Russia in the days of the Romanovs, Fabergé and Tolstoy is brought back to life in Petr Axenoff’s creations. A ‘new’ brand that has conquered Hollywood and leading museums
Friday, 28 September 2018,
by Lorenza Scalisi
Gold, pearl and cameo Russian Ball chocker, Princess Anastasia collection.
Guardian Eye ring in gold and enamel with emeralds.
«The atmospheres and characters in Tolstoy’s novels and Pushkin's stories, Diaghilev’s legendary ballet costumes, but also traditional architectures and films in costume.» Speaking with a dreamy air is Petr Axenoff, whose imagination and workshop are full of the romanticism of days gone by. He draws on that complex patrimony of art, history, culture and literature that decreed Russia’s past. The childhood of this young designer, whose general background would not seem to reflect his deep passion for the past, was nurtured by a huge amount of creative input, thanks to a photographer father and a painter mother who specialized in icons. Petr began to collect these vintage icons during his adolescence, attracted by the ‘artistic’ use of silver, the metal pre-eminently used in Russian jewelry.
Silver Tiara Ekaterina with colorless topazes and pearls, Romanov collection.
Saint Basil brooch in silver with garnets, citrines, tsavorites, topazes and pearls, Russian Fairytales collection.
Swan King brooch, in gold and silver with colorless topazes and a ruby.
«Even though our company has been in business for less than 10 years, we can count on about thirty masters and artisans. We have expert stone cutters, as well as specialized metal, enamel and cameo workers.» Ancient craftsmanship and contemporary creativity mixed together, united by a profound knowledge of tradition. «Less than five years ago, we were producing just one line a year. We are now creating a lot and all quite different: a special and decidedly affordable line designed for a younger public, and a high-range and more expensive line which, instead of silver, is made in gold and platinum and, instead of crystals, uses diamonds, pearls and precious stones. And then there is the special bride collection. We also boast prestigious collaborations: in 2016 we made tiaras and jewelry for ‘War and Peace’, a film produced by the BBC. Our annual balls in St. Petersburg, where we launch our new collections, some created in collaboration with leading museums, are now legendary and much coveted. We produced the copy of Princess Irina Yusupova’s nuptial tiara, presented at the Yusupov Palace in St. Petersburg. And next spring, we will be inaugurating a show at the Moscow State Historical Museum.» Petr has a creative mind and a strong and decisive entrepreneurial imprint. No doubt about it.