For Masha Orlov, creativity is life.
The fashion editor and consultant—who has also worked in industry facets from wardrobe design to fashion show styling, and with celebrities from Rihanna to Chloe Sevigny—grew up surrounded by music and art. Driven to spread beauty and fascinated by the exchange of ideas, in February 2015, she teamed up with photographer cohort, Viki Forshee, to launch, The Know Cultural Almanac—a publication in the style of Andy Warhol’s original Interview, meant to function as an accessible think tank of original ideas.
Their launch issue boasted contributors from designers Zac Posen and Jeremy Scott to photographers Steven Sebring and Tesh. Now, in conjunction with NY Fashion Week, comes The Know’s much-anticipated first edition.
Here, Orlov shares why spreading beauty in this way is key to survival:
Live The Process: Have you always been interested in fashion and culture?
Masha Orlov: Ever since I can remember, I have loved clothes and style, as well as art, music, dancing and the history of cultures. It all comes from my family: My grandmother was a prominent specialist on Tchaikovsky and my mother started taking me to museums before I could walk. I know the Metropolitan Museum of Art like the back of my hand.
LTP: How did you come to launch your unique cultural almanac, The Know?
MO: We are releasing the follow-up issue of The Know Cultural Almanac during NY Fashion week in February 2016. The publication is a project of pure love, showing all the great aspects of humanity and taking a deeply explorative approach to creativity and inspiration.
The Know aims to be an accessible think tank rather than a pure publication and focuses on people and their perspectives that are forming the next wave of cultural significance. Our mission is to be totally inclusive to all readers as a source of ideas and originality for anyone who is looking—with strong editorial content, beautiful imagery and big notions.
LTP: How does culture and creativity—from fashion to art—make the world a better place?
MO: Beauty is essential to keeping us going. As humans, we thrive on creating beauty, and we learn about ourselves through being creative. Culture and creativity are essential, inspirational components to our survival. As Plato said, “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder,” and this is why there are so many subcultures within all cultures.
LTP: You’re passionate about health. With your busy schedule, how do you stay balanced and on course?
MO: It’s pretty hard to stay on track. It is said that we live in an unbalanced world (the earthquake in Chile in 2010 threw Earth off its axis, so even the ground under our feet is off-balance). And maintaining balance—especially working freelance in the high-stress, creative industries—is impossible all the time. We are human. There is no way to be perfect, as we are perfectly imperfect. So, it is about doing the best we can and being happy with ourselves for our efforts.
LTP: What is your wellness obsession at the moment?
MO: I have many wellness obsessions, and that’s how I start out my day. I’ve maintained the same regular routine for years: When I wakeup, before drinking anything, I oil pull with coconut oil, then tongue scrape and afterwards drink a mixture of turmeric with lemon in warm water. (I recently read to add a bit of pepper for better absorption of the turmeric.) Then, I take some vitamins with water before having green tea and breakfast.
Recently a nutritionist friend told me to start taking red pine needle oil and CBD oil, as they both have many antibacterial benefits. (The claims are that they rid your body of dead or unhealthy cells, which prevents cancer.) So, now I take either one of the oils right after oil pulling.
I also love meditating at least once a day, if my schedule allows, and doing a cleanse of some sort once or twice a year. I work with two holistic practitioners that consult me on which cleanses are appropriate.
My ultimate cheats have historically been smoking (which I rarely ever do anymore—maybe once a week, if even that often), eating French fries two to three times a week (generally at Cafe Luxembourg) and drinking one too many glasses of red wine here and there (during dinners and birthday parties).
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
MO: Happiness is finding peace anywhere in the world at anytime—from NYC to Upstate New York to traveling with friends and family, which is my favorite; I love vacation. I am a sensitive soul, so happiness comes easy when I focus my energy on thinking of all the many reasons to be grateful. Even when shit is completely fucked up, I look for the bright side of every situation.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more every day?
MO: I love the term, “Live The Process.” It’s such a brilliant name too.
Once we become more aware and conscious of our actions and habits, it’s like opening the most fascinating Pandora’s box to understanding ourselves—developing strengths, outgrowing weaknesses and becoming the best we can be. It’s really enjoyable. Everything benefits from our own inner development: our health, our happiness, our relationships. Once we get into the flow of living the process, there is no going back.
Sure, we get out of the flow from time to time. This past month, since New Year’s and with the deadline for The Know, advertising trips and nonstop birthdays, I have been drinking way too much and eating way too much sugar. (I am Russian; we are generally natural-born hedonists.) I overindulged for four weeks, so I started to feel tired, moody, lethargic. So, I went to the spa, had a massage, then acupuncture and, lastly, hydro-colon therapy to clean out my gut, especially from all the fermentation from the alcohol, which is very hard for our organs to process.
Now, I will take a break from drinking for two weeks before Fashion Week to give my body a rest. I will try to take it easy during Fashion Week too, but I never want to stress myself out. If you are a constant drinker, yes, in the beginning, taking a break will be stressful as you are breaking the habit. But it’s the same with breaking any habit. Even working out too much can be an addiction. It’s important we teach ourselves moderation and walking the middle path.