Fashion historian once almost got caught at the border. A close friend of Alexander Vasiliev shared his memories of adventures in which he was regularly involved. According to the woman, he could always get out of any difficult situation.
Fashion historian Alexander Vasiliev can easily be called a man of the world. Lives in France, works – leading the program “Fashion verdict” on “the First channel” in Russia, and lectures on the history of fashion and costume reads around the world. He knows 10 languages, has a phenomenal memory and is very artistic. The latter quality more than once helped him in difficult times.
At the beginning of career Vasilyev, who brought into play all his natural charm, had to deceive the customs officers to smuggle Antiques. To deal with Antiques has always been profitable, especially in hungry 90-e years when abroad you can buy old stuff for pennies, and then sell it at exorbitant prices to collectors.
“We met in the early 90-ies in the contest of designers “the Admiralty needle” in St. Petersburg, – says Vasilyev stylist friend Jeanne Dubska. – Then Sasha still sat on TV, and nobody knew it. He headed the jury of the competition, and I was a Professor at the Riga technical Institute – brought to the contest students… For more than 20 years of friendship with us anyway.
“I will never forget how Sasha helped me once. Since the early 80s Vasilyev lives in Paris, where his apartment. In the 90 years I used to fly to him and looked at the flea market. Once acquired seven antique chairs of the XIX century. But then the question arose how to smuggle in Latvia where I live. The furniture I was going to sell – and all that over a hundred years old is considered antique. Experts know that in order to obtain an export permit, you need a week to walk on the experts and almost ship these ladies to make so they made a conclusion that the thing is not of value. Sasha took the initiative – say, he will bring me some furniture, when it will be possible”.
And now both of us were invited to the jury of the contest in Riga. A friend told me on the landline (no cell phones): “Zhannochka, your chairs overcame many European borders and are now in Vilnius.” I came to Lithuania airport pick up Antiques and Sasha. Now you only have to take them to Latvia. By car we drove up to the Lithuanian border, where they were detained as violators of the exporting Antiques out of the state. What chairs – a rarity, never in doubt: they did everything but sand falling.
Customs officers decided to make a list, but then Sasha began trading face… And it’s always turned out well for him! In the first years in Paris, in order to survive, the future celebrity had to perform Russian songs in the pubs. They say that even fans were available. On the border of Lithuania Vasiliev smiled and slipped the magazines with his articles in the 90s it was learned. It worked! To the Latvian border remained 300 meters, which we crossed by car in a few minutes. But there we launched, deciding that now we import valuable goods.
Suddenly Sasha got an idea. Riga still had 200 km and so had to find another place – a remote village, where the border crossing and on our mouldering chairs will not even pay attention. He took out an old Soviet Atlas. Found that in the potato fields there is a road along which you can slip through.
Decided to take a chance. I’m behind the wheel, once as a Navigator. “Elya, but you need to come up with a story why we cross the border in such an odd place – said is on the way Sasha. – On the map I found two points between which the shortest path is passing just across the border of Latvia. Let’s just say we met and decided to unite our hearts… and also our of furniture! Therefore, delivered from my village Vanucci chairs in your Varaklani”.
The names of the villages remember approximately. About the desired item saw the following picture: signs with the words “Lithuania” and “Latvia”, ditch, cows and a sleeping guard near the barrier. Feet up, his cap fell. We woke him up and told the story about the impending wedding, happily potryasyvaya rotten chairs with torn upholstery for our kitchen. The boy did not react, but then came his boss, who said that the furniture to carry it is impossible, and took my passport.
“Hey, this is junk, not the furniture!” – supported us young subordinate. “Well… to hell with them!” – senior relented. We’ve already pulled away when he ran out of the third border guard officer and shouted to Alexander, “No! You back! You can’t go in there!” Was in a hurry Sascha gave them a French passport. The benefit of Lithuania and he also had with him, and we finally conceded. We drove that it was urine – afraid, suddenly will catch up Later… long-suffering chairs was sold at the price of the headset, and one even exchanged for a cast iron tub with legs in the form of lions”.