fall in love with me Sasha P, we talk to the i-D cover star
The doll-faced model, mother, muse, artist and cover star of The What is Love? Issue Sasha Pivovarova, talks fairies, Gemma Ward and Noughties nostalgia.
Sasha Pivovarova was part of a group of models, including Jessica Stam, Vlada Roslyakova and Gemma Ward, that rose to fame in the Noughties. For obvious reasons, they became known as the "doll-faces." These beautiful, blonde, sylph-like girls with swimming pool eyes, had the world under their spell for a decade as they wiped out any lesser models from the minds of the fashion elite. 29-year-old Sasha P, as we've come to call her (also for obvious reasons), was born in Moscow and became Miuccia Prada's muse in 2005, inking a three year contract with the luxury design house. Since then she's stalked the runways of Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier, Valentino and Rodarte, graced the covers of international Vogues, appeared in the film In Time alongside Justin Timberlake and become muse to more than a few legendary photographers. She could always be found backstage with a sketchbook and colouring pencils, drawing beautiful, wispy figures somewhat resembling herself, before she noticeably absented the catwalks to give birth to her daughter Mia Isis, in 2012. Now she's back, fronting The What is Love? Issue of i-D, photographed by Glen Luchford, and still causing ripples through the fashion world with her rare runway appearances…
You've had a bit of a break from the catwalk since giving birth to Mia, have you missed it?
Yes, I missed it! I love doing shows!
How much has the industry changed since you started?
When I started there was no social media like Instagram or Twitter and I had to work really hard to make people recognise me and remember my name. Now it's easier for girls to get exposure.
You used to walk with the other "doll-faced" models like Gemma Ward and Jessica Stam, are you still mates with those girls?
I worked with Jessica for the 50 year anniversary cover of Italian Vogue. We had lots of fun together. I have not seen Gemma for a long time.
What did you think of Gemma's surprise appearance on the Prada runway this season?
I am happy that she is back and I can't wait to see her. We have lots to chat about.
What went through your mind on the first runway you ever walked?
I paid a lot of attention to my coordination as I had never walked in such high heels before.
What goes through your mind now when you walk a runway?
I listen to the music and try to enjoy myself!
Who are your favourite designers?
I adore the works of Miucca Prada, Nicolas Ghesquière, Karl Lagerfeld and Alexander Wang.
Describe yourself in 5 words…
Mother, model, artist, muse, actress.
Are there any more film roles on the cards for you?
What's your favourite film?
My preferences in cinematography are constantly changing. Recently I rediscovered the films of Jim Jarmusch. I love his movies for his sharp wit and prolonged shots. I especially loveBlue in the Face.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I dreamed of being an artist or a movie star.
If you could only choose one, which would you be - a model, an actress or an artist?
That would be a really hard decision. I am glad I don't need to choose and can be all three...
What inspires your art?
I draw a fantasy world that only exists in my imagination but I often take everyday life details as an inspiration; nature, fashion, cities I visit and people I meet. I love to draw feminine characters with big deep eyes and stretched figures. I put them in different settings. I'll put them on a train, they all wear colorful clothes, some of them looking right at you or backstage looking at us through the mirror… Or lost in an enchanted garden or in a city containing details of different places I like such as the Manhattan skyline, Russian churches, Roman columns. It all exists in the same city and my main character, resembling me, is there too, traveling from one drawing to another.
Who are your favourite artists?
I love graphic works of Gustav Moreau, Ivan Bilibin, Audrey Birdsley. I love the way they pay attention to details.
Have you got any exhibitions of your art planned?
I am exhibiting 12 decorative plates in the All-Russian Decorative Art Museum in December.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
We don't know when our life ends. It is important to live each day to its fullest potential.
Do you believe in ghosts?
I believe in fairies. Fairies rule!
What are you going to dress up as for Halloween?
I will be a doll from a manga cartoon.
What is Mia going to dress up as for Halloween?
Mia wants to be a yellow duckling.
Do you like scary movies?
Not really, I don't sleep well after them.
What are you up to for the rest of today?
I'm meeting a girlfriend for a juice and will go to Chelsea to visit galleries. Then I'll be back home to have a family dinner with my loved ones.
Text Felicity Kinsella
Photography Glen Luchford
Fashion Director Alastair McKimm
Sasha wears all clothing Louis Vuitton