Milena Zuravljova has been the Fashion Director of Czech ELLE since 2022. In 2017 she created "Symbols" a concept store that has turned into a lifestyle that Milena materializes.
Mili, tell us about how you created Symbols.
Originally, back in 2017 I wanted to show people Ukrainian embroidery and I made a pop up with beautiful dresses in my friend's studio Namastery in Prague. It ended up staying there for a few years as a "corner." I gradually added more brands from all over the world and ended up creating a whole lifestyle around it, so it's not only about fashion anymore.
...and now you added our black silky shirts into your selection.
Yes! When chosen wisely a t-shirt is a 24/7 piece. Just think of ways to embellish it like a brooch, jewellery, corset, scarf. A little shine in the fabric easily makes it an evening top, roll up the sleeves, tuck it in high waisted pants or a skirt, put in some jewellery and you are ready to a dinner.
...so how many shirts do you actually have?
I lost count long time ago. One thing for sure lately my favorite model is the black “shiny” oversized zagh.
If you could only have one T-shirt color, which one would it be?
Easy, at the moment see the previous question! But I hope you will soon find this fabric in white, as nothing is simpler and more chic than a white t-shirt on a tanned body in summer.
Do you believe in “basics” or do you prefer to have “love pieces” that are not so basic?
I believe that pure basics can be love pieces. It is about choosing carefully and taking into consideration quality and longevity of the purchase. Of course I own a few stand out pieces, but for every day use, I usually choose basic pieces and play around with styling.
Quantity or quality?
Always quality. I prefer to take better care of a pieces than regularly replace them with same poor quality ones.
Favorite fashion pieces?
I always feel most comfortable in dresses.
Can not choose one. I grew up with copies of Picasso’s “Saltimbonques Harlequin and his Companion“ and “Woman with a Crow” in the room, so he will always have a place in my heart. When it comes to Old Masters I am most attracted to Vermeer and then obviously Matisse. Recently Marlene Dumas really impressed me.
Again impossible to choose one. I am a fan of Murakami, I collect all his books. Shantaram by Gregor David Roberts is very dear to me. I event went to Mumbai and visited most of the places mentioned in the book.
Smell that defines you.
I like Philosykos by Diptque, it smells of figues and summer.
What makes you really happy?
Long summer evenings with family and friends, animals and the sea.
If your house was burning, what one thing (a dog isn’t a thing!!) would you take?
Uff hard to say, besides the usual like documents or jewelry, probably some childhood pictures. This reminds me that I should scan & save them somehow.