accented by curved artwork glass panels and nicely upholstered fabric panels in a purple colour matching the amethyst stone top patched with crystal glass, diamond-shaped pieces.
The Main Salon captures the style and elegance of the owner's lifestyle. A love of classical music and fine art exudes from this space. One of the first things that catches your eye as you walk into the space are the back-lit amethyst walls (port and starboard). These walls flank the main salon as they greet you with a Bechstein piano on one side and a Venetian mirror and console on the other. There is a gold leaf and stone floor medallion set into the wooden floors which are bordered by honey onyx stone.
The main salon offers enormous space for the guests with a range of comfortable couches and chairs in purple and gold colours. The pieces of furniture have been crafted with a sharp eye for detail, as can be seen by their finish as well as in the curved and bold shapes of the joinery.
Forward of the foyer, a door leads into the guest lobby, which hosts a guest office and five guest suites, one of which is a large VIP suite. The VIP suite can be converted into two cabins rather than one large suite. The VIP suite and the two guest suites offer double beds, and the other two guest suites offer twin beds which can also be converted into king-size beds.
The décor of each cabin has the same array of materials, with only the colours varying from cabin to cabin: blue, copper, celadon, purple and gold.
The big advantage of having the guest cabins on the main deck instead of the lower deck, as is the case on many other yachts, is that it not only enables better separation between guests and crew but also provides larger and nicer accommodation, with very large windows allowing for plenty of natural light.
Solandge will be an exciting addition to the global charter fleet. She represents the very latest in high-end luxury cruising. With her experienced charter crew she will, without doubt, provide the ultimate experience to remember.
Champagne Armand de Brignac Gold
Armand de Brignac Dynastie: A Champagne Bottle Size to Suit Every Occasion!
Armand de Brignac continues to be an innovative leader when it comes to luxury champagne, and their large-format bottle sizes are a perfect testament! Presenting Armand de Brignac Dynastie, a complete collection of nine Champagne bottle sizes ranging from the regular-sized 750 ml right up to their exclusive and record breaking 30-litre Midas. Armand de Brignac Dynastie is the most comprehensive range of Champagne bottle sizes currently available and represents the equivalent of 109 regular-sized bottles’ worth of Champagne!
Yvonne Lardner, Global Director of Marketing and PR, Armand de Brignac Champagne comments, “Armand de Brignac Champagne’s opaque, hand-crafted metalised bottles have proven a natural match for Champagne's legendary tradition of large-format bottles. Our regular-sized bottles certainly stand apart from others and our larger versions are even more dramatic and add a special sense of celebration to life’s big events. We are pleased to be producing such a vast range of bottle sizes as part of Armand de Brignac Dynastie, with each bottle pairing perfectly with life’s good times and fond memories”.
Armand de Brignac Champagne is the ultimate taste of luxury and is considered a cuvée de prestige — a Champagne of great distinction. Crafted entirely by traditional artisan methods and values, from the picking of Grand Cru and Premier Cru grapes, filling, and remuage (riddling), to the application of each pewter label on the opulent, paperless bottles, every process is done entirely by hand. Armand de Brignac’s iconic metallic paperless bottle concept was inspired by famed French fashion designer André Courrèges and each innovative metallic bottle features two “Ace of Spades” insignias and four hand-applied pewter labels. Only eight members of the château staff are entrusted to carry out the production process and Head Winemaker Jean-Jacques Cattier, whose family has owned vineyards in the Montagne de Reims terroir since 1763, oversees every step.
Armand de Brignac Champagne is also available to purchase individually and the sizes available are:
Bouteille (0.75 litres) - 1 standard bottle
Magnum (1.5 litres) - 2 standard bottles
Jeroboam (3 litres) - 4 standard bottles
Rehoboam (4.5 litres) - 6 standard bottles
Methuselah (6 litres) - 8 standard bottles
Salmanazar (9 litres) - 12 standard bottles
Balthazar (12 litres) - 16 standard bottles
Nebuchadnezzar (15 litres) - 20 standard bottles
Midas (30 litres) - 40 standard bottles
Together we are strong
The NAKED HEART FOUNDATION is a non-profit organisation founded in 2004 by Natalia Vodianova. The Foundation’s primary areas of work are creating a system of free services for vulnerable families raising children with special needs and building inclusive playgrounds. Currently, the Foundation has been involved in more than 100 play sites throughout Russia, dozens of Russian NPOs projects working with children with special needs, leading the Family Support Centre in Nizhny Novgorod, the training program for school teachers working with autistic children, and the annual International Forum — "Every Child Deserves a Family".
