Tatiana Ashakova has been making waves on the Glasgow fashion scene since her arrival to study for a Fashion Marketing degree at Caledonian University. Having established herself as a make-up artist working with some of the best designers and photographers around, she added milliner to her skillset in launching her hat company Beretk!Ah. Now on the second collection, the hats and fascinators make great additions to the fashion conscious woman’s wardrobe. Using feathers, flowers and lace, the super-cute and intricate creations have proved a great hit, especially with brides wanting to make theirs a special day. Operating from her Glasgow studio, Tatiana makes bespoke creations to order or find her ready-made pieces in various Glasgow stockists. We caught up with the Russian designer on what drives her design engines…………
HandBags And Fag Hags: How would you describe what you design?
Tatiana Ashakova: Unusual, less traditional but more stylish head wear, bespoke millinery and fascinators – everything what covers a pretty woman’s head!
HBAFH: Where or what or who inspires you?
TA: Well originally it was the UK that inspired me with its hat wear tradition, as in my country of origin – Russia, it is not traditional at all… so it was a great inspiration when I moved to the UK
HBAFH: How did you begin designing?
TA: I was finishing my Masters in International Fashion Marketing in 2010 and I actually had some free time (as I also didnt get regular work being a freelancer), so I experimented with some ideas and by August 2010 I launched 3 of my firsl colletions: Floral Dreams, Elegance and Bridal collection. But I was more interested in creating a brand rather than just designing things – simply because I was so eager to exercise my marketing skills! Thats how Beretk!Ah… was born, bearing a Russian name in the first place (Беретка means a small beret, I kust added “!” and “Ah” to add this excitment my clients express when they see my pieces:)
HBAFH: Describe your ideal customer.
TA: Fashion conscious, very trendy and brave ladies!:) Obviously my designs are different, so they need to find their perfect customer who will appreciate this!
HBAFH: If you could dress anyone, living, dead or mythical, who would it be?
TA: Definitely Grace Kelly – such a stylish icon, so feminine and so fragile! Also Scarlet Johanson, Katie Melua, Natalia Vodyanova, Kate Middleton – for sure!
HBAFH: How much time do you spend on the average piece?
TA: It depends…if it is avery minimalistic design (which is very popular) then it can be not very time-consuming – but you have to get it right (so it is more about an idea), but if we tallk about beading – it might be up to 9 hours constant work.
HBAFH: What is most important to you: cut, material or detailing?
TA: I’d say it is a perfect balance and style. I wouldnt want my head pieces look “funny” , I want them to be stylish in the first place – a balance it very important. However I try to look for more unusual materials and you never know – maybe a shell will be a great addition to a design? 🙂
HBAFH: Where do you shop for clothing?
TA: I don’t tend to buy from the High Street (confession). Even if I buy from it – it is rather a previous collection found on ebay. I really like “investments buys” but sometimes it is hard to afford it so I might find something at shops like Esabela’s Wardrobe where one can find mint condition designer clothes. Also vintage shops and charity shops are great for finding somethig “special”
HBAFH: What keeps you going when the going gets tough?
TA: Obviously people who believe in me and also my passion for success and determination.
HBAFH: Describe a perfect weekend.
TA: Escaping with my beloved boyfriend to somewhere with a tent and sleeping bags!
HBAFH: What did you want to be when you grew up as a child?
TA: I remember my serious decision to be a stylist when I was 12. but my parents were not very convinced and I did my first degree in languages, however I ended up being a make-up arist and a stylist:)
HBAFH: What’s your favourite book?
Master and Margarita (a book written by Mikhail Bulgakov – a great Russian writer!)
HBAFH: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
TA: Think with your brains!