Conquering London

Fashion editor, Bayer, consultant, fashion researcher - Jana Melkumova-Reynolds is one of those people who, changing country and language, do not quit to do what she likes, but rather more succeeded in it, proving that the dream is more important than the circumstances, which is always minor and manageable.

You're living in London for seven years. Why did you choose this city?
Why I chose London - honestly, I do not remember. I just knew that I will have to leave one day and that it will be most likely London. But when I began to think seriously about leaving, it appears that England - in any case, the only suitable option to me in Europe: only here at that time acted immigration program for young educated professionals who do not have a job offer, which binds them to the one employer. Similar programs exist in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, but I have chosen Europe.

What do you like London, when compared with other European capitals?
London - the only real metropolis in Europe, with all the pluses and minuses. After living here even Paris seems charming sleepy province, not to mention the little city like Copenhagen. Here is what is referred to as the word diversity - that is, diversity is inseparably associated with tolerance: countless ethnic groups, styles of architecture, types of looks, cuisines of the world and so on. In this regard, there also no anonymity in the province, where anyone who has something to stand out – is in full view and the subject of gossip. Because there is in London all types of all, it is impossible to surprise Londoner - whatever you like dressing, no matter what you think and how (and how much) do you earn a living. Me in such a situation - when I can do what I want, think and want to look like I want to, without the risk of being the center of attention - very comfortable. By the way, there is also sleepy province, one has only to travel outside the city center, I know all my neighbors, there are only 4 apartments in the house I live, greengrocer let me vegetables on credit when I forget the purse and lives in the same house as me, and a veterinarian practicing in the house next door sometimes brings me cats to play with. How do you say it in Russian: mimimi.

Tell us about your job. You've always worked in fashion?
In Moscow, I worked as a beauty editor, as a buyers and organizer of fashion events. When I moved, I knew that it was unlikely I will be able to find a job as a journalist, not being a native speaker, so I switched to the business component of fashion that I was very interested in. At first I was consulting designers who want to enter the Russian market, then gradually became involved in Britain, America and other markets. Now my main job - agency N˚10_SHOWROOM, which is engaged in consulting and promotion of independent international fashion brands; along the way I write articles in various English and Russian editions of fashion (Business Of Fashion, Style Zeitgeist, Russian Numero, Ukrainian Vogue) and a dissertation on the sociology of fashion. Write in English over the years has become quite simple, but in Russian harder, alas.

What are your favorite designers and why you love them?
Martin Margiela (which, alas, is retired, and what is happening with the brand right now I do not like) and Hussein Chalayan - for using fashion as a statement about society and culture. For the same reasons I like young brands – Iris van Herpen and Gareth Pugh. I also long-term admirer of the Japanese brand of Russian origin Volga Volga, because it builds a special, intimate relationship between the body and clothes, making clothes in wearable microcosm - I think this is the future of fashion. From my players, in addition to Volga Volga, my favorite brand Some [thing]: they take the classic men's tailoring patterns and make these things out of the soft tissue and often unlined, very modern image in the philosophy of Prince Edward VIII “dress soft”. I have a few of their things, although this man's brand.

To your sophisticated opinion, whether there is a Russian fashion industry now?
Fashion industry in Russia (which I, by the way, has always believed in) is now in a much more meaningful shape than at the time of my departure - Russian designers are sold in the best international stores, magazines write about them in different countries, and there is no problem with the creative aspect of the matter. But there is a problem, of course, with the production capacity (which is especially disappointing in Russia), state support for small businesses and difficulty to establish export from Russia. I know this firsthand, because trying to work with Russian designers and nearly turned gray in the process. And yet it is surprising how some young designers do not know the simplest rules of the game in the fashion industry - they do not even fully understand how should differ wholesale and retail price, and do not know the mechanism of pre-orders. A few years ago I had the opportunity to give a lecture at a seminar for students of universities during Aurora Fashion Week in St. Petersburg. Preparing for it, I was afraid that everything that I'm going to tell is obvious for any fashion professional, but after the lecture many thanked me for I have opened their eyes.

How would you describe your style?
Hmm. "Audrey Hepburn discovers cyberpunk" approach? However, my husband insists that in the description of my style words "cyber" and "punk" should not be present, but there must be the word "retro-Goth"! In fact, I do not know how to describe myself, because I try and wriggle. Here are a few facts: I wear almost exclusively black, white and gray (plus sometimes bright accessories and / or make-up), I have a lot of things borrowed from the male wardrobe, I like minimalism, deconstructivism, skewness , geometric shapes and layering, and I do not feel dressed if my appearance there is no element of something darkly eccentric. And yes, I love vintage things - from Victorian to post-war ... In short, my husband is right, I guess.

Moscow and London: how different is how women use cosmetics and cleaning products, for your impressions?
In Moscow girls overdo it with care and cosmetics, and in London only with makeup! Young British women are very fond of bright makeup and often overdoing - at least on Saturday night to meet a girl without a cat-eyes in half his face is almost impossible. However, in the center of Moscow on Tuesday morning, many women look like in London on Saturday night - in full dress; I can not imagine how these women look on a Saturday night.

What cosmetic product you can not live without?
I absolutely can not do without a chapstick - I have very dry lips. However, I always use concealer (I thin pale skin on which there is any foundation plaster), powder and mascara for the eyebrows (pencils I do not like for the obvious artificial effect). I almost do not use any ther decorative cosmetics outside the Fashion weeks - except that occasionally a lengthening black mascara or bright lipstick. But during Fashion Week I love doing eccentric makeup - dark purple lipstick or bright blue shade over the entire eyelid and electric blue mascara, bring it on. Against the background of my pale skin and black clothes, it looks almost theatrically, and it is precisely for theatrical fashion I once fell in love.

Words by: Photographs by: Jana Melkumova-Reynolds