Looking back at the past year, the "Naked Heart" Foundation sums up the results of its activities. In July 2013, the annual charity fundraising event – the Love Ball – raised 3.2 million Euro. On March 2, 2014, the Half Marathon was held in Paris. The 74 thousand Euro raised were spent on an integrative teaching summer vacation for children and teenagers with special needs. In the year 2014, the Foundation supported the creation of fifteen summer and autumn camps for these children and their families. On April 12, an informal friendly match between tennis players Rafael Nadal and Mikhail Youzhny in support of the charity Foundation was held in Monaco. On May 13, artists Ilya Kabakov and Emilia Kabakova presented their exhibition as a part of the Monumenta project in the Grand Palais, Paris. The exposition display culminated in a charity dinner and auction, which raised 1.3 million Euro. These funds allowed a wide range of activities to be scheduled up to the end of the year (at the end of the year, the Foundation will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary in New York). Here are some of them. From May 28 – June 1, 2014, the practical stage of the educational programme "Where the children play" for young architects, urbanists, designers and anyone interested in the development of child-friendly urban environment was held in Nikola-Lenivets, Kaluga region.
On September 15, 2014, the opening of Lekotek – the service of early pedagogical and psychological support for families with children with special needs under 6 years old – is planned in Tver.
From October 20-23, 2014, the Third International Forum "Every child deserves a family" will take place, entitled "Education with meaning: a special child within the educational environment". Because emotionless statistics confirm that of 68 of today's children one child is born with special needs (and some experts believe that this number is too low), the "Naked Heart" Foundation seeks to help these children exercise their right to education.
Thus, the Foundation summarised the unique educational programme in Nizhny Novgorod, which educates teachers on modern principles of working with children with autism, starting in 2013, through the sponsorship of the "Gazprom Export" Company. High-class professionals are involved with scientific developments and their implementation there. As a result, children with acute semantic pragmatic, intelligence and behaviour disorders are now able to join the regular school and their parents will receive respite from unrelenting concerns about their child. It is quite natural that the Foundation thinks about the parents too. One of the directions of its work is the organisation of trainings in Moscow within the "Early bird" programme, which are aimed at parents who have only recently learned about the special needs of their children. Russian specialists received certificates and the information kits needed to teach these parents how to establish verbal communications within the family and analyse the behaviour of a child with autism. By the way, this programme was developed in the United Kingdom long ago, but has been waiting to be implemented in Russia for years. And now it's finally happened: the three-month training course organised by the "Naked Heart" Foundation with the support of KPMG Company will pass the necessary knowledge into the hands of parents. Also this year, the Foundation has continued to build play sites in orphanages, hospitals and cancer and rehabilitation centres. The geography of the Foundation's objects is vast – from Kaliningrad in the West, to the Soviet Harbour in the East of the country. Four playgrounds are already opened. The opening of two play parks and 21 children's playgrounds is planned for 2014. From August 18 – December 18, the Foundation will start accepting applications for 2015. There is no doubt that the "Naked Heart" Foundation team and Natalia Vodianova are enjoying a great lifestyle, because these numerous deeds are their favourite pastime. After all, if you have an open heart, all doors will open and every day will become a gift of fate.
Thank you for your help!
Sports cars with huge engines are still at the pinnacle of prestige. After all, it is due to them that environmentally friendly hybrid and electric car models are often resigned to oblivion. For many decades, Aston Martin has remained the centre of attention. In purchasing one, the buyer invariably makes an impression on others through brand prestige and the unprecedented power hidden under the hood.
Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford were the originators of these beautiful cars. Lionel gave the car its last name and added to it the name of the Aston Hill Climb, where in 1913, he won the race driving a Singer-10 model. In the same year, Aston Martin LTD was established. The first car left the gates of the factory in March, 1915.
The company has had a difficult history, affected by the First World War and several changes of ownership, but in 2007 it was bought by a consortium of investors, headed by the owner of Prodrive, David Richardson. One could not expect a better turn of events for the business as Richardson himself owned a wonderful collection of Aston Martin cars and was a great admirer of their exquisite form. From that moment, the contemporary history of Aston Martin began — a bronze plaque inside every car holds the name of the craftsman responsible for building it.
