This time we decided to make it personal and speak with Son Trava head designer Victoria Kapriz about her upbringing in the south of Russia, fashion education at Polimoda in Florence, an internship at Alexander McQueen in London and how her diverse background is influencing the brand.

«I remember the girls in my primary school lining up at my desk and asking me to draw the dresses for their princesses paper dolls”, Victoria reminisces, smiling.  From the very beginning, she knew she was going to become a fashion designer, even before she knew what it actually meant.

Eventually her passion for princesses’ gowns developed into fashion design and fine art studies in Krasnodar, her hometown in the south of Russia and one of the main sources of inspiration for Son Trava, with its proximity to the Black Sea dachas and a true southern leisure lifestyle that rarely comes to mind when you think of Russia.

Fast forward to sun-soaked Florence, where Victoria had a chance to perfect her design skills at one of the major fashion schools in Europe under the supervision of Patrick de Muynck. «Back then Patrick had just left the position of a Fashion Design teacher at the Royal Academy in Antwerp to come and work in Polimoda. It was an amazing opportunity to work under his supervision».

Next stop — London.  Victoria’s first internship took place at a small menswear brand which surprisingly turned out to be a great influence on her future brand known for its delicate dresses and nightgowns. She learned menswear pattern-making and fitting and fell in love with the men’s style and fabrics, which she now uses almost exclusively for Son Trava designs.

Quite unexpectedly an opportunity to intern at Alexander McQueen appeared, and frankly, this is not a chance you walk away from. «As an intern, you are obviously at a pretty  low position, and yet there you have incredible resources at your demand and you literally sit two meters away from a tailor who is making a dress for Kate Middleton. You’ve got a lot of resources, a lot of possibilities and not a lot of time».

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«Once I created a corset-type top and soon after I’ve sent it “upstairs” to the head designer, I got called up to her office. I immediately decided that something bad had happened. But there she was — standing beside a model, who was wearing my piece, with a discreet smile and asking me: did you make it? It’s beautiful. Thank you».

Ultimately, when Victoria got invited to one of the most high-end and well-known fashion houses in Warsaw, she didn’t think twice. It was a chance to learn high quality from the ‘kitchen side’ much closer than in a large international brand and also a great opportunity to work with an amazing team of professionals — tailors, seamstresses, pattern-makers. It was an on-hand experience of working with the best materials, the best European manufacturers, the highest quality of dressmaking. And of course, also a chance to design for celebrities from Anja Rubik to Zaha Hadid, whose cape she created specially for the V&A’s Alexander McQueen «Savage Beauty”» Opening Gala..

Now, all the parts of Victoria’s diverse background came together like a puzzle to create the world of Son Trava...

PS: Do not forget to visit our Instagram profile to find out more about Son Trava.



Looking for sleep. Part I

Ah, sleep! You are an elusive subject. Sometimes we have very little of you, sometimes just on the verge of ok or almost enough but definitely never too much. That is why it is important to use the hours we have to their very best.  Here at Son Trava we know a thing or two about sleep and we figured out ways to get the needed rest. The key is to prepare yourself to sleep, gradually helping your body and mind to be in that state where a good restful sleep is possible. In Part I we are giving the general tips and in Part II it will be more about skincare and body care.  Mix and match as you please.

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1.      Get some fresh air.
Have a stroll. If you are lucky to live near a seaside or a river, it’s even better. Fresh air and a little bit of walking will help you to distance from the worries of the day and are very calming to the senses.

2.      Open your notebook or planner if you have one and cross out the things you’ve finished. It is very satisfying. Also write down plans for the next day so that you won’t trouble yourself with remembering them while falling asleep.

3.      Open the window to freshen the air before you go to bed. If you can (and we strongly recommend it), sleep with the windows opened. Take two warmest duvets if you must but keep the window opened at night.

4.      Put on your pyjamas. This is where we are the experts. It is another reminder to your body that it is loved thus calming for the mind as well. Choose one from our range made of softest luxurious silks.

5.      Meditate. We love Headspace app, it is very helpful if you have any troubles getting off to sleep. The founder of this app, Andy Puddicombe has the most tranquil voice and it’s a pleasure to listen to him. Check his video about sleep here.

6.      Listen to classical music. We recommend Lyszt, Chopin, Brahms, Schubert or early Rachmaninoff.

7.      When in bed read something soothing for the soul, or may be something uplifting. True to our Russian roots we love Chekhov’s short stories, poems by Bella Akhmadulina, Marina Tsvetaeva and Boris Pasternak. Share with us your favourite bedtime books.

