In part three of our exclusive series, we conclude our interview with Tatiana Sorokko, recently named one of the world's most fashionable women by Harper's Bazaar. We've saved the best for last...Tatiana reveals her philosophy on fashion, life and love. Enjoy!
MARGE: Given your experience with, study and philosophy on fashion – is there an era that fascinates or inspires you the most?
TATIANA: All that happens during a certain time period, every decade, a collector can create a personal relationship with. For me, I’ve always been fascinated by the power of women. I guess its because I grew up in such a macho society in Russia but even to this day, its a macho society where women are still diminished in so many ways. But I have always been fascinated with this play. So, I find I relate to the decades in fashion where women are dominating over men. In the twenties, the hems went up and flapper dresses were in fashion. Women danced the Charleston and showed athletic abilities and had short hairstyles and did things for the first time, historically, things that were not allowed or frowned upon. At the end of the thirties the silhouette changed some – elongated with big shoulders – empowering women.
I am not crazy about the 1940s because of the impact and hardship Russia faced with the 2nd world war. The 1950s (although people loved this era) I could never relate to, because during this time, the corset and Christian Dior’s “new look” came back - putting women in rigid, corseted outfits. In one decade, we went from independent women working in the factories, contributing to the war effort all over the world, to housewives.
In the 1960s and 1970s, with the hippie and the social revolution, fashion becomes unique, inspired by things like space, with new fabrics and surfaces. The 1970s is the only decade to be re-interpreted every season by major designers to this day. In the 1980s, there was Santa Barbara and Dynasty. In the 1990s however, there was a wonderful influence of constructivism and sensibility from Japanese designers.
If we talk in general about the geniuses in fashion, there are very few left nowadays. Yohji Yamamoto, Azzedine Alaïa - Rick Owens is a thinker, Dries Van Noten has great sensibility and can work with color which is a trait not many people possess. I think Miuccia Prada is an oracle, but too over exposed. If she decides to go smaller, she would go into history as greatness. A complete philosopher of fashion though, would of course be my friend, my favorite, Ralph Rucci. Sarah Burton from Alexander McQueen I think is absolutely amazing. I like designers that fascinate me and make me think.
MARGE: Is there a common thread between the fashion greats and oracles you just mentioned?
TATIANA: Philosophy about fashion. At the end of the day, it’s not about the length of the skirt or the shape of the skirt - that is absolutely meaningless and second-rate. But, someone who has the complete alphabet and philosophy to talk fashion from their own perspective fascinates me.
There are so many “designers” today. And, if you look at style.com (now vogue.com), half of those listed should not be on the list. We need thinkers. We need people who push the envelope or who will create greatness. In art, not many people know how to paint. In fashion, very few know how to make a good pattern. So, at the end of the day, we get a mess of over-styled things every season.
MARGE: Tell us a little about your Life Up Here. Growing up tall, in a tall family? Can you speak to some of the challenges or opportunities height has presented you with?
TATIANA: My parents were quite tall for their generation - my brother is 6’3”. When I started modeling, I understood that being tall was a blessing. But, looking back, it was challenging being tall because I was taller than everybody in school. With height, people would pay more attention to me, but I always wanted to hide and not stand out – especially as an awkward teenager. To this day, I still find it challenging – challenging to find clothes that fit you properly! Everything is made for the average woman, or made for the petites that have a separate section in stores. People say it is a blessing to be tall, but it is not so easy!
MARGE: “Life Up Here” means appreciating, embracing and enjoying your unique (and elevated!) perspective. What is your reaction to “Life Up Here” and how do you Wear Life Well?
TATIANA: I think accepting height comes with time. You just have to accept yourself and where you are at in life because there is nothing else. You are not going to get shorter! You have to accept and learn to love yourself the way you are. I love my wrinkles. I love my un-botoxed forehead. I am probably the only person here not screwing up my face. Maintenance is one thing, but completely re-doing yourself is the other. Being secure and learning to love yourself is a life-long process. Why would you want to re-do or re-work what God has given you?
MARGE: You are celebrating your anniversary soon. Is your husband taller or shorter than you? What is the most important thing to have in a relationship?
TATIANA: This year is our 25th Anniversary. Serge is shorter than me but he’s learned to live with it and love me anyway. Compassion I think is so important and shocking if your relationship does not have it. In a relationship, you learn how to co-exist, how to be honest and how to be friends. For us, we like to spend time together no matter where we are. We are buddies most of all. Relationships evolve and change over the years, but when you’ve formed a friendship – that is the most important thing.
For me, I just try live a wholesome life and be happy because God created us to be happy. Being unhappy is not a good place to be. I think the more I grow older, I realize that life is about appreciating the little things - making a quiche in the morning for your husband, or going for a walk with your friends. It is very important to look forward in life. If you look backwards, you emotionally die. It’s all about the future - uncovering the future.
A special thank you to Tatiana Sorokko for her candid reveal exclusively for the MARGE Community. To learn more about Tatiana - her life and style, shop her book, Extending the Runway – Tatiana Sorokko Style (cover shown below).