Hi guys! I am so excited to sweep you all away to a very different landscape. Last we left off in the lush, verdant, green green groves of Galway, with the delightful Irish milliner Majella Lennon Dalton and her spectacular headwear. But now I’d like to introduce you all to yet another fabulous milliner entity, a husband-wife team who create some of the most glamorous head-turning hats…I’d like you all to meet Denis and Svetlana Gulyaev of Novosibirsk, Russia!
Novosibirsk likes to call itself “The capital of Siberia” Denis tells me, and it is the third largest city in Russia. It’s also very cold there, -22° as we speak, and snows six months out of the year from November to April. Cozily nestled within this white, winter wonderland is a beautiful little secret: Gulyaev Hats. They are the only milliners in all of Siberia, and they create dreamy, magical hats for customers from around the world.
They have no website for their wares, only social media for order placement, but the inconvenience, well, it makes them a bit of a hidden gem. You see, Denis and Svetlana use the utmost creativity and finest materials in their millinery.
“We create unique hats, following the highest standards of couture,” Denis said. “All our hats and headpieces are handmade by ourselves, from the design, to shaping, sewing the hat and adding the finishing details.”
I simply love the shape of the structured beret above, worn on the breathtaking model Cyndal McKay with makeup by Jasmine Cardenas, and shot by the great Shannon Brooke exclusively for the Hats Heard Round the World Project for Beauty Shall Save the World.
Just look at the details on this hat! With equidistant pearl studding along the brim and a white marabou tail, it almost looks like a Dr. Seuss derivative…something one would see on Cindy Lou Who and the other Who’s down in Who-Ville. But make no mistake, this is a serious couture hat that may be at once playful and girlish, yet remains totally sophisticated. “We called it Adieu les Armes,” Denis stated. He and Svetlana connected a military beret with the flame of Вечный огонь, or “Eternal flame”–a monument dedicated to the Russians fallen during the second world war–“and we made it in an absolutely NOT military color. It is the symbol of the peace,” Denis told me. It’s the ultimate in jewelry-meets-sculpture for fantastic headwear. I love it with a ponytail. Thanks to hair virtuoso Tiffany Raelene for the perfectly-coiffed pony. Hair is so critical when you’re donning a hat, and Tiffany really nailed it! This look is just so darned chic and ideal for my premonitions of pink, as I’m hoping fashion will blush and bloom when we head into spring.
This hat matches perfectly the magnificent cotton-candy pink vintage coat Cyndal is wearing above. You just don’t see coats like this one any more….the sublime color, the fuzzy texture, with one single, giant upholstered button and a swing silhouette. It’s distinctly 1960s and it made for great styling for this shoot. This coat is from my personal collection of couture, and I wear it every year on Valentine’s Day. And now, thanks to Denis and Svetlana, I have a stunning hat to go with my vintage Valentine, one that really oozes Valentine glamour and represents something so beautiful: peace. I absolutely cherish this hat which was made with great care and attention and sent to me from Russia with love…..and I will wear it again and again as a Valentine’s Day reminder to everyone that peace and love and beauty are at once eternal and also globally coveted.
It takes a lot of planning to create such an exquisite work of art. “Creating a hat is a complicated process,” Denis explained. “From idea to realization the hat passes a number of stages. It all starts with a sketch. Next, we create a layout, which is used to evaluate all the proportions, the angles, lines and balance. At this point, we select all materials,” he added. “And only then begins the creation of the hat.”
When creating a hat, Denis and Svetlana try to emphasize the natural beauty of the woman and show her personality. The dynamic husband-wife team create seasonal collections; however, “we also create custom-made pieces on request,” Denis told me. “Working on custom orders we strive to design the hat to match not only the customer’s chosen outfit, but, more important, their character,” he said. You can order your favorite model from their collections or discuss with them the possibility of creating a personalized hat just for you. “We always welcome complex and interesting orders,” Denis said. Pictured below, Denis places a hat on a model for a millinery show in Moscow.
“We believe that a beautiful hat is the top of the image of a woman,” Denis stated. “Created by the hands of a skilled milliner, it becomes a real tool of self-expression, charm, and seduction that is beyond fashion; it becomes a timeless treasure,” he said.
To reach out to Denis and Svetlana for orders or custom work, please visit their instagram catalog, @gulyaev.hatcatalog. Or you can follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Denis.Gulyaev.millinery, or call them on WhatsApp at +79139000405. And make sure you tell them Shan said Здравствуйте.
Peace. Love. Beauty.