Monday, July 2, 2012

RUSSIAN FASHION and INTELLECTUAL CURIOSITY

Valentino Couture Fall 2011. Photo credit: Vogue.com
Eric Wilson has written an excellent piece for the New York Times about certain young Russian women's burst onto the world fashion scene. He references Ulyana Sergeenko, who you know I love, but also Miroslava Duma, Anya Ziourova and Elena Perminova (Alexander Lebedev's girlfriend!!!). I am particularly interested in the discussion of how Russian fashion and taste have changed over the last 20 years. Here's Anya Ziourova, the fashion director of Tatler Russia:
We were a closed country for a long time, so for a while, it was like a kid going into a candy shop [...  We wanted all of it at once. It is only now, in the last five years, that taste has been evolving into something more sophisticated, something that might attract people beyond Russia.
Wilson reports on some very interesting business decisions by fashion designers trying to cater to an increasingly wealthy Russian clientele. Karl Lagerfeld is quoted sharing that, "in a given season, some Russian clients have bought as many as 35 Chanel couture outfits". Jean Paul Gaultier took his entire couture show to Moscow instead of showing his collection in Paris as customary. Also, apparently, Domenic Dolce and Stefano Gabbana asked Tatler for recommendations of potential Russian clients to invite to their upcoming show in Sicily.

Valentino designers, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, showed an entire couture collection that was inspired by Russia. Here's from Sarah Mower's review of the collection for Vogue:
This season, inspiration came from the aristocratic Russian refugees who fled to Paris after the Revolution, a starting point for the filigree-fine gilded lace and beading, the rich, silk velvet worked into serenely proportioned, long-sleeved gowns, and the tiny jewelled tiaras wound into wispy buns.
When Wilson contacted the designers for a comment, they said that "the collection was exclusively linked to our intellectual curiosity."

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