How does your upbringing reflect in your style today?
I grew up in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. Â During that time, imported goods from China were all you could buy. Â So, I was educated on quality and creativity by my mom, who sewed all of my clothes.
She made this dark dress with huge shoulders for my first day of school– I was 7 years old and my hair was cut into a short bob. The other girls had braids… I felt so awkward, but now I realize how cool I looked!
Which pieces in your wardrobe do you cherish most?
I have this black leather vest that my father gave me when I was 14–Â I only recently began to wear it. Actually, you caught me wearing it when you first photographed me!
How have you surprised yourself recently?
I adopted a huge hairless rat, and I absolutely love him! So many people are surprised and freaked out…
It is my second rat– the other one has curly hair. They are actually intelligent and loving pets. When I was a young girl, I bred hamsters and provided them to pet stores.
What led you to pursue music?
I ignored my Opera singing ability for years. Â I realized that everything is given to us onÂ purpose, like pieces of a puzzle; I cannot be happy if pieces are missing.
Perhaps singing in the Met one day is an ambitious desire, but it’s another piece of the puzzleâŠ
What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever worn?
A ballerina dress! I traveled by train from St. Petersburg to Moscow wearing it the whole time.
What do you build your daily look around?
I spend about 10 minutes getting dressed– a menâs Helmut Lang cashmere sweater has been my starting point lately.
My new favorite is a long sheer vintage dress; a gift from my girlfriend that I will wear for my birthday. Long dresses are so feminine! Iâve also been wearing a pair of simple, classic Balenciaga boots like a uniform.
I would wear almost everything from AnnÂ Demeulemeester’s latest collection, and Rick Owens’s silhouettes capture my imagination. Â I like things that take me by surprise, likeÂ that red dress by Nicola Morgan from the Tension collection.
Never caught wearing?
I never wear heavy make-up– I don’t like how it changes my appearance.
What’s your skincare regimen like?
Iâm a real alchemist with skincare, and prefer essential oils. I add them everywhere, a special oil for every occasion; Patchouli, Neroli, ylang-ylangâŠ I strongly believe in detoxification using Ayurvedic herbs and oolong tea.
Which publications are your âmust-readsâ?
How has New York influenced your look?
I became androgynous. Â I actually feel like it was always me in the first place. Â New York thrives on authenticity. I stripped away the layers and became more myself.
Who maintains your great haircut?
MyÂ hairstylist is a tremendous part of my look– Â Russell of Tommy Guns Salon.Â His wholeÂ salon is pure style. Â It’s like getting your hair styledÂ inside an old faded black-and-white photo
Most stylish city?
The city in which I live, the street style in New York is endlessly inspiring.