Which St. Petersburg designer is called the Russian Hermès, which jeweler created a collection of silver medals inspired by flowers, and where do fashion-forward residents go for the most elegant handmade shoes?
Fashion concierge Tatyana Tangirova has all the answers in her little black book. And she’s happy to share: Clients hire her to take them around town to meet the designers.
A fashion stylist since 2012, Tangirova is a fashion industry insider who can help clients source luxury items, provide personal shopping assistance or advise on their wardrobes. As a newly minted St. Petersburg fashion concierge, she offers is an insider's glimpse into St. Petersburg fashion and encounters with the city’s most intriguing, legendary and colorful characters.
From a fashionable founder to fashion-makers
Tangirova says that her service is a part of a long St. Petersburg tradition: fashion and style are an integral part of St. Petersburg's history, starting with Peter the Great. This giant of a man was renowned for his high fashion and fine taste and set the tone for the future of his “Venice of the North.”
“Fashion, style and costume can make the history of St. Petersburg very alive and familiar, because they reflect the succession of generations in elegance and beauty,” Tangirova told The Moscow Times.
Today’s icons of St. Petersburg fashion such as Tatiana Kotegova, Yanis Chamalidy, Stas Lopatkin as well as up-and-coming jewelers and designers open their doors to Tangirova and her clients.
One of her most admired designers is Yelena Tkachenko, the embodiment of St. Petersburg fashion. “One of my favorite collections is the La Perla couture collection,” she said. “Each piece is a genuine work of art that has been created by hand. For one of the gowns, the silk fabric is cut into ribbons which are first painted with acrylic, then each one is treated with silicone and only then is sewn by hand, creating a work of art. A woman feels special in a gown like that.”
Another hidden gem of the St. Petersburg fashion scene is the handmade shoe brand Razgulyayev x Blagonravova. The atelier’s signature collections include slippers decorated with motifs from the paintings of Kazimir Malevich, Salvador Dali, Henri Matisse, Wassily Kandinsky, William Morris and Raphael. They also collaborate with contemporary Russian artists and designers. Making one pair requires more than 20 different stages. The designers have Moscow shop, too.
St. Petersburg designer Kirill Ovchinnikov has been nicknamed the Russian Hermes for his unique scarves. Each pattern takes around a year to complete, and the artist-turned-designer creates all of them by hand. Today he still creates his trademark scarves but has also branched out to create a wide range of objects, from “twillies” (long narrow scarves) to porcelain to wallpaper. Now he has clients all around the world.
“Genuine service is not only about professional skills, but also about sincerity,” Tangirova said. “So I only recommend what I appreciate, respect and love myself."
“Our project has brought together so many infinitely talented people who are in love with their life's work, fashion and style,” she continued. “I am always eager to see the first collections of up-and-coming talent and discover new fashion territories. I pay special attention to handmade items that exist in one or very few copies. This spirit of discovery is an adrenaline rush!”
Her clients seem to agree. “I was fascinated by our visit to Yanis Chamalidy’s workshop,” Radmila Ivanova, who took one of the tours, told The Moscow Times. “It gave me totally new perspective. I was looking to rediscover myself, and when I met Yanis and plunged into his creative universe, it was like magic: I looked into the mirror and finally loved what I saw.”
Tangirova charges from 40,000 rubles, which is for at least three hours and includes visits to two or more fashion houses with personal meetings with the designers. Tangirova brings interpreters for clients from virtually anywhere in the world. Clients are under no obligation to make purchases. She can be contacted through her Instagram account here.