Style with a beautiful face
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15 November, 2023 12:43

Style with a beautiful face

Стиль с прекрасным лицом

Maria Mikhailova is a creative director, stylist and fashion consultant whose mention can be confidently called a guarantor of refined style and beautiful aesthetics of minimalism.

We chatted with Masha over a cup of coffee at the charming Richter. It was raining non-stop, drumming on the roof of the ancient building of the boutique hotel, the atmosphere of dark wooden interiors favored a long soulful conversation about everything. We were inspired and mesmerized, sharing the treasure trove with you.
Marie, hi, we are glad that you are one of the first who decided to meet us! As lovers of your impeccable style, we would like to get to know you better. Tell us, what do you do now? 

I'm mainly involved in consulting fashion brands, blogging, I also have a couple of fashion projects that are too early to talk about, but they are in the process of being born.


Let's get a little nostalgic. Can you tell us about where your fashion journey started?
My path to fashion was quite long, but I definitely knew from childhood that I was going to pursue it. The methods to achieve my goal weren't fully defined either, but I just knew. I remember as a child I used to reshape my clothes, finding outfits in my grandmother's trunks and trimming something, tightening somewhere, mixing, saying that when I grew up I would become a fashion designer. I watched with my mother the TV series "just Maria", where the main character was also a fashion designer, I used to say "I am just Maria, I am a fashion designer" ...yeah, that was really my dream. There was also a period when I shifted my dream vector to "I'll become a photo model", but it was all about the same thing. 

Then, at some point, and I think a lot of people go through this, I moved away from that in favor of other things. In my adulthood, I was thrown into finance, because I have an economic education, and then I found myself in journalism, where I was writing. 

And then the stars aligned so that I ended up in Vogue. 

At Vogue, I realized how fashion, my longtime childhood dream, works from the inside. I was involved in the shooting, I began to understand how labor-intensive it is...anticipating the questions of many, there is no separate room where collections of outstanding brands are collected, it doesn't exist, there is no "Devil Wears Prada" in life, life is not a movie. It is very resource-consuming to collect things in showrooms, to carry giant bags on fragile female shoulders no matter what. And if you see a stylist who has gone the whole professional way from A to Z, he deserves deep respect. And I say this not how much about myself, my similar period was not as long as many other girls, who for years interned for free freelance without the immediate prospect of being in it, from assistant to junior, then to senior, and so gradually grow up to some serious positions. 

In addition to physical labor, it is also a minute hand on the pulse monitoring trends and all the news from the world of fashion. At fashion weeks, we did not get out of our offices, watching all the shows, absolutely everything, journalistic reviews, collecting opinions, identifying all the trends, both structural and not the most obvious. In addition to identifying trends, we also identified sub-trends and so on, a huge job. A trendbook for the season was created, the fruit of hard work. And all this fashion editors do with their own hands. But then, when you see the result, when you feel your fashion contribution, it makes you happy.  

After the glossy, I did freelance work for a while, and then I was invited to work at TSUM.
It was a tremendous experience, especially falling into the pandemic period. A lot remained, unfortunately, unrealized for obvious reasons. 


What do you think about what is happening to fashion in our country now? What do you think of the sharp jump in the development of the fashion industry, how do you foresee the success of Russian fashion? 

New brands are opening and that's great. People are motivated by the scarcity of everything and that's great. Of course, there is such a thing as ubiquitous stamping, but, as practice shows, it will fall off for lack of demand - this is characteristic of the earliest stage of formation. And after that there will remain some essence, top brands of women's, men's and children's clothing, from mass market to premium, when we will be able to confidently determine for ourselves where the coolest denim is sold, where the coolest cashmere is. This has to be given time. The quality of fabrics is improving, the level of shooting is improving, brand creators are becoming more expert, they are starting to realize that you can't cheat the customer and make something as if it were nothing. Because of the emergence of healthy, quality and cool competition, people are starting to realize how important it is to use the right tools to interact with potential buyers. After all, when you have a cool shoot with a cool team, cool photographers, stylists, models, you have a better chance of success. 


Please tell us how your usual shopping has been transformed due to the current situation? How do you buy foreign brands?

It's quite simple and like everyone else - buyers or traveling abroad on my own. Although I myself am so spoiled by online shopping, I manage to order online too, through friends with European addresses. Because of my, so to say, professional deformation, I know for sure what will fit me and what will not, what parameters I and the client have, so online shopping is not terrible for me. 


What's your favorite online shopping platform?
Net-a-porter, Farfetch, Matches, Sense, Maythereza. I directly monitor all and at the same time, looking out where on what resource there are the right sizes, maybe somewhere to buy more profitable, where what colors. And now, of course, Muna. You guys are great guys. There really isn't anything like this out there yet.



How often do you change your image?

I can define for myself an interval of six years. But for each person everything is individual and depends on the character. I just have a trait - I don't like mainstream and I don't like to be dressed in something expected. During the period when I wore minimalism, I was told that it was somehow plain and gray, but now everyone is wearing minimalism. It's the same with oversize. I want to do the opposite. To reverse the trends. 

But if I analyze even deeper, despite the fashionable matemorphoses, I can still see a leitmotif of my individual style, which, even if I am wearing a color that is not obvious to me, or a ruffle or something else, it will still be reflected. It's already on the level of feeling and perceiving myself. I will not allow myself to copy a total bow from a fashion show. 


What about your style never changes? What is your constant attribute, no matter what. 
Black always dominates my closet, I will never give up black. And I don't recommend it to anyone. My mom is always telling me "why are you always in black? Wear something fun." I have fun in black. I don't need color to have fun. 


We've noticed that your recent shoots have been dominated by dark chocolate. You came with us today in dark chocolate color details as well. Very beautifully this color combines with your skin tone, with the color of your hair. Is there a particular predisposition to this color?

Thank you. I was recently complimented on how complex this color is, and how much I want to buy something in this color when I look at you. You know how to present it. And there are a million shades of brown. And it supposedly does not suit everyone like black. But it's just a matter of picking the right shades. We can note only brown, going into the redness, but it is complicated, not everyone looks expensive. Cold, with a gray cast, goes to the majority. Therefore, looking at this or that color, be sure to assess the quality and texture of the fabric, because it also greatly affects the color perception. 

Speaking about myself, for example, I do not like cold gray, I like warm gray and with brown it combines perfectly. The initially cold gray has a drop of warm in it, while the initially warm brown has a drop of cold. 

Dark blue and dark brown go together flawlessly. Navy and Chocolate look very expensive and beautiful. Do not attribute dark blue to austerity. It, like black, can be the perfect canvas for many colors - for milk, white, beige, brown, red, with scarlet so in general. 




What colors do you highlight this season?

All shades of brown, all shades of red are exploding, starting with tights, pumping up the total bow. All shades of beige and gray. Tights are back, thanks to Prada and Miu Miu, without the fanaticism of course!
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