Elena Eliseeva: "You Can Dress A Client In Some Things Only Under Anesthesia"

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Elena Eliseeva: "You Can Dress A Client In Some Things Only Under Anesthesia"
Elena Eliseeva: "You Can Dress A Client In Some Things Only Under Anesthesia"

Video: Elena Eliseeva: "You Can Dress A Client In Some Things Only Under Anesthesia"

Video: Elena Eliseeva: "You Can Dress A Client In Some Things Only Under Anesthesia"
Video: Nedsövning 7 på Primakliniken Plastikoperationer Anaesthesia 2023, June

Elena Eliseeva is a true expert in the fashion industry: she lectures on fashion history, consults on image issues, helping clients understand which style suits their image, and also works as an art critic at the Ministry of Culture and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation. She is one of those whose profession goes beyond routine work: she is so enthusiastic about everything that is connected with fashion that there is no doubt that this is her love and true vocation.

Marie Claire: Elena, you started studying the fashion industry a long time ago. How did you understand that you want to do this as your main profession?

Elena Eliseeva:In fact, by my first education I am a musician - I worked with children in a music school for several years, and in my heart I still remain a musician. Then I received an art history education at Moscow State University and taught art history at the Moscow Architectural Institute, at the Natalia Nesterova Institute, at the theological seminary of the Sretensky Monastery. It is teaching that is my main passion: I am always glad to teach someone something. But teaching at the institute is a pretty strict academic discipline. And at some point I again wanted to work directly with people, as with children in a music school. At first I was carried away by the style, because this is something that is always present in the life of girls. She was educated at the European Academy of Image, worked with clients, held master classes on style and image,and then she began to read the cycle "Fashion as Art" and lectures on designers, after all, they are the main source of inspiration. And at some point the Aspect British School in St. Petersburg invited me to lecture to teenagers about British fashion. And it turned out to be very interesting, because the students react very lively and directly.

In the 20th century, there were many rebellious designers who changed the very understanding of fashion. You devoted whole lectures to many of them. Interestingly, for yourself personally, you single out someone specific?

You know, I have many favorite designers. I love everyone in their own way. For example, Elsa Schiaparelli - for incredible courage, brightness, for the fact that she turned the very attitude towards clothes. Yves Saint Laurent, with his sexuality beyond gender differences, hardly leaves anyone indifferent. I love Vivienne Westwood. And I think I'm not alone in my passion for McQueen.

Yes, they were all geniuses. But you know, it happens that you admire the work of some person, and when you find out the details of his life, you can no longer perceive what he created as before. Are there any designers who make you dissonant?

I am one of those people for whom, if a person is a genius, then everything else is not important. They were all very difficult people. An ordinary person does not need to repeat their path. Maybe for some it's better not to know everything about them.

This applies, for example, to Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen. Of course, when I talk about their work to teenagers at Aspect School, I remove all the sharp moments. But, what is interesting, the guys, being carried away by creativity, ask questions themselves. At the end of the lecture about McQueen, I was asked, "How old was he when he died?" And when I answered - 40, the logical question followed: "How did it happen?" And here you can't do without explanations.


How would you describe contemporary fashion? What inspires a couturier today?

All designers are very different, but now, of course, the era of an absolute mixed mix - a combination of high and low, art and all kinds of everyday life. In the collections of such trendsetters as Gucci, you can see references to the art of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and at the same time there are always relevant topics - artificial intelligence, cyborgs, modern technologies. And this is interesting.

Many designers say they take inspiration from history because roots are always important. Vivienne Westwood openly stated that "there is no future without a past." If you remember, even the hands of the clock on the front of her store moved in the opposite direction - it was a conceptual gesture on the theme of “back to the future”.

By the way, about artificial intelligence and technological progress. You had a lecture where you talked about shoes made with a 3-D printer. Do you think in the future all clothes will be created this way?

I like your question. It's awesome because it fits into the concept very much. Experiments are experiments, and the human approach will remain as irreplaceable as it always has been. Clothes are our second skin. Are we going to wear clothes created by a 3-D printer? That is unlikely.

If this were not the case, then the Hermès brand, which recently demonstrated at the Museum of Moscow how he creates his things by hand, would not have had the success it has.

The hunted Hermès Birkin bag is no longer a bag, but a marker of status and wealth. But above all else, this is a hand-made thing. And when we buy it, we bring into our life the love and attention that lies behind handicraft. And it's not even Birkin or Hermès, you can cite any other brand that prioritizes quality, craftsmanship and individual approach as an example. We still value not mechanical large-circulation production, but what is made for us to order.

A 3-D printer is, of course, good and progressive. But we are unlikely to start dressing in his products. Until we ourselves became machines, of course. If robots come to replace humanity, then this is quite possible. In the meantime - hardly.

What does clothing mean for a modern person?

Clothes for a modern person, as well as for a person of antiquity, means a lot. And don't underestimate it. I just took a course of lectures and seminars “Clothes out of the context of fashion” at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, where we just talked about what clothes are for us and how it has changed over time.

