Russia gets the Trend! A review of the 30th Anniversary Season of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia. Want to celebrate? Let’s figure out first if there is anything to be happy for. Fair to mention, Russia is all around the covers of magazines around the world. Unfortunately the reason is still not fashion, but I bet that makes you even more interested in what is going on in that mysterious and hardly comprehensible country.
Luckily there are some universal tools to talk to the world. Like art, music and fashion. Well, if Mercedes Benz builds a catwalk in the center of Moscow, I definitely can’t miss the event. This time I met my favorite Russian designers and asked them the most uncomfortable questions. Let’s review their amazing (and not really) shows together and find out if this Fashion Anniversary worth a celebration.
Upscale hype from London, inspired by Russian urban culture. Doesn’t that sound fishily? Guys from the brand should definitely have Russian origins, so I met them at their presentation and tried to find answers on why they prefer London in their name and do they have to visit Russia to get inspiration.
Behind the brand there’s sophisticated Dasha Selyanova, who by the way finished #mosttalkedabout St. Martins and launched her ZDDZ in 2011. By now the brand is hardly recognizable in Russia (seems like 10 of my dope Facebook friends are subscribed to their official page) but definitely succeed in the world. Honestly, by that Fashion Week I’ve never heard of ZDDZ… My bad… But neither I ever regret of meeting Dasha and her latest collection. Without fear or favor ZDDZ is now on top of youth fashion trends. Kind of underground hype inspired by early 00’s Russia. Dasha tried to avoid clichés like runways and made a presentation in the loft at a fashionable Moscow district, doing her best to recreate the atmosphere of a true Russian flat. Of course, living in London left an imprint on Dasha’s vision, so I was a bit dazed and confused walking in. But all in all, the event was a success and I should say this was without cuts my favorite collection of the entire Fashion Week.
Her clothing, as an attitude in general, doesn’t pretend to be called “fashion” as we got used to think of it. Brutal loose cuts of jackets and pants as well as turtlenecks on skinny boys reminded me of my teens, when I used to hang around at abandoned military units and plants. When my soul was rough and hands were calloused. ZDDZ is not about showing off. It is all about hard work, power and severity. Whenever you tired of glamorous glamor, ZDDZ London is your salvation.
This Georgian hottie made a buzz last year. BEssARION announced his quit from the World of Fashion but was absent no longer than one season. He appears on the schedule with F/W 15-16 collection and we all are more than happy to welcome him back again.
BEssARION show took place first at MBFW Russia’s traditional space – Moscow Manege. Unfortunately not just this was traditional. When you are absent for a season everybody gets expectations. Remember famous commercial, which says, “Turn an exit into an entrance”? Well, when a model exits the backstage, we definitely don’t expect to see shoes from previous collection on her. So in case of BEssARION the exit was still the exit. A good thing is he remains one of the best Russian designers and his traditional cuts look advantageous compared to what most of others try to do, but fairly speaking that all starts to look boring and old. Even the flip-flops trimmed with faux fur can’t revive this fall/winter collection. Did I just say flip-flops in winter? Yeah, guess only Prada could afford this.
Despite Sir Bessarion didn’t impress us by his creations, let’s focus on the shoes made for his latest collection. VOID Shoes is a brand for conceptual footwear, founded in 2012 by Egor Nudgin. Brand works extensively with PIROSMANI (a St. Petersburg based fashion house) and sometimes makes collaborations with other Russian designers. For BEssARION F/W 15-16 guys have made a perfect shoe. We all got used to see VOID with kind of Goth and dark tunes in their collections, but this time the brand made a twist and showed classic duo-colored loafers to the world. Elegance and simplicity are so unexpected from VOID. Well, if theirs is anything “traditional” for the brand, this time they managed to void being trivial and pleasantly surprised us with that.
One of the most recognized ambassadors of Russian fashion, Alena held her show at discreet primetime (meaning – 8 p.m.) on Friday 27th.
Miss A. always was hardly accessible for common press and other non-celestials, but honesty, this doesn’t make her collections less perfect. For those who not really into her creativity I got a small feedback for you. Alena Akhmadullina became a brand in 2001 and for more than 10 years she has become truly unique phenomenon in Russian fashion and made a small revolution in perception of country’s culture.
Her distinctive feature is Old Russian fairy tales transformed into designs. Despite it seems she gains her inspiration from one and the same thing, it always is advantageous for the brand. No matter what is the reason for that but starting 2005 Alena Akhmadullina is constantly on the schedule of Paris Fashion Week and this time Miss A. pleased Moscow with her F/W 15-16 collection.
A forest, a fairy tale. What else is new? The deal is, Alena makes clothin for a Woman, and in her case, and she just doesn’t have to be new. She once has chosen femininity and tenderness as a leitmotif for her designs. Well, good for her. This is what constantly works for women’s clothing, like elegance in Chanel. All in all the show as well as casting were perfectly directed. Models were flawless, dresses were colorful and Alena was shining, decently appearing for a second at the end.
Tigran Avetisyan X KM20
You are probably not sure, but seems like you’ve heard that name before. Right, Tigran Avetisyan is a celebrity in underground fashion. His Graduation Collection (after finishing Central St. Martins) got great reviews by Vogue, Style.com and of course a bunch of Russian medias.
Why such success? Sounds pathetic, but everything genius is simple – Tigran is on of those rebellions, who doesn’t afraid to speak on ordinary. Meaning – he doesn’t shun real life, revealing problems of youth, making simple loose cut clothing that takes a stand. This way his brand is often goes side by side with ZDDZ London. Both are originally Russian, moved to London. Both are inspired by Russian underground.
This season, Tigran surprisingly decided to be on MBFWR schedule, but like ZDDZ he didn’t set up a show, but made a small presentation at fashionable KM20 Concept Store. The clou was his new fragrance called “Duty Free” and its huge mock up was installed at the heart of the store.
The party attended Adam Katz Sinding, Diego Zucchini, Ed Kavishe and young Russian bohemians. Generally, the party was as any other event like this. Prosecco was over in an hour, so everybody was gentle and happy – the key for success.
Pirosmani by Jenya Malygina
We all remember PIROSMANI from my last review of Russian Fashion Week. This time Jenya Malygina didn’t change her attitude. Oversized jackets, torn dresses and famous models – all set for PIROSMANI. Interesting detail is that for every collection Jenya chooses an emphasizing color. Last time it was burgundy, this time yellow. Definitely Jenya knows her market, so she always sticks to her signature style, where a bright color is a nice compliment to her melancholic designs.
Speaking of Russian Fashion Weeks I always can’t avoid controversy. Reading praising reviews in local media I always remember words by representatives of foreign press said to me privately. Of course everything is way far from perfect, but there is a thing I noticed this season – we apparently start to take our own place on the international scene. Old school goes to the background, but the good news is we get really promising names like Dasha Selyanova and Tigran Avetisyan.
Until this happens, Russia gets the trend.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia