Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Russian Style Book



My abuela doesn't need special occasions to spoil me, and she just gave me a book I had been longing for, Russian Style - abuela knows that ever since I rode the Trans-Siberian as a child, everything Russian has been a genuine passion for me.
Fashion editor Evelina Khromtchenko has selected superb pictures offering a panorama of Russian icons that artists, designers and dreamers such as me find endlessly inspiring.

The volume is also packed with information and little known facts.
Did you know, for instance that the word bistro, meaning a French café/restaurant, comes from the Russian "faster!", which Cossacks soldiers would yell out to French waiter after they defeated Napoleon?
And did you know that Coco Chanel's no. 5 was created by Ernest Beaux, no other than the Russian imperial perfumer?
And that the bra was invented by Russian-born Ida Kaganovich, the founder of Maidenform?
Dance of course is present in the book, especially with a spectacular pic of my dear Maya Plissetskaya, quoted as saying one should "dance music, not dance to music."

Now I dream of an Orenburg shawl, kazaki boots, and bright sitetz (printed cotton fabric) shirts.

33 comments:

Gabbi said...

Your abuelita sounds very sweet, such a great gift! When I was in my early 20's I loved no.5 and would only wear it hoping to make it my 'signature scent' but then I outgrew it... it's good to know a little history on it. :)

A World in a PAN said...

Beautiful book! And so many interesting facts .... from now on when I go to a bistrot I will "think Russian"!

sølvi said...

I think this book might be a perfect summer present for myself:-)

Mary-Laure said...

GABBI - I wonder what scent you wear now...?

SOLVI - do treat yourself, you'll just love it!

Gabbi said...

'Y' by Yves Saint Laurent and Violetta di Parma by Borsari mostly. Depends on the mood... what do like? Please do share, I love trying new perfumes!

muchlove said...

this book looks so fascinating!

Mary-Laure said...

GABBI - Violetta di Parma sounds heavenly...
My signature scent is Blenheim Bouquet, by Penhaligon, a citrusy fragrance.

miss cavendish said...

What lovely and dreamy images! Russia has been in my imagination ever since my grandmother took an ocean liner there (not a cruise!) in the 1970s and brought me back a set of nesting dolls . . .

Beth said...

This post is an example of one of the reasons I love blogging - you can learn something new every day!

Deidra said...

Chanel no. 5...now that brings back memories! And yes, dancing music is far better than dancing to music.

Jill said...

what a beautiful book with lots of detail. i agree, russia conjures up so many things in the imagination. my husband is reading war and peace and i will read it after him this summer...then i'll have russia on my mind as well :)

Kwana said...

This is a beautiful book. So interesting.

Spangler Cummings said...

gorgeous and informative..wishing to "dance music"

DaisyChain said...

what a gorgeous book

Mary-Laure said...

JILL - funny, I was considering re-reading War and Peace this summer... I hope you enjoy it.

BETH - exactly, I feel the same. I often learn things and discover amazing artists and designers when I visit blogs around the Internet.

MISS CAVENDISH - it must have been SOME journey, back in the days. I hope you still have those nesting dolls.

Abuela said...

I remember my own mother telling me that she had seen Nijinski at the Teatro Solis many many years ago ... I remember her saying that he was a sublime dancer and that when he jumped it was as if he stayed a whole minute suspended in the air!

Anonymous said...

"And that the bra was invented by Russian-born Ida Kaganovich, the founder of Maidenform?"
Nope, Herminie Cadolle in 1889, sold under the name "soutien-gorge" sine 1905, 16 years before Kaganovich even opened her shop.
DON'T MESS WITH THE GEYSER!!!

Mary-Laure said...

ABUELA - wow!!!!!!!! no tenia ni idea!!!! que suerte...

GEYSER - go and tell that to Elena Khromtchenko.

Solange said...

such a lovely book, great pictures. thanks for all the interesting facts...
have a great weekend!

Les Cotrions said...

This book looks faboulous!!!
Happy week end!
Vale

drollgirl said...

oh this is so cool!!! i would like to have it, for sure!!!

Gabbi said...

I'd never tried that one before Mary-Laure, but the description sounds lovely. Will have to keep an eye/nose out for it!

Have a wonderful weekend!♥

Mary-Laure said...

GABBI - I'll make sure to wear it when we finally meet.

TERI REES WANG said...

Yes!..I keep thinking on creating a a modern-high-fashion-edgy Russian nesting doll. Why...?

Someone some where must sell blanks for us to paint. We must create.

pve design said...

Beautiful book!

Savvy Mode SG said...

i learn something new everyday.

J Elaine said...

I really love this post. Thank you.

gracia said...

Ah! I shall have to track that book down... magical! And I like and could not agree more with the quote referenced... "dance music, not dance to music."

d i a n a m u s e said...

Thank you for featuring this book, Mary-Laure. I hadn't known of it; I've just placed my order for a quick-delivery copy.

I have very special ties to Russia, you know. I always delight in your mentions of the Motherland and your fond memories of travels there.

Thanks so much for this lovely post.

[Tara] said...

This book looks incredible!! What an amazing gift -- books, particularly big, picture-laden books -- are the best gifts!

Alya said...

I like that quote. To dance music and not to dance TO music..

Beautiful.

By the way, I'm giving away a pair of beautiful pearl earrings on my blog. Check them out :)

CAMILLE said...

Oh I envy you for owning some of his pieces, I'm afraid all I can do is marvel at his work at this point haha hopefully wear it some day

camille x

nuvonova said...

This book looks amazing!