Ones to watch: Q+A with YY | Andrey Yarden

Hello beautiful people! Today I’m very excited to introduce you the jagged edged design work of Andrey Yarden, young emerging talent from Saint Petersburg, Russia.  His jewelry creations and accessories design have a very distinct style. They are beautiful and quirky, alluring and uncomfortable, eccentric and shocking almost like wearable performance art.  Andrey’s ultimate point is to push boundaries and be utterly unique, and surely his work is going in the right direction exuding a charming allure that I am obsessed with.

Hi Andrey! Tell us something about you and how did you get into jewelry design.I will begin with saying that I have not any design education, everything that I do is based on my own experience. In 2008 I’ve finished Moscow State Institute of Steel and Alloys. My speciality there was engineer-metallurgist. Nothing about design. From the 3rd course that I have attended the only subjects that I was interested into, despite all of them were necessary, were engineering drawing, history, philosophy…but they were not the main subjects for technical high school. Finally, I don’t know how, but I finished it. At the moment I was already working as graphic designer for an advertising agency. It was the beginning I think. After spending a short time working there I immediately understood that in Russia this kind of job is very far away from art, creativity and beauty in general. At that time I didn’t know which part of design I was really interested in – graphic, interior, costume, etc. – I was trying to do some projects with paintings and graphics but I didn’t feel that I was getting quite satisfied with it. So I left advertising. One day I made my first creation just for myself, I put it on and I went to a party…some people told me that it was cool and asked how could they buy it.  Since that day, a little more than one year has passed and during this time I have made a big jump. But the most important thing is that now I absolutely and precisely know what I want to do and how should I move. And I am so happy to understand the flowing of my ideas and decisions, and the way I’m going from one thing to another. I have started my designs from little things like jewelry, then I came up with some accessories and now I’m quite ready to present my first clothing collection full of many strange things. But for this you will need to wait a little bit more.Which materials do you use and do you like to experiment with?The materials I use the most are alloy of silver and tin. I’m using them because they allow me to make exciting shapes without using difficult industrial techniques. On the other side I use also different materials, which can be other metals such as copper, steel, aluminum, gold (but only as an additive), minerals and stones, both processed and absolutely wild, glass, antiquarian subjects and the strangest things up to meteorite splinters. In each collection I’m trying to use new techniques and new materials to achieve new results and be amazed. It’s like an alchemy. Magic.

Your head pieces and jewelry are quite amazing. How would you like to see them worn?Oh! Thanks a lot! How would I like to see them worn…You know, I consider that the main thing here is to have a certain history… I create things with history, manly because I almost don’t use precious metals or stones, as even copper can look more beautiful than gold if  there is history behind it. It is a kind of strange beauty, with a touch of mystery, very fragile and almost inaudible. Sometimes I meet the people which wear my things, and I think that all of them are a bit mad… Like characters from David Lynch or Terry Gilliam films. I’m in love with them. More often they live in their own worlds, live by their rules and like to break any standard norms as the majority of them have become outdated since a long time. I love beautiful people, they inspire me, I like to see their beauty and add something to it. 

What is inspiring you at the moment?I have recently come back from travel on the near East and Africa… And now, in spite of the fact that in Russia is winter and it is full of snow, I am still inside those colors and paints, in the desert and the Arabian stories. It is something ancient, a mix of cultures, religions and above all there is the desert – the place of silence and loneliness. When I am at work, those memories and impressions spread through myself and into my next collection.Are you into fashion? Who is your favourite designer?I don’t think so. Yes, I know some great names in fashion industry but I’m trying not to be interested in them. Because the human brain can keep track in its memory of many things, even without the will of its owner. I don’t want to be like someone, I have my own way and my own eyes. That’s why I prefer, for example, magazines about geography or nature to fashion magazines, as a last resort where can be found history of fashion.What do you think style is about? How would you describe your personal style? And …I am curious: who does your hair? (I love your hairstyle!)Style… I think style is possibility to connect the private world with the outside… And it is better when you understand yourself, as look and  personality merge together more organically. The most stylish people – they most likely simply well understand themselves. And it is not a matter of fashion. I rather often change my style just following my senses…Those curly hair was from my romantic period in Saint-Petersburg. I was one of the first in Russia who wore such hairstyle. Often people in the street looked at me, some with surprise some other with a frightened look. But for me it was not important, as I was in my trip. But that time is gone and I already feel in another way. That’s why it was so easy to just shave everything away (I also made it for a video-project – see SEKTA VIDEO BELOW)Now I feel sometimes like a man from the French revolution of the beginning of 20th century…In suede trousers, heavy laced leather boots, gray thick woolen coat, rough woolen plaid scarf, carrying a leather backpack and wearing rings, rings and rings :))) sometimes when I walk through Saint-Petersbourg it looks like I am Raskolnikov by Dostoevsky… I think it is the influence of the city…Anyway there are not just labels… Besides I almost haven’t any branded clothes.