Looking for sleep. Part II

Some time ago we promised you the Part II of our ‘Sleep rituals’. Part I was all about general tips for a restful night sleep. Here we invite you to read what routines we recommend skincare and body care wise. These all are tried and tested and we hope you find them useful.

  'La Toilette' by Louise Catherine Breslau

'La Toilette' by Louise Catherine Breslau

1.      Take your pampering time in the bathroom. Thoroughly cleanse and moisturise your skin. This helps to relax and communicates a message to your body that you love it and care for it. Use your favourite creams and oils, do some gentle face massage. We recommend this video by a famouse makeup artist Lisa Eldridge where she shares her face massage routine. 

2.      Light a candle. But please, do not buy cheap aromatic candles – they are full of synthetic additives. Look for natural bees wax ones or soy wax, let the candle burn for little while and then put a few drops of good quality essential oil. We love lavender, jasmine, sandalwood and pine ones. When the candle is blown out the wax will still keep the aroma.

3.      Find time for a professional massage once in a while, visit sauna or hammam. It will work as a reminder for your body of 'how to relax'.

4.      Massage your body with a dry or wet brush, this one from The Body Shop does a perfect job. Dry (or wet) brushing stimilates lymphatic drainage, expholiates and tones your skin. If you are doing wet brush massage we recommend using coconut oil by an amazing Polish brand Mokosh. 

5.      Buy a diffuser and lavender oil to go with it. Light it for about 15 minutes before bed so that the air is filled with the calming smell.

6.      Use a silk eye mask. It is very useful when travelling but may also help to ease you into sleep at home blocking all the lights. We suggest these by Holistic Silk.

7.      Buy or make your own herbal sleep pillow. Put it near your normal pillow letting the aroma cuddle you in your sleep. Ours are handmade and filled with Russian traditional herbs. You can fill yours with dry lavander. Its relaxing scent helps your body and mind to unwind. 

Good night!

Creme de la Crimea. The Vorontsov Palace

‘It’s been long since I was totally smitten by something the same way I was by the beauty of this place’, our designer, Victoria tells about her visit at the Vorontsov palace in Crimea.

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Built as a summer residence for a Prince Mikhail Vorontsov (1782-1856) it represents a magnificent mixture of architectural styles which works beautifully with its natural surroundings. The Prince was a known anglophile (he spent his childhood and youth years in London) and it comes as no surprise that the Palace was designed by the British Royal Court architect Edward Blore. Almost 20 years in the making (1828-1948), it was, may we say, worth waiting.

‘Palace’s walls are built from the same blocks of stone that you see if you look around. Their texture and colours are in sync with the colours of the craggy scenery. The resemblance is especially vivid when you look at Ai-Petri peak rising in the distance,’ adds Victoria.

The palace has northern and southern facades. Each built in different architectural style. The northern one overlooks the already mentioned Ai-Petri mountain and the southern — the Black Sea. ‘What impressed me the most was the horseshoe arch over the southern entrance with its Alhambra-like Moorish elements. For our first campaign we drew our inspiration from exactly this place.’

The interiors match the eclectic style of the exteriors. ‘Each room is special and decorated in its own individual manner. The Grand Dining Room, for example, combines the medieval feel of Tudor era with the exquisite intricacy of Moorish-style majolica decorating the fountain. I especially loved The Blue Room, couldn’t take my eyes off all its detailing. The beautiful stucco plants on the eggshell blue walls, the room furnished in the style of Russian classicism — I have found this combination so very me, it is something that reflects in my designs for Son Trava.’

The overall magnificence of the place wouldn’t be complete without the landscaped park surrounding it. ‘It is huge and truly a masterpiece built by a German gardener Carolus Keebach.  What fascinated me about it was the feeling of privacy, as if you were completely alone although there were always other people in the park. It is made so that the paths, nooks and crannies feel very secluded. I have also noticed a very clever usage of water: little waterfalls and streams made the most meditative sound accompaniment to my walk.’ 

‘It’s a dream of a place! One could only imagine how it must have felt to live here with all the views and architectural beauty. I’m happy it is now turned into a museum so that everyone can come and enjoy and be inspired like I was. Who knows, you may find traces of the Vorontsov palace in Son Trava future designs.’