Over the years, Russian designers have portrayed their culturally rich homeland through the revival of traditional and the local savoir-faire of Russia.
LADA&LIZA by Elada Nagornaya is one of these purposeful brands that has become an ambassador of Khokhloma arts through a range of unique and premium accessories.
AM: Elada, please tell us about your professional background?
The concept of fashion accessories, with its design based on Russian traditional painting, was born back in 2015 when I became the main shareholder of JSC Khokhloma Painting - the largest enterprise of folk-art crafts in Russia.
At the factory, I met outstanding artists with their unique view of the world and stylistic flair. I wanted the beauty created by them to be captured in elegant and modern accessories. Therefore, the idea was born to bring the traditional 300 years old Khokhloma painting to the territory of fashion. In 2016, we began to take tentative steps in the fashion industry, and our first seasonal collections were born.
I am not new to the fashion industry. Before that, I had worked with the fashion house of the famous Russian designer Valentin Yudashkin for more than ten years. I have always been inspired by the way he popularizes the culture of our country all over the world, dedicating collections to Russian ballet and Faberge jewelry art. Before launching my brand, I met with Valentin, and he supported me, shared his experience and gave valuable advice.
Our accessories and jewelry are addressed to women who love, know and understand art, appreciate their individuality, follow fashion, take time for their image and create their own unique style.
AM: How is your creative process like?
By creating fashionable Khokhloma products we want to multiply the rich heritage of this traditional craft, known all over the world, make it fashionable and modern, and give Khokhloma painting a new life. Stylists, designers and thirty honored artists create unique paintings, and the ornament is always different. Together they carefully study both Russian painting and fashion trends, experiment with color, floral patterns, come up with new components of the ornament, preserving the Khokhloma traditional technique and its strict style guidelines. We get inspiration from the cultural codes of Russia, visually expressed in architecture, poetry, folklore. For instance, one of our collections was inspired by Russian fairytales. In the latest line of accessories, we pay tribute to the iconic Russian sights, including Peterhof, the Hermitage, Lake Baikal, St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, and the aesthetics of the Russian North.
We use only traditional technologies of unique Khokhloma gilding and manual work. First, the artist develops a sketch on paper, and then transfers it to the product, precisely observing all the original stages of Khokhloma: a wooden billet is covered with a layer of primer made of special clay, then it is covered with several layers of drying oil – a special compound based on boiled linseed oil. Then aluminum powder is rubbed into the specially prepared surface of the product, which makes the accessory look silver. After that, the future handbag is soaked with another layer of drying oil and baked in the oven. This is the secret of Khokhloma: after baking, the silver details become "golden". Then each product is hand-painted with exclusive patterns. That is why the patterns differ from each other and each piece is exclusive.
AM: What are some of your upcoming projects?
Now we are planning to expand the target audience of our brand and to enter new national sales markets. We will also continue our collaborations with well-known fashion brands. I see great potential in our developments, design concepts and created ornaments that can be used in the design of clothing, shoes, jewelry, as well as in tableware and exclusive interior items.
Fashion accessories LADA&LIZA can be bought in Russia in the Khokhloma Painting company stores, as well as in our online store at lada-liza.com with worldwide delivery.