Lyoka Tyagnereva is a Russian model with the fluffiest hair and the fiercest stare. She's getting really big now but I had the pleasure of working with her on two photo shoots before her fee skyrocketed. When she walked into the first shoot she immediately reminded me of the dorky foreign girl you woulda met at camp 10 years ago. And by dorky I mean awesome. She seemed shy and mature and totally herself. She wore something like khaki cargo pants and a men's button up and blushed seriously when we put on Peaches' song "Fuck the Pain Away."
Lyoka has such a strong look but with that comes versatility. She can be crazy edgy and use her sharp jaw line and cheek bones to cut through you, and at the same time be soft and cuddly like a pouty little girl who just found her teddy. She's also elegant and graceful and the lines of her body can be connected like a perfectly rendered map. For me though it's not her 31.5"x 22.5"x 34.5" frame, it's her face, her hair, and her 'tude.
The Sagittarius was born in 1986 in St. Petersburg and studied chemistry and biology in high school and botany in University. She's been in Dolce & Gabbanna ad campaigns, Vogue Italia, Lanvin runway and much more. She's repped by One Model Management in NY.
Lyoka said that the biggest misconception about models were that they are stupid and are like prostitutes, the latter being mostly judgment from her homeland. She says people are realizing that's not true and that as far as stupidity goes she can't say that they are really clever, but not stupid! Usually, for me at least, the model is the most interesting person with the most interesting life on a shoot.
From what I've gathered from the short conversation I had with Lyoka and interviews I've read online, she likes ice skating, ballroom dancing, reading, exploring, and laughing. She hates hairdressers. She values her honesty and her proudest achievement is "finishing school with all 5's and a medal."
Here are some pictures of Lyoka by Winona Barton-Ballentine from one of my favorites shoots I've assisted on in early 2008.
Here are some pictures by Poppy de Villeneuve on a shoot I assisted on for Nanette Lepore's very first ad campaign in 2008.
When asked if she believes in luck she said "I think if you want to do something, you do everything to reach your goal. In this case luck will support you, but I think luck doesn't like lazy people."