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2010 February 12

When Christian Met Oksana

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Olympic flames Christian Cota and Oksana Baiul Olympic flames Christian Cota and Oksana Baiul
Photos by Giorgio Niro
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Christian, do you think you have a Russian soul like Oksana?

CC: It’s funny you ask that. I went to Russia and fell in love with the culture. The last time I was there I went to St. Petersburg and Moscow. I’ve always loved Russian literature. It’s a very mystical culture, very powerful. All the costumes are great, all the fur. They’re very—

OB: Over the top! Russian women sometimes seem to have no limits with all their jewels and animals. Sometimes it’s way too much. They go nuts—it’s like they can’t stop! It’s beyond over the top. I’m like, “Enough!” But that’s the way they like it. If they wear jewelry, it has to be everything—like, a tiara and everything.

CC: But they’re an inspiration. I think it’s great if you take costumes that are Russian-looking and then abstract and clean them up a
little bit.

But you’re not kidding around. You went twice; you must really love it in Russia!

CC: I do. Because of my job here, it’s so difficult to take much time off. But next time I go, I’ll go with some locals. I went there and I met some people. I went to the clubs, I got a little glimpse, but I didn’t get as much as I wanted.

OB: Do you like Russian food?

CC: Yeah, I loved when they did the caviar with the butter. What’s that called? Blini!

Christian, your first collections got a very strong response. Does it give you hope for the long term?

CC: It does. I’m planning to do my first real show next season. This season I’m still getting to know the editors. I really like to listen to what they want, and a lot of them say they still want to see the clothes up close and come and talk to me. For me it’s not the right time yet. I have to stay modest with expenses.

OB: So it won’t be over the top, like Russian women? Or Mexican soap operas?

CC: I love Mexican soap operas! I grew up watching them. They must be why I’m so dramatic. When I lived in Mexico, I actually met a lot of the actresses. I’d see them at the grocery store. They didn’t disappoint. Maybe that’s why I feel such a connection with Oksana. She has that presence. I gravitate toward women with a strong, soap opera presence.

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