Aston Martins are built by hand and designed to satisfy the most discerning buyer. Amazing comfort, astonishing harmony of lines and their beautiful finish will not only stir the imagination to thoughts of film hero James Bond, who himself drives one, or Kylie Minogue who wrote a song about one, but will also make you remember the words of Marcel Proust: “Seize me as I pass by if you have the strength to do so, and try to solve the enigma of happiness that I offer you” — this is aimed directly at future owners of this masterpiece.
The world’s most beautiful 4-door sports car
Designing a more luxurious and more refined Rapide would have been a phenomenal achievement. Engineering a more powerful Rapide would have seen us take our industry leading technology to new heights. But we didn’t settle on one, we did something incredible, we did both.
The result is an Aston Martin with more power and more luxury. An Aston Martin with the power of luxury, Rapide S. Driven by one but enjoyed by four. Rapide S has space for four adults to be transported in a luxurious environment with the highest levels of refinement. New exterior styling is matched by interior materials worked by hand to achieve a finish never seen before on a four-door sports car. Specifically designed materials and the largest range of colours, trims and options we’ve ever offered. Rapide S is exquisitely finished and exquisitely personal.
Vanquish Volante — The Ultimate Convertible!
The Aston Martin Vanquish, the ultimate grand tourer, the stunning product of 100 years of Aston Martin Power, Beauty & Soul. How to enhance the character and capability of our Super GT? Simple; the same engineering expertise, the same dynamic performance, the same world-leading design — but the thrill of open top driving.
All of the finishes, the authentic materials, the exquisite details from Vanquish Coupe — but more eyes will enjoy them. The all-new centre stack inspired by One-77 combines elegance and ergonomics. A cabin that can be tailored in thousands of unique colour and material combinations offers bold contrasts or subtle styling. Vanquish Volante is our ultimate convertible, but it’s your design statement.
This year the world’s largest showcase for Super and Megayachts afloat will be the biggest ever, with an expanded exhibition area and berthing for around 110 superyachts in the Port Hercules of Monaco.
"The demand for space at MYS has been a challenge to us for more than ten years," said Gaëlle Tallarida, Managing Director of the Monaco Yacht Show, "The improving global economy and expanding demand in developing economies for exclusive products and services, including Superyachts, was full of meaning for us and for Monaco also. Jointly with the Monaco Government, the MYS has been able to extend its show footprint for 2014 enabling us to again welcome the elite of the international Superyacht community not only to an expanded MYS but Monaco itself, the world capital of yachting”.
The new extension perfectly matches the increasing demand for exhibiting bigger yachts in the Port. Last year’s event appeared to herald the beginnings of a recovery in the yachting market and it seems today that some yachting statistics are close to pre-crisis figures, in terms of volume, with order books and the demand for finance on the increase. During the last two to three years it has also been noticeable that there has been an increasing demand for vessels over 100m, the Monaco Yacht Show will now be able to berth these giants for all to see.
Berths for megayachts over 100 meters in length!
The MYS floating area has been extended to the port entrance in front of the new Monaco Yacht Club and Quai Rainier, 1er Grand Amiral de France, opening up space for around 110 super & megayachts over 100 metres. The exhibition area is also wider, with around 400 additional square metres available for stands. These figures are clearly impressive, enhancing the reputation of the MYS in every respect and further stretching its competitive advantage on the worldwide stage.
"The Informa Group and the MYS have been in discussions with the Monaco Harbors Management Company (S.E.P.M.) and the Monaco Yacht Club for many years about how we can develop yachting in Monaco further, and it became a natural and obvious step for the three of us to formally join forces to pursue the same goal. This is significant in highlighting the great importance of Monaco for yachting, as well as that of yachting for Monaco. The high concentration of industry professionals and clients here underlines the potential for the industry to continue to grow in the future and remain a long-term source of prestige for Monaco."
Bigger show custom-made for a ultra-high end clientele
This annual, one-of-a-kind event attracts industry leaders and billionaires from around the world. Recent figures stress that there are now more ultra-rich people with a strong propensity to buy, and with a certain interest in yachting, especially within the USA and Eastern Europe, which remain historic markets for yachting.
The MYS will welcome among others, new wealth, notably from emerging markets like Turkey, China or South Asia and these visitors will be walking the docks to catch up on the latest Superyacht trends and maybe be tempted to acquire these Jewels of the Seas whilst in the glamorous setting of Monaco.
What makes Monaco so special during the MYS are the events held every day. Over one hundred events are organised on board the yachts, at the stands, or in the Principalities top hotels. Awards, business lunches, gala dinners and cocktail parties are some of the many highlights that enable formal and informal networking and often attract those that can afford and do buy Superyachts.