Artist Victoria Sevryukova: “How, tell me, to play a queen in a stretched bra?”


Artist Victoria Sevryukova is the queen and drummer of theatrical costume. In terms of the number of performances dressed by her during the season, hardly anyone can compare with Victoria. She dressed the performances of Zakharov, Viktyuk, Krymov, Heifetz, Pisarev, Durova, Frandetti, Lepage and other famous directors. Her costumes are a work of art, inventive, insanely fantasy, where madness and fantasy are on an equal footing. And always exquisite. They receive Golden Masks and other theatrical awards and, like a litmus test, show the merits of any production, but they can also highlight the shortcomings. But this scares only non-talented directors. About film idols, about the unseemly role of fashion in the theater, about the connection between underwear and the mantle of Her Royal Majesty, and also why some theater directors do not like the artist Sevryukova, we talked to her on the eve of the anniversary.

– Victoria, how many performances have you put on this season?

– I won’t answer right away. There have been three premieres in the last two months. And this is in parallel with four more launched projects. Is there an analogue of the miner Stakhanov in a skirt? It’s me. I don’t understand to whom I promised to do double milking per shift, but the fact remains.

– Do you have an explanation for such a shock, I’m not afraid of this word, heroic work?

– There can be two explanations – I can’t say “no”, especially to my own and loved ones. And I’m so excited to do something new!

Victoria Sevryukova. Photo from personal archive.

– Do you have statistics: how many performances did you wear and how many costumes were made according to your sketches in total? Must be an astronomical number.

– I stopped counting and writing down the number of performances ten years ago. Like fighter pilots who recorded the number of downed enemy aircraft on the fuselages of their cars – my fuselage also ended, there is nowhere else to put a tick. I think more than 400, well, maybe 400 suits. And in total – more than 20,000. This is the population of an entire urban-type settlement.

– Who is your idol in the history of costume and, in particular, theatrical costume? Which of them influenced?

– My idols, oddly enough, are all from the cinema. Olga Kruchinina is my fabulous childhood. The film “Stone Color” and the costumes of the hostess of the copper mountain decided my fate. I then clearly understood that I did not want to be the actress Tamara Makarova, who played the very hostess, but I want to be the person who invented all this! And, of course, the film “Red and Black” with Eleonora Maklakova’s costumes finally dispelled all my doubts. If this miracle profession is called the cumbersome and clumsy costume designer, then it’s me. Then a bit of Fellini with the costumes of the great Danilo Donati and Visconti in collaboration with Piero Tosi. And voila – love forever. From them, from the great cinema artists, love for details and details, in general, is not needed in the theater.

Spectael “Audience”. Photo from the personal archive of Victoria Sevryukova.

– Theater and fashion: who are they – enemies, friends or partners?

– The influence of fashion on the theater is undeniable. And it also spoils the theatrical costume. If the costume in the performance is fashionable and even edgy, this is practically a verdict. So the show won’t last long. Fashion is fleeting! Therefore, it is consciously necessary to stay away from it. If you want the performance to live for a long time.

– What are the most unusual materials or technologies that you have ever used in your performances?

– From favorite – packages for garbage. Moreover, all shades and textures. Packages can be burned with a hot iron, baked in the oven, blown on them with an aviation hair dryer. To get a super theatrical texture in the style of a post-apocalypse … In general, everything goes into work – insulation and technical fabrics, felt and technical felt, flag nets and heel tows (these are threads that are woven from the heels of children’s tights, for strength) From which ” litter ”a theatrical costume is growing – it’s better not to voice it.

“Japanese fairy tale. Samurai Sword (dir. Tereza Durova). Photo from the personal archive of Victoria Sevryukova.

– It is known that you have a large and unique collection of women’s underwear and, what is especially valuable, men’s underwear. Is it related to your professional activity? Or is it just a collection that can be exhibited?

– My interest in lingerie arose a long time ago and solely in order to apply this knowledge in the theater. Underwear is a secret female mystery that unfolds under clothing. And the male mystery too. How, tell me, to play the queen in a stretched bra and pantyhose with an arrow? That’s right – no way! A corset and real stockings with garters will also “play along” with the actress, help her feel like a real queen. Therefore, under each of my costumes there will be original underwear. And let the directors not really like me!

– Why don’t theater directors like you? After all, your costumes only add to the success of the performance.

Performance “Wolves and Sheep” (dir. Igor Yatsko). Photo from the personal archive of Victoria Sevryukova.

– Because I always ask/insist on making linen. Even if it’s not visible. Especially if you can’t see it. And if you can’t see it, why pay for it? Why spend money? I remember Visconti, who hung antique dresses in a closed closet during filming. For what? For flavor, for mood, for atmosphere. And I believe that without the right underwear it is impossible to build a suit correctly. So a house without a foundation will not stand.

– A terrible dream of the artist Sevryukova about the theater.

– A terrible dream – do not have time to sew a costume for an actor for the premiere. Although there were cases when the costume was thrown on the actor right before going on stage. It’s not even a bad dream, it’s already a nightmare.

– Taking into account the gender games in the world, what is it better to call you now – an artist or an artist in principle?

– What gender? I work hard like a miner in a mine. And there is no such word – a miner. So it is in our profession: costume designer. Simple and strict. No frills.

The play “The Master and Margarita” (dir. Robert Lepage). Photo from the personal archive of Victoria Sevryukova.

– And what is the dream of the artist Sevryukova?

– The dream is for the theater to live. To be needed. To have spectators and fans with flowers, and ill-wishers with rotten eggs. So that directors and actors are not afraid of costumes. To preserve the masters who create the costume. And then there will be a miracle that we serve. The lights go out, the spotlight turns on and the actor enters the stage. Actor in costume…

Performance “The Merry Widow” (dir. Alexei Frandetti). Photo from the personal archive of Victoria Sevryukova.

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