Style Story With Nelly

Nelly Gavrilov is one to watch my dears. Local TUL loves, you might recognize this beauty from the fabulous Stonehorse Cafe. This is where I met Nelly and have been obsessed with her style for years. She just has that Je ne sias quoi. She made the big move to SF a little over two years ago and I have been living vicariously through her. SF is my favorite city in The United States after all. It was time to catch up and also introduce you loves. I feel like we will be seeing her involved with NYFW in the future. She is bound to do amazing things and I cannot wait to see what's in store for her.

Interview with Nelly.

-Firstly, tell me a little about yourself and your first fashion moments? And TUL to SF....Why SF? 

Two months after my family immigrated to America from Ukraine I was born.... I was raised in a large conservative Russian community, always surrounded by church and family. My parents decided to move to Tulsa when I was 6 with a few other Russian families from the community to start a church. I wasn't allowed to watch much tv, or listen to the radio so I spent most of my time playing outside and riding bikes with my brothers. I really had no influence from pop culture or the media, so fashion and beauty didn't occur to me until I was older. It was when I got to high school that I started getting in to fashion. My older brother would go thrift store shopping and I started getting interested in it as well. I loved getting an oversized skirt, adding straps to it, and making it a dress. Or using old clothes, ripping the seams and using them for patterns to make a whole new piece. I was very intrigued with making my own clothes or repurposing something that still looked beautiful. My mom was a seamstress in Ukraine, and in Tulsa for a little while. She taught me the basics of sewing. I was able to play around and get creative with thrift store clothes... It fit my budget, and I wasn't afraid to practice. Fashion has always been creating for me, wether it's something from scratch or styling an outfit. I decided that I want to go to fashion school, but sadly my parents didn't give me their blessing. I ended up going to OU and even then I stuck to my thrift store treasures and making and remaking clothes. My older brother, and his wife own a men's custom clothing business. It's him and his wife who, after many visits to SF, convinced me to move here, and begin my journey in the fashion industry. It felt like a bold step, but I couldn't be happier. I love it here. 

The big city feel, the neighborhood feel, nature, the innovation, and the people of SF pulled me here. It's a very diverse place, yet so small. -Nelly

The big city feel, the neighborhood feel, nature, the innovation, and the people of SF pulled me here. It's a very diverse place, yet so small. -Nelly

-How would you describe your own personal fashion? 

I've been working on having more of a refined and focused collection of clothing. I love that I wear everything in my closet. It is nice I can throw on an outfit and know it will look good.  One of my favorite things about SF is that I have to have a jacket or coat everywhere I go, it gets cold out of nowhere, anytime of the year. Therefore, I make sure my coats make a statement. I'll usually wear jeans or black pants, a neutral toned shirt, my mules or white sneakers, and a cute coat.  And that's for day to day fashion.  With that being said, I love any event that calls for a dress and some heels.  

One of Nelly's creations..

One of Nelly's creations..

-Do you have any style inspirations?

Fashion from Scandinavia and other parts of Europe and Japan give me inspiration.  They are always ahead of the time.  I love how clean, simple, and utilitarian it is.  

-What motivates you? 

Pursuing Happiness. I believe it's a choice, and when I realized this it changed my life. It motivates me because when I choose to be happy I believe, through my experience, love and creativity is flowing. 

-Where do you find inspiration for outfits ?

I usually take notes from people walking through the city, commuting to work, eating at the restaurants, and  window displays...there are sooo many windows to look at in the city. I love and appreciate how each neighborhood has its own amazing style.  And of course, Instagram.  

-SF is home to some great boutiques, thrift stores finds and flea markets—is there anywhere you would recommend for unique pieces?

Some boutique stores I love are Azalea, The Voyager, The General Store, and Gravel and Gold. 

Some consignment boutiques I love are Cary Lane, Wallflower, and Crossroads. 

Alameda Flea Market is the first Sunday of every month, and it is huge! Come early. 

