(to our French readers / à nos lecteurs français: une traduction sera bientôt disponible ici même).
Mr Sergei Sviatchenko - the Ukrainian-born Danish artist - the chanter of « modern classicism » unveils himself for us today.
Amongst other things, he is the founder and editor of CLOSEUPANDPRIVATE.COM that we truly love at initials AO and from which we already shared quite a few photographs with you here.
He kindly agreed on answering our questions for what is initials AO’s first ever interview: an exclusive interview with our fashion guru. As Sergei Sviatchenko is such a multi-talented person who operates across plenty of art fields that we will today concentrate on ours: elegance in style.
(Sergei kindly shared with us some unreleased exclusive photos from his CUAP spring/summer 2013 photoshooting)
INITIALS AO - Let’s start looking back at your personal background : to what extent do your « life adventure » and multicultural approach impact your very personal sense of aesthetics?
Sergei Sviatchenko - I think, the artist lives in the own bubble or sphere, depending on how you look at this. Bubble is probably bad, because it means you shut down all possibilities to be influenced. But sphere is nice – it is as a kaleidoscopic universe, full of historical and cultural events, own experience and good place to work.
INITIALS AO - Is there any next step for you after Ukraine and Denmark to give another taste to your work, like coming to France?
Sergei - France is great, but I am afraid not, Denmark is a motherland for my children; it is a very important place for me now.
INITIALS AO - Despite your work on « classicism », would you consider yourself as an iconoclast artist?
Sergei - I better like synonyms to “iconoclast“: ”nonconformist”. As a person you go through the different periods in your life, when you feel sometimes as a rebel, sometimes as a radical. But the meaning is the same. You question the world around you and look for the answers, only to realize that there are so many different answers. That is why “nonconformist” - it sounds softer, allows enjoying classics.
INITIALS AO - How much time do you allocate to CUAP, your on-going photo art project about style, on a daily basis?
Sergei - I post one image per day, when I am not travelling; I do it as a greeting to CUAP people.
The creation of images for each season is a different story, depending on my and Erik’s schedule and clothes available. Then editing…
The down moving row of images shall look familiar, even intimate, but still surprising .The random pictures I use are to indicate that all this about life, not only about clothes. Am I patronizing?
INITIALS AO - Beyond your collages, publications and art exhibitions, what are your plans for the near future ? (like a collab with a fashion brand that we all dream about for example).
Sergei - I have created Classic & Contemporary Kit with Danish brand, available in August 2013.
INITIALS AO - It seems that you praise the blend of colors, the blend of patterns. Is there a limit for elegant men not to go beyond in mixing these?
Sergei - I have to admit that I am not a fashion scientist, my approach is more abstract. I see fashion world as a reflection of public culture. And it scares me sometimes; it is as a creasy spirit got out of a bottle and we will never get it inside. But life taught me tolerance and I will continue my work for you, who ask questions and show your interest.
CLOSE UP AND PRIVATE’s etiquette for the modern classicist, a loosely compiled list of scrupulous style cues for gentlemen was my attempt to put down some kind of directions.
INITIALS AO - Could you personally live in black & white?
Sergei - Absolutely not.
INITIALS AO - Who designed the glasses your wear? Do you have any best-kept secret to share in terms of glasses designer?
Sergei - Cutler and Gross of London – I am gladly sharing the secret.
INITIALS AO - Do you know any French label that would fit with Sergei Sviatchenko’s modern classicism, and must be carefully followed?
Sergei - A.P.C, Maison Kitsune, sometimes Agnes B. (by the way great respect for what she does for arts), Lacoste. I noticed at Pitti a small French brand, but forgot the name. I am sure there are many.
INITIALS AO - Can you please draw or propose a simple collage of what you are currently wearing, as a self-portrait to illustrate this interview?
Sergei - Thank you for this opportunity to be self-glad. Here you are:
Comme des Garçons light blue shirt, definitely vintage, stays “made in France” + Close Up And Private Look rep tie yellow stripes on the green background (last year I made a small collection for the subscribers of Danish magazine for man EUROMAN) + Dark navy cardigan Dries Von Noten + Grey pale red tweed Thom Browne trousers + Alden long wingtip + Falke long dark navy socks + Almost grey beard and hair
PS: You cannot tell I am 60, when I smile.
… Thank you again Sergei for your time. Sure our readers will appreciate. And please keep on the good work.
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