Do you remember the SASHA GRADIVA Dress on the red carpet at the GRAMMY Awards?
Leonid Gurevich is Gradiva’s stylist and he designed the metal piece on her shoulder.
Well Leonid Gurevich is my freind, I met him the first time in New York during the fashion week. When I saw the dress of Sasha Gradiva on the red carpet, I said to myself “that’s stunning”. So I immediatly called Leonid to make an interview.
Hello Leonid, I’m so happy and proud of your collaboration with Sasha Gradiva! Who are the designers of the pieces that Gradiva wore at the Grammy? Thank you very much Valentina for having called me for this interview thats really means a lot to me. Well the gorgeous dress is by Alfredo Flores and the, now famous weapon accessory design concept is by myself , co-designed and skillfully produced by Gilding Primal Instinct.
Did Sasha Gradiva inspire you do create her Grammy’s outfit? How this idea was born?
Sasha Gradiva has travelled the world a lot being an international singer. She is a very vulnerable person as any true artist would be. And she is very upset by all the suffering, all the killing that the war brings to people and especially children. In our brainstorming sessions we wanted to reflect on all of this and we deliberately wanted to go away from “pretty” and do something powerful and meaningful instead. The whole idea behind her Grammy look was to take all the weapons used for killing and to use them in fashion and art only. Make Couture, Not War! – is the new slogan that we are proclaiming. Some people sensed it, got it and appreciated the message. But some said “Eww it’s ugly”. But, understand, war is ugly. We wanted to take something as delicate and fragile as a couture dress, created to allure, to entice feelings, and compare it with heartless steel elements created to destroy life and demonstrate the end result. I think we’ve achieved it, but it was a beautiful team effort.
Make Couture Not War!
Leonid beside to be a stylist you are also a Couture designer, When do you start your passion to design Couture dresses? My passion for couture began when I was about 5 or 6 years old and my mother would take me to work with her – she was working as an embroiderress at the workshops of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. And that was practically when my first “fashion internship” began, because she would bring a lot of work home from the theatre and I would help her with opening the seams, cutting the edges, pilling threads etc. Eventually I learnt how to embroider and sew sequins on and by then I knew that I wanted to be creating beautiful things with my hands for a living.
When you made your first collection? I made my first collection when I was probably thirteen… That was a very couture and very avant garde collection :))))) Because I used everything that I could find in the house: bed sheets, shower curtains, old newspapers etc…
What or who inspire you? Do you have some fashion idol that you follow?I get inspired by the very concept of creating a visual impact. Making an unforgettable impact, in my opinion is vital at absolutely anything – whether you are an actor at the audition, or an employee at the interview, or a star at the award ceremony. We live at the age now when we feel jaded, but clothes backed by a strong concept still have the power to strike.
In my personal style I always look up to Salvador Dali, the father of Surrealism, who was so brilliant that he could wear anything as an accessory – anything at all: lobsters, bread, dead bees, etc… and look fantastic. Why? Because he was confident in what he was doing. Confidence is the key – you can wear the most ridiculous outfit but if you exude confidence people will respect you.
Your future projects? I am showcasing my Fall/Winter 2012 collection during Aurora Fashion Week in Saint Petersburg, Russia, presented by DEPESHA magazine. I dedicate this whole collection to Russia’s cinematic legend, the late Ludmila Gurchenko, who was my muse and who was the embodiment of style for Russian women. When I come back from Russia, I will start working on Sasha Gradiva’s new video and will continue my work as a creative director for her concert, which will be unforgettable. When I come back from Russia, I will continue collaborating with Sasha Gradiva on new projects which will also be unforgettable.
Thank you so much Leonid for this interview! I really hope to see U soon!
Valentina Nessi (me) 🙂
If you need more information, please visit Leonid Gurevich blog:
Kickstarter campaigh : http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/depesha/fashion-designer-leonid-gurevich-debuts-in-europe