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Honorary Fellow


2009 Honorary Fellow



Dr Alexandre Vassiliev, a set and costume designer and fashion historian, was born in Moscow in 1958 into a celebrated family of artists. His late father designed for the Bolshoi Theatre, and his late mother was an actress and professor of stage diction at the Moscow Art Theatre.

He designed his first costumes and sets, and starred in children’s programmes for Soviet Television from a tender age. He graduated from the Moscow Arts Theatre Studio at the age of 22, and began designing for the prestigious Moscow Dramatic Theatre. In 1982, he moved to Paris and immediately started to design for the French theatre. There he worked for the Theatre du Rond Point des ChampsÉlysées, the Studio of the Bastille Opera, the Festival of Avignon, the Ballet du Nord, and the Royal Opera of Versailles, to name a few.

Dr Vassiliev continues to design for operas, plays, films and ballets for companies around the world. He has designed for major companies in 32 countries to date, and also tours principal art colleges of the world as guest lecturer in the history of fashion and stage design. He possesses one of the world’s largest private collections of European and Russian period costumes and has exhibited it many times in France, Russia and abroad since 1992. He is author of the book Beauty In Exile, prized as the best-illustrated book of the year 1998, and is feature editor of VOGUE and Harper’s Bazaar magazines, the Russian editions. Other recent publications include Russian Mode-150 Years in Photography (2004), European Fashion Through Three Centuries (2006), and Russian Interior (2008). He also hosts his own television show on Russian Culture TV entitled Breath of the Century. Dr Vassiliev has been honoured with the Diaghelev Medal in Paris, and twice the TOBAV Prize in Turkey. He has recently been awarded an honorary doctorate by Moscow University.

Dr Vassiliev has long-standing connections with Hong Kong and the Academy, having designed a number of productions for Hong Kong Ballet, and accepted invitations as Visiting Lecturer and Visiting Guest Artist for the School of Theatre & Entertainment Arts. Dr Vassiliev generously presented part of his private, unique and extremely valuable collection at the Academy in the 200 Years of European Fashion Exhibition in January 2000, and History of 20th Century European Costumes Exhibition in January 2008.