If style was a place it would be…I don’t know…I think I haven’t been there yet. That’s why I’m moving now for the 6th time in the last year. When I find it I will stay there till the end.And if it was a person? Who is your style icon?Rule number one – no icons :) but…maybe Tilda Swinton…I don’t know how she looks in everyday life but all that I saw about her on photos and movies have bewitched me every time. And Queen Elisabeth by Cate Blanchett in “Golden Age” movie…gorgeous…What’s in your ipod?It’s 160 Gb + 250 Gb on HD :)) most of them of electronic, experimental, sometimes deep house, dubstep. The last added are Iamamiwhoami, a Scandinavian idm project, “blue songs”, the last album of Hercules and Love Affair…..but the most played for the last 4 years is Bjork…she makes me go crazy…genius…   

Last concert you have been to?Placebo’s concert in Saint-Petersburg. That band is from my teen age period :) I like Molko. But I used to like him more the way he was about 10 years ago, at the time of “Nancy boy”. This time the main song from last album is named “Battle for the Sun” – so perfect for winter here.Last book you read?Henry Miller – Tropic of CancerYour favourite food?Thai food – is the best. But more often I simply forget to eat and live on chocolate :) 

And finally, what is an absolute must do in Saint Petersburg?Never go to SPb during winter…it is like a suicide :) But at summer is great. Mad architecture in a great city full of amazing stories of imperial Russia. One of my friend told me about SPb: “It is not a place to descend to, but to go pleasantly” it’s like truth. But it is full of museums, Hermitage, Petergof they are really great..and my lovely favourite place is the flea market…where you can buy many many strange or very old things really cheap.. I named it “bench of treasures” :) It is on Udelnaya train station, not so far from the center. Thank you Andrey!

Find Andrey Yarden on NotJustALabel
YY jewelry is available on Russian Room

VIDEO CREDITS: idea & style_Andrey Yarden / cut & effects_Yada Poison /camera_Kopalkin, Mayorova / make up Konstantin KudelichPhotography: Tatiana Azarova and Elena Mayorova

38 Comments   |   Posted by Wobblinbetty in  accessories / Fashion / interview / jewelry / wobblinbetty
  1. He sound so interesting, and damn the styling for these is awesome!

  2. simply gorgeous!! loving the answer he gave about the "style" issue!

  3. I love this interview. All these photos are gorgeous!

  4. I love this interview. All these photos are gorgeous!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Every bride has their own color, and some dynamic, some dazzling colorful, full of love … … and some colors are the future of each symbol, depicting the bride's future.
    Wedding Dress
    Thanks for your sharing! I am pleased to share my joy with you?

  6. now that's reeealy exciting! love this beautiful impossible objects!

  7. You can really tell that he has his background in engineering rather than design, and I think that gives massive impact and makes his work perfect for runway shows and editorials.

    This is a great interview – you always get the best out of a subject and ask questions I want the answers too.

    I must disagree with him about not going to SPB in the winter though. It's fucking sumptuous in winter, as long as you're wrapped up from head to toe!

  8. *to

    My grammar is appalling when I haven't slept!

  9. Wow…breathtaking.

    All of it; the pictures, the jewlery and the accessories!

  10. absolutely stunning. LOVE the photos, love them all.

  11. fantastic interview! his work is very unique and interesting!

  12. oh dear, I love this!! I would die to use his pieces in a styling. Gee, all your posts are so interesting! I love seeing things I've never seen before! Thanks so much for your previous supporting comment doll, so sweet of you. I had a blast in the mountains, so nice to breathe in all that crisp air and se nothing but white. Have a nice weekend darling!

    Love Iben

  13. Gorgeous photos :) great post

    Love, Vanilla

  14. great post… so interesting/inspiring!

  15. these photos are breathtaking.


  16. cool blog and lovely pics :D

  17. Amélia Delessi says:

    "I don’t want to be like someone, I have my own way and my own eyes."
    That says it all to me, I love original people.

    By the way, Frida Kahlo's movie was AMAZING! I don't really appreciate art but when I see Frida's paintings everything changes, you can feel what she was feeling while she was painting it.

  18. “I don’t want to be like someone, I have my own way and my own eyes.”
    That says it all to me, I love original people.

    By the way, Frida Kahlo's movie was AMAZING! I don't really appreciate art but when I see Frida's paintings everything changes, you can feel what she was feeling while she was painting it.

  19. Haven't had a chance to read all the way through yet, but I like what I see!

  20. I'd really appreciate any style tips with my new hair x


  22. WOW these pieces are so individual and edgy!

  23. this is amazing, the jewrley i love a lot!

  24. He's such a talented guy and I really enjoyed reading this point of view on style and fashion! I love it when he said style is about people understanding themselves. I thought it was one of the best perspectives on style I've heard! So true! His pieces are gorgeous too, especially the rings! xoxoxoo

  25. This is so inspiring…his work is so unique and the photography breathtaking! What a beautiful man!

  26. ohmygosh his rings are amazing!! :)

  27. this is a fantastic post. i so much enjoyed reading it. and seeing the unique pieces+amazing photos. the interview is so good. ;)
    hope you're busy enjoying your weekend dear


  28. I love your photos!
    They are amazing!

    Start dreaming on

  29. Wowza, their work is seriously striking! Love that he mentioned Tilda Twinton as an inspiration… she so weird in such a good way haha

  30. This is really inspirational. Love the interview, just amazing. Thanks for lovely comment! Hope you visit back :)

  31. Such an intriguing designer. His pieces are all so interesting. Jagged edged indeed.

  32. Those pieces are amazing! I want the rings!

    Juliet xxx

  33. omg this is so truly inspiring!
    loving the headpieces!

  34. Such a fascinating interview. I love when you do these as they are always so inspiring.
    His pieces are really intriguing. I could stare at them for such a long time.

  35. he is so talented and the videos are amazing! and he's cute too <3

  36. I love the second video so much!! crazy!

  37. Great interview!

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