Alexander Vasilyev - fashion historian, collector, world-famous decorator: "Creating the interior, I always think over the mise en scene"
Passing the gallery
A photo: Dmitry Livshits
Interview prepared: Julia Sakharova
Magazine: Decor N5 (83) 2004
Alexander Vasilyev - fashion historian, collector, decorator of world renown. Hereditary decorator, emphasizes the maestro. It is not surprising that its interiors bear a particular respect for the past.SALON: What is good taste? - This is a very subjective concept. There is no good taste in the absolute. The concept of "good taste" varies from decade to decade, from country to country, from generation to generation, from city to city. It is important. But we all still live under the aura of good European taste (I note that the concept of "good American taste" does not exist). We associate “good Asian taste” with exotic. Therefore, when we talk about good taste, we focus primarily on France, Italy, England and, accordingly, on French, Italian, English taste. I created my last interior on the subject of creativity by the brilliant Englishman William Morris. It is called “The Importance of Being Serious”, as is the play of the same name by Oscar Wilde, and is devoted to a pure idea of what good English taste is like - without any exaggeration, juggling with facts and even without adjusting for the Russian mentality. Visiting here, in my showroom in Vetoshny Lane, is the most affordable way to travel to England, to feel its atmosphere and what is called pure English taste in this country - in color, in shape, in accessories, in lighting, in selection items of furniture. This is a male interior. Earlier in these walls was presented the female interior, which I called "Pranks of love". Another side of the question: speaking of good taste, we inevitably come across the concept of sexual. There is a ladies' taste and men's taste.S: What principles did you follow when designing your houses in Paris and Moscow? - I also have an estate in Auvergne and a family estate in Lithuania. Everywhere, in all my homes, I wanted to create something that will delight my soul. You will say - naively, but when I wake up in my bedrooms, I wake up with tears of emotion in my eyes. I really like flowers, fabrics, mess - I'm a supporter of the mess! I love wood - polished and carved, dark rocks, bronze and silver, copper and zinc. I don't like plastic, but I prefer mirrors to transparent surfaces. I do not have a bias towards either one of the colors - neither white nor black, nor yellow, nor green, nor violet.S: Because color can be interpreted ... - I always interpret it. If the previous version of the interior of this showroom was “powder-pink”, now it is pistachio green. In addition, I use often unexpected, but artistically accurate combinations. For example, a black and white pate cage on which you sit, according to many, would not fit the floral and foliate patterns of wall covering ... However, these flowers in combination with this cell are good! I know, for example, that if I am given a specific constant, for example the color of the floor, then I must support it — for example, the color of the lampshades of this chandelier. Their color falls in the color of roses on the walls (upholstery is made according to the original drawings by William Morris). Varnish black lampshades should be supported by a black lacquer frame of the picture. And so in all. The most important thing is the mise en scene that I come up with, creating the interior.S: How to observe the measure between the eternal and the momentary in the interior? - You should never chase fashion in the interior. If we are ready to change clothes three times a day, then it is unlikely to change the interior every year. Furniture touched by time is more precious to us than polished minimalism. This is my deep conviction.S: What details can breathe life into a relatively standard interior? - Lighting, primarily desk lamps. Fresh flowers, pets. Children. Porcelain, crystal, silverware. Music. And human faces.