Not so long ago, at the beginning of the 20th century, clothing was a kind of "social passport", it was easy to understand from it what place a person occupies in society, what environment he is from, what is his income level and much of that kind. It's not like that now. Now clothing plays a different role, it has become more an area of self-expression and creativity. By the way a person is dressed, we can judge his character, temperament, hobbies and inclinations. Well, in certain circumstances, of course, about the environment, sphere of life and work.

We remain attentive to what we are wearing, especially when we go to a business meeting or a romantic date. At the same time, Chanel's words: “You only have one chance to make a first impression” are not as important for us as they used to be. In the age of advanced Internet communication, the first impression we make is by no means through visual contact.

Why do women sometimes buy clothes and then they just hang in the wardrobe?

A person is a very complex creature, and how he buys clothes depends on many factors. For someone, this is an emotional story, for someone there is an urgent need to buy something to replace the worn out one, someone succumbed to the temptation at a sale, someone simply does not know how to think in a set and, having bought a thing, cannot fit it into their wardrobe … But, in general, if a thing is bought and not worn, it means that it does not correspond to the one who bought it, it does not meet his requirements for clothes, does not cover the need to be what he wants. Having bought this thing, a person did not get into his image, into his character. And this may mean that he does not know himself very well and what he needs.


You yourself already, I think, understand a lot about yourself, you have a formed style. How do you choose your clothes? Come to the store already with a clear understanding of what you want to buy?

Yes, I know myself quite well. But I am also an emotional person. Moreover, I am very immersed in the history of designers, and this is a special topic. And I can't help but buy things from my favorite designers, because I want to have them as a thing, as a precious object, as a work of art that I can put on myself and thus join those whom I love, value and respect.

Do you always need to show a sense of proportion to your wardrobe?

Everyone has their own sense of proportion, as well as the zone of psychological comfort in clothes. It is important for someone to be bright and attract attention - for him the border of what is permissible will run much further than for someone who is important to comply with the rules and fit into a certain environment. If a person is creative, then for him, as a rule, any restraint is inconceivable. If a person works in business or banking, where a stricter dress code is in force, then, of course, completely different boundaries for him in what is allowed and what is not.

We are all different. The only universal advice is to understand who you are and what you want. And then you can not deny yourself anything.

Well, if a person has already found his style, how important is it sometimes to go beyond the boundaries and try something new?

You should always try and experiment. We all change with age: we discover new talents and facets of character. Along with this, the way we look and how we want to look is changing. The only advisor you need to listen to while doing this is yourself.

How do you understand that you need to change? Let's say you are already accustomed to a certain style, it suits you, but it is already a little uncomfortable in it

Here "uncomfortable" is the key word. If you feel uncomfortable, then you need to think about how to bring yourself to comfort. For some, comfort means being beautiful. For some, comfort is convenience and quality at all levels. To each his own, but the main thing is to be good inside. Women are very sensitive to this.

As you said before, clothing is our expression today. Therefore, you need to understand a person in order to dress him. So, in theory, it should be easier for loved ones to give style recommendations?

It is just difficult with them, because loved ones do not at all perceive you as an authority figure. They can be advised whatever they want, but they will still do it their own way. The same situation with girlfriends. The greater the distance with the person, the easier it is to work. Because for the client I am just a professional.

How then do you choose the image for the client? Does the client you see for the first time in your life always listen to recommendations?

You know, even if I myself see a lot in a person, but he himself does not see it and is not ready to change, then it is impossible to change his clothes. Mechanically, we dress up girls-models for the task during photo sessions. But you can't do that with a client. Some things can only be worn on a person under anesthesia (just kidding).

The most important thing in work is to let the person see and feel themselves. In this sense, the system of archetypes is now very helpful - it provides a key to the image, allows you to see what characteristics of appearance are leading in a person. As soon as the client responds to what you are trying to convey to him, it is no longer possible to lead him astray.

Nowadays, a lot of fashion bloggers have appeared. Most often these are young people who do not always understand the history of fashion, but simply advise something from their own experience. But many listen to them. How do you feel about this phenomenon?

Okay. If it helps someone, great. For many people it is enough when they are told: "Put on these shoes with this blouse." Life is immediately simplified. This is great.

Does everyone need to know the history of fashion? Not necessary. Many people do well without it. You can also work with the part that is absolutely modern. Young bloggers tend to have a young audience. People of a slightly different age group come to my lectures. And all my clients are over 30. Clients are mostly.

Do you have male clients?

I do not have. Male listeners only attend lectures and participate in discussions at seminars. I have a suspicion that it is still a little easier for men with clothes than for women. For a man, clothing is, in a sense, a uniform, armor: he got dressed and went. Although, of course, men are also different. It's more complicated for women, we have a lot of psychological things. In general, working with clients is a small miracle, every time I am amazed at how a person transforms and how everything around him begins to change. But, it would seem, we are only talking about clothes.

Eliseeva Elena - art critic
Eliseeva Elena - art critic

Eliseeva Elena - art critic

Photo: from personal archives

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