Yana Markova is a fashioner of ornate headwear and costume, a weaver of beguiling head charms. Inspired in part by the traditional Russian headdress, the kokoshnik, each piece is one of a kind, a feat crowned only by yana’s tireless invention. The in-demand milliner speaks illusion, art and devotion.
DISORDER: What is your elevator pitch?
YANA MARKOVA: I’ve always wanted to be the fairy godmother from Cinderella – making people look and feel transformed. My chosen medium is hats – luxurious, whimsical, magical hats. Right now I'm working on a new collection, using an unusual technique.
What people, places or things inspire you?
I am inspired by absolutely creative people for whom every day is inseparably linked with creativity. For whom it is not work but a way of life. Also, architecture, fashion history, and interior elements; often what appears an insignificant detail of life can inspire a whole collection.
What artists turn you on?
[French post-impressionist] Toulouse-Lautrec, because in his works it is possible to observe almost inaudible emotions. I also adore the metaphors of [19th century illustrator] Aubrey Beardsley.
What is your ultimate ambition?
I want my headdresses to be sold via auction at [art dealing behemoth] Sotheby's.
What got you started?
Illusions, and the blind following of them.
What has been the biggest lesson learnt?
I have realised that fashion is more business than art.
Who was your first crush?
Michael Jackson. I dreamed that I would marry him.
Who are your favourite fictional heroes?
Tatyana from Alexander Pushkin’s novel Eugene Onegin. She is filled with a lot of romanticism and love, but I am not similar to her at all.
What do you like to eat or drink?
I adore sweets. They give me a huge power surge.
What do you like the least about yourself?
Making assumptions about what someone is going to say before I’ve even asked them a question.
Where do you feel most yourself?
San Francisco. This city has stolen my heart. I can infinitely wander among fog. It is very mysterious and adjusts depending on your expectations of life.
What do you hate the most?
What talent do you wish you had?
I am happy that I have a talent and I have to justify my talent every day.
What is your dominant characteristic?
I'm a workaholic and a perfectionist.
What do you appreciate most in your friends or coworkers?
The sincerity and devotion of friends and the professionalism and competence of colleagues – I value both.
How/for what do you want to be remembered?
I want to create not just hats, but headdresses as an object of art.
Unpaid endorsement: what can you recommend?
Shorts to knees.
What is your idea of happiness?
To be the satisfied artist!
What is your present state of mind?
What would you do if you were not doing this?
I would be a dancer in modern dance.