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Focus On: Russia



Russian Trends


Designers it seems are heading East for inspiration, there’s plenty of buzz about China right now but it’s the stop-over in Russia along the way that’s becoming evident.


At the Men’s designer shows this season the 70s primo ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev proved to be a huge influence. Nureyev signatures such as – tight trousers tucked into knee-high boots, fitted polo-neck sweaters, Beatle caps, military coats and scarves tied around the waist – all in dark moody shades could be spotted at the likes of – Costume National, Louis Vuitton and Harmon Menswear.


Costume National designer Ennio Capasa recently visited an exhibition of photographs featuring Nureyev. Inspired he injected some of that 70s male glamour into his latest autumn/winter 2005/06 collection. Meanwhile, Marc Jacobs’ at Louis Vuitton luxed-up those Nureyev classics from astrakhan coats to velvet jeans to cashmere jackets. While Andrew Harmon included some dungarees, Cossack shirts and bomber jackets that echoed Nureyev’s downtime style.



The Russian mood has been appearing in some of the women’s collections too. At the Paris couture shows Valentino threw Russian style hats and thick fur-trimmed pieces into the cultural mix. While over at the women’s ready-to-wear presentations, currently underway in New York, the likes of Diane Von Furstenberg and Jill Stuart also hit on the trend. Decorative brocade borders, Cossack tapestries, jacquard prints and opulent velvets all pointed towards the direction of Russia.



Russian Designers


Along with Russian style Russian designers are also making their mark on the capital. New to the London Fashion Week show schedule is design duo Nina Donis. Already a huge hit over in their native Moscow – Nina Donis (aka Nina Neretina and Donis Pouppis) have been invited to show in London by the British Fashion Council’s scout initiative. The creative pair have been working together for the last twelve years and describe their designs as a personal reworking of twentieth century fashion classics. Nina Donis is set to close London Fashion Week on Thursday 17th February. What can we expect? “It’s a lot to do with comfort, volume and layering – the way that when you put on a combination of garments it can make something entirely new,” says Nina. The finale show will be held at the BFC main tent in Battersea at 3pm.


Russian Fashion Week


Russian Fashion Week now acts as a global stepping-stone for young talented designers. Along with Nina Donis other success stories include – Vassa Trend New York, Darya Razumikhina and Katya Leonovich. Russian designers are now being stocked in boutiques all over the world creating a bit of a fashion buzz about the place. Donis commented: “First there was a wave of Japanese designers, then came the Belgians, now the fashion world is experiencing a minor crisis, everyone’s waiting to see who is next. For some reason, many people hope that the new wave will come from Russia.”


The founder of Russian Fashion Week, Alexander Shumsky couldn’t agree more: “Russian Fashion Week has more than doubled in the past two years. The Russian Fashion Market is in rapid development. In addition to the luxury brands, which have always been appreciated in Moscow, local designers and emerging designers from other countries are now in demand. This is an exciting time for us all. Finally, the fashion world understands that Russia is a luxury market. The economy is booming, the cities are growing, the people are opening up and this all translates into business for international brands.”  Talk about a Russian Revolution!




By JoJo Iles




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