FEATURE

Share & tell
with Polina Meshkova

By Isabelle E. July 29, 2020

Taking just one glance at Polina Meshkova’s expertly curated,

Instagram is enough to cause serious style-envy. Polina moved from a small town to New York City and quickly became an expert in all things chic, minimal, and stylish. Now with over 37k Instagram followers, Polina has become a fashion authority in her own right. So naturally, we had to chat with her and get all the details on her tips for personal style, investment pieces, and life in New York City.

Why did you choose to come to New York and what do you love about living in the city?

Before I even visited New York, I had always intuitively known it would be the right place for me. I was always extremely energetic and goal-oriented, but also very independent. I grew up in a very small town and went to college in one as well and I knew the small-town mentality and energy weren’t my thing. Then I visited NYC for the first time and got both scared and excited. Then I visited again and again and just knew this was going to be exactly the place to help me grow and progress as quickly as I can. I love that I always feel alive here, on the cellular level. The city’s energy matches mine; I am constantly inspired, motivated, and have 10 projects going on at any time. In terms of fashion and style, this is one of the fashion capitals of the world, and I love how freely people express themselves here. I always find so much style inspiration just walking down the street or going for dinner somewhere.

En route to London from Paris, the head of the company Jean-Louis Dumas was serendipitously seated next to the radiant actress Jane Birkin and her daughter Lou. They talked for a while and Jane began to lament that she could not find a handbag that would be able to securely carry all of her personal items and Lou’s bottles. Thinking quickly, Jean-Louis Dumas sketched on the back of a sickbag the first design for a bag that featured a spacious interior, two rolled handles for firm holding, a flap top for protecting contents, and a turn-lock closure for securely locking away possessions. In 1984, the Birkin bag was put into production, using the actress’s name who inspired the design.

What is your absolute dream bag?

Black Hermès Kelly. All my friends know that & I’ve been looking for the right one online, comparing prices and looking at options. It’s the ultimate investment bag.

 

What designer brands inspire you most?

There are so many, but off the top of my head, it would probably be Burberry, The Row, Bottega Veneta, and Chanel. I also love Theory, Khaite, Nanushka, and Bevza, a Ukrainian fashion brand, whose show I attended this past NYFW. I really love elegant simplicity in designs and timeless pieces that can be worn throughout the years and passed onto future generations if they last that long. Over time, I learned not to care too much about trends. For that same reason, I am drawn to neutral and minimalistic colors that can be mixed-and-matched and garments that can easily transition from day-to-night.

 

What’s one (or some) of your best personal investment pieces in terms of handbags?

I think it’s actually the Chanel Flap bag I got from Rebag. I loaned it for a shoot and kept on looking at the amazing condition it was in. I was so in love with it by the end of the loan period and the price was so good that, even though I wasn’t putting money away for a new purchase and wasn’t really planning on investing in a bag, I decided to buy it and I haven’t regretted it at all.

 

What is your ideal NYC day post-quarantine? What would you wear?

I feel like it’s been so long that I am almost forgetting what I normally like to do in NYC, which is sad because NYC is normally such a bustling city that has so much to offer. I would probably go to my favorite bookstore — McNally Jackson in Seaport — to browse for a new read, then either get coffee at La Mercerie in Soho or hot chocolate at Ladurée and sit outside on their patio with a friend. Then walk around Soho and eat pasta outside of Sant Ambroeus and people watch and talk to my friend about everything. I would love to go to the Guggenheim and then maybe have a few friends over on my roof for a glass of wine.

I think I’d wear my backless white Are You Am I top, a pair of blue vintage Levi’s, a black Chanel bag, and either white strappy sandals or chunky dad sneakers. And sunglasses!

I’ve been eyeing the Bottega Veneta BV Jodie Mini for a while now (specifically in this beautiful color called Fondente)

Which bag would you invest in this season?

I’ve been eyeing the Bottega Veneta BV Jodie Mini for a while now (specifically in this beautiful color called Fondente). Bottega was definitely THE brand of 2019, taking over the fashion industry and social media, thanks to Daniel Lee. I like that the Jodie Mini still has the signature intrecciato weave but it has been more lowkey and under the radar than BV pouches, for example.

 

Any tips on affording luxury items when you are young?

I think the key is turning to consignment, vintage stores and online boutiques and being smart about it. It’s definitely worth your time to try and refine your style before you start investing and make a list of the items that you really want that are not just trends. I made a list some time in my mid-teens of various luxury items that I wanted that would potentially last me a lifetime, such as a Burberry trench, a Chanel bag, a pair of Jimmy Choos, etc. I revise that list every couple of months and sometimes remove certain things because I realize they don’t fit into my ideal wardrobe anymore. And it’s important to not get distracted by trends and certain fads, which is easier to do when you have an exact list in your head and on paper. Also, overall controlling your shopping habits and not constantly spending on things that you might not wear next season can be helpful. For me, I’d rather invest in one luxury item that I will wear constantly and that will make me feel elegant and sophisticated than buy 5 things from a mass-market brand. So focus on one item that you really want and start setting money aside and don’t go into that part of your savings for anything else.

 

How do you choose the brands to work with?

I get quite a few paid and unpaid collaboration offers, and for me it all ties back to knowing myself, my style, and my audience. I am very selective when it comes to brands I work with because everything I do needs to be authentic. I need to either know about the brand I am working with before our partnership or really fall in love with the items/products after seeing them or trying them. I think it’s very easy to do when it’s unpaid, but with paid opportunities, that’s when your integrity truly comes in. I never want to promote or advertise something I feel iffy or unexcited about. I need to feel like the brand and I align, that it matches my aesthetic, that it’s something I would actually wear and use in my day-to-day, and that my audience would like to see that type of content and product recommendation from me.