Story by Tatiana Sorokko unique. Born in the closed city Arzamas-16, the parents were scientists, physicists, moved to Moscow and, briefly working as a model, went to Paris, where he became one of the first Russian top models, built a brilliant career in the West in the 1990-ies. Tatiana has worked with Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, Christian Dior, Givenchy and other fashion houses — her beauty still inspires designers and artists. Today Tatiana is a journalist, fashion historian and gallery owner and the owner’s impressive collection of jewelry — live in San Francisco with her husband Sergey Sorokko. “Kommersant. The style” has talked with the legendary top model on how to treat jewelry as an art and become a collector without a big investment.— When did you begin to collect the jewels?— When I first started working as a model. I, a girl from the Soviet Union, not familiar with the global banking system was carrying the money earned from country to country. My agent Marilyn Gaultier once said to me: “What are you doing? Go get yourself decorations” — and took me along with Naomi Campbell in the Milanese boutique of antique jewelry Pennisi on via Manzoni. There I bought my first decoration. Since then, every season I came back from Paris or Milan with some treasure. One of the first I bought a French XIX century earrings with emeralds. The best jewelry for me those buy herself, by inspiration.— What is for you the meaning of jewelry collecting?— I believe that the investment is not the most important. Decorations can be purchased inexpensively, especially antique. They are like children postcards or pictures. These are our memories, these pieces of history that we keep and decorate their life. I never liked mass brands, didn’t pay attention to carat. I buy jewelry because of their beauty, uniqueness and history and, therefore, are particularly fond of Antiques. I think that jewelry that we collect, we are in temporary storage. Then it is necessary to correctly determine their fate — either to transfer to the Museum or the people you love to these legends and stories lived on.— And there are modern brands that, in your opinion, deserve attention?— Vintage Venetian jewelry house Codognato. The first decoration I bought in 1992 when my husband first came to Venice. It was a massive gold bracelet in the form of a snake (similar wore Elizabeth Taylor). Today, I have one of the greatest collections of jewelry from Codognato. If you buy this jewelry, you are tacitly entering into an exclusive club. Bought them Maria Callas, Jacqueline Kennedy, grace Kelly, Luchino Visconti and Coco Chanel. The main topic of that pic��asheni Codognato jewelry,— ancient culture Memento Mori. Today this Latin phrase (“remember that you are mortal”) means that one must live to the full and appreciate every day and hour. Therefore, in jewelry this jewelry house symbols often appear, reminiscent of the death: skulls, hourglasses, coffins, skeletons, snakes. These jewels are always a cause for interesting conversations. — Tell us about the most unusual Codognato jewelry from your collection.— I have the famous suspension-casket, where lie turned to the skeletons of the king and Queen. This symbol is associated with one of the ideas of medieval alchemy, “the Royal marriage”, a Union of opposites. Another interesting necklace with vintage pendants XVII and XVIII centuries. The lowest belonged to Marie Antoinette. There is a monogram hidden inside a letter. I never opened it because I’m afraid to ruin it. Another legendary ornament huge pendant similar to the death in a cage. It turned out that this is a miniature copy of the tomb of the Italian architect of the seventeenth century, Giovanni Battista Gisleni. It is in the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome. He himself during his life designed it. — Are there any modern jewelers who do you like?— Jewelry that makes the Greek artist Sophia Vari, similar to her sculptures, massive and unusual. I love the creations of jeweler James Taffin de Givenchy, nephew of Hubert de Givenchy for Taffin brand. He works with precious and semi-precious stones, crystal, with glass. Definitely worth a mention Joel Rosenthal and his brand JAR. I love couture and I think that after quarantine, the personality will be especially appreciated.— How do you choose jewelry to your images in everyday life?Photo: photo from personal archive— I wear jewelry every day. You know, Coco Chanel once said that when you get out of the house, is to look in the mirror and remove something. I always add one more thing. For example, my antique ring with Italian micromosaics. I put them all on one hand, on each finger, and on the other hand, ring with intaglio of carnelian or black onyx. Rings I often make of brooches is my know-how. Plus, I love tiaras. Elizabeth Taylor said that every woman should have at least one tiara. I have more than one. The most interesting — the tiara of the late nineteenth century with movable citrines. There is a tiara made of platinum and diamonds in the late nineteenth century, in which the daughter of my husband got married. It is broken down into several brooches-stars. In the summer I wear the Sicilian coral tiara that looks great with embroidered caftans.— Tell us about your recent acquisitions.— Now I almost never buy clothes of the latest collections, anddyeing, by contrast, continue to acquire. My latest purchase is a set of two tiaras and brooches with cameos. These cameos in the nineteenth century, the aristocrats brought home from their trips to Europe. The cameos keep the stories associated with the images of antiquity. Each of them is unique. Incidentally, the cameos can be purchased at very affordable prices. Another one of my recent acquisition is a Scottish agate cross XIX century. It looks modern and stylish. By the way, when students ask me questions about style (she Sorokko lectures at the Academy of Arts in San Francisco.”Kommersant Style”), I advise you not to fixate on the newest fashion bags and other accessories. Today it is all irrelevant. Enough to serve a few months in quarantine, to remember how fashion is superficial. When you have a luxurious jewelry, you can wear the most simple clothes and look amazing.— What advice would you give to budding collectors? — The decoration should first of all fit your tastes. It is important not carats, and speaks if the jewel with your language. It’s like art, when people choose with your heart and not speculate whether the increase in pattern price. Still need to figure out what suits you, because jewelry should complement. Worth watching the auctions, but do not buy blindly. Sometimes jewels can be bought at a reasonable price, but to be able to see your valuables, you need to constantly educate ourselves. Curiosity is a fundamental quality of any collector. For me the search for a new decorating is always an adventure. It is also important to communicate with professionals. If you buy even an inexpensive ring, you will be surprised what can you tell us his seller. When you buy thing with an interesting story, that story becomes yours. Here, for example, Giovanni Battista Gisleni, the author of his tomb in Santa Maria del Popolo, which was the inspiration for my pendant from Codognato, lived in Poland and built a monastery there. Now I need to go and see this monastery, because I feel my involvement in the history of this man. It is an eternal journey. — Are there any family stories associated with your jewelry?— One story involves garnet bracelet and earrings that I gave her husband. We saw these decorations at a jewelry store on Madison Avenue in new York. I liked it, but then it seemed too expensive. When a few months later we went back to the boutique, it turned out that the jewelry has already been sold and are in the Museum. One day in Paris I was approached by the editor of the American Vogue Hamish Bowles and said, “of course, I saw them at the Metropolitan Museum, how could I miss that!” I was surprised, but ne began to clarify what he meant. Later on Christmas day I found among the gifts that the pomegranate kit. The bracelet was really shown in the Metropolitan Museum at the exhibition dedicated to the painter Jean Auguste Ingres. This decoration depicted in the portrait of Madame Matese, which is in London’s national gallery. My husband already bought one set, when the Museum asked to borrow the bracelet for the exhibition. He said Yes, but worried that I find out about his Christmas gift ahead of time. So he went to the exhibition with me and at some point he specially turned me so I saw this bracelet in a glass display case. There was a signature embellishment submitted to the exhibition by Tatyana Sorokko. That’s what Hamish was trying to tell me, and my husband was very worried that he would ruin his surprise. Interviewed By Maria Sevostyanova