-What is one piece that you could not live without?

My vintage bomber jacket. It's over sized, and it's a dark forest green, and it's wool. Makes every outfit just a little more edgy. 

-What is a trend that you are loving this season? Where do you envision trends going in the future? Is there a trend that you wish would disappear?

I love long sleeveless Blazers, and mules. It looks clean and fashionable. 

I think trends are becoming more individualistic. We are more interconnected than ever, and different social media platforms allow people outside of the industry to express their own personal style and fashion.  I can see every individual cultivating their own personal look based on the wide array of influences and trends their exposed to everyday.  

For a trend to disappear... I'm all about feeling comfortable and putting yourself out there, but I keep coming across see-through shirts with no bras. I'm not into it. For an editorial in a high fashion magazine, yes, but not at brunch or cruising the streets.  

-You just celebrated two years in SF! 48 hours in SF..where would one go?! 

Day 1: Wake up and get coffee and a pastry at Wrecking Ball and walk down Fillmore to Chestnut st, and check out the shops and boutique's there. Get a sandwich and salad at Blue Barn.  Walk to check out the Palace of Fine Arts and Crissy Beach, where you have views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the city skyline.  Uber over to the SF MOMA to explore the awesome art displays, and then wander around down town and Union Square.  Head over for dinner to Leo's Oyster Bar, a hot new restaurant in SF. It has the feel of being in Cuba in the 1950's, with champagne, caviar, great food and cocktails, and two secret rooms in the back.  After dinner I would recommend going to Pagan Idol, a gorgeous tiki bar with really fun drinks. 

Day 2: Start the day early and go to breakfast at either My My or Zazie's. After, head to Philz Coffee in the mission. Explore the hood, the art work, and boutiques (Valencia street is filled with the best boutiques in the city). Work your way up to 18th and Guerrero.  Stop in to Pizzeria Delfina for a couple pies, or go to Bi-Rite, a SF market featuring only local farmers.  Grab some food/wine/beer and then head to the famous Delores park (seriously one of the best views of the city, just make it to the top). Amazingly this is all on one block.  After seeing all of the wonderful characters who gather at Dolores, recoup and head to dinner at Octavia, one of the best dinners I've ever had. If you're still up for it, finish the night off at ABV, Hideout, or Trick Dog where the cocktails are so yum. 

Photo by Jason Perry.

Photo by Jason Perry.

-You did live in TUL? The things and places you miss most?

Yes. I think about Hodges Bend all the time. I loved that place, and I haven't found anything quite like it here. Also, my beloved Stonehorse, lol. Apparently I talk about it all the time. 

One of Nelly's creations. 

One of Nelly's creations. 

-You have started making beautiful clothes including my fave the half finished sweatshirt and the leather handbag!!Do we see a future in this or will this stay a hobby with you?

Definitely a future in both. I've been learning so much about sustainable clothing, the fibers, the waste, and ethics of it all. So far my favorite fabrics to work with are leather and linen.  There's a lot for me to learn, but it has always been a dream, a dream I work towards everyday. As of right now I'm building my technique, my eye for design, and understanding of how the fashion world works. I think it's changing so much, and there are many different directions to step in. Especially with all the tools out there to build a platform. All in all, I want to build a vision that honors who I am and what I believe in. 

(all below pics are Nelly's creations)

-Your guilty pleasure?

Salt and vinegar chips and snapchat filtered selfies

-Currently listening to?

Currently listening to podcasts. On Being and Radiolab are my absolute favorite. It's what I listen to when I'm working on projects. But for music, I'll say Beyoncé, Sylvan Esso, and The Weeknd are my favorite music artists 

-Whats next for Nelly?!

I am traveling to south east Asia for three months in January. It's something I've been wanting to do for years, and I am finally taking the plunge. 

I am going to need that leather bag Nelly! And that coat! Eeek. Sooooo good. 

Shop the story here.

Xo

Sam