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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Russian Fashion: RGataullina and Poustovit at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia A/W 2011

During my trip to Moscow we attended some catwalk shows for A/W 2011. Here are my thoughts on RGataullina and Ukrainian designer Poustovit. Plus, why were there so many children in the audience?

Written by Amelia Gregory

Matt-Thomas-Poustovit Russia
Poustovit by Matt Thomas.

Get this, web Moscow doesn’t just have one fashion week… no, side effects it has three, all competing for attention. But exactly who’s attention is anyone’s guess. You know how London Fashion Week is full of professionals? Well, journalists, the occasional buyer, lots of bloggers… but at least they are adults right? Well, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia (there is also a Volvo sponsored fashion week and one called Cycles and Seasons) was full of CHILDREN. I am not kidding you, I have never seen so many smooth plump young faces. Just check out my photos if you don’t believe me! I have no idea who they were, other than perhaps the offspring of many moneyed oligarchs, who despite their youth can easily afford to order their own expensive clothing.

Moscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia Photography by Amelia GregoryMoscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia Photography by Amelia GregoryMoscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia Photography by Amelia GregoryMoscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia Photography by Amelia GregoryMoscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia Photography by Amelia GregoryMoscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia Photography by Amelia GregoryMoscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia Photography by Amelia GregoryMercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

I attended two Russian fashion designer shows at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia. The first was RGataullina by Yana Gataullina, which started with two models, a direct interpretation of the image on the invites I had seen. They moved down the catwalk side by side in a stately fashion, wearing ridiculous fascinators and simple printed monochrome jersey dresses of the type you might buy in the middle aged section of a department store. The collection then set off on another tangent, with ruffled metallic floral creations chucked on top of stretch fabric dresses.

Moscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia RGataullina Photography by Amelia GregoryMoscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia RGataullina Photography by Amelia GregoryMoscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia RGataullina Photography by Amelia GregoryMoscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia RGataullina Photography by Amelia GregoryMoscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia RGataullina Photography by Amelia Gregory
RGataullina A/W 2011.

RGataullina by Sara Japanwalla
RGataullina by Sara Japanwalla
RGataullina by Sara Japanwalla.

The most interesting pieces appeared briefly, were barely developed as an idea, and then vanished: tulip shaped skirts with bodices in gunmetal grey, tufts of netting sprouting from zippered slits. But then for the denouement… the likes of which I have NEVER seen at a catwalk show. In fact I was so flabbergasted that I barely managed to take any photos. The music had been steadily increasing in tempo when the designer swept out to take her final bow through the parade of models. And as she did so the models collectively threw their hands in the air and started raving to a frantic blast of techno. It was utterly bizarre and out of context… who knows what must have been going through her mind.

Moscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia RGataullina Photography by Amelia Gregory
RGataullina by Sara Japanwalla
RGataullina by Sara Japanwalla.

The second show was more promising: Lilia Poustovit is a Ukrainian fashion designer who conceptualises romantic traditions. In essence this meant lots of sweeping fabric in electric blue, red, orange and green. I liked the abstract print design and I liked the round inlaid feature on the back on one shirt dress. But there really wasn’t that much going on to get excited about: it wasn’t fashion as we have come to know it, just nice wearable clothing of the kind any store might sell.

Poustovit by Matt Thomas
Poustovit by Matt Thomas.

Moscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia Poustovit  Photography by Amelia GregoryMoscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia Poustovit  Photography by Amelia GregoryMoscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia Poustovit  Photography by Amelia GregoryMoscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia Poustovit  Photography by Amelia Gregory

Russian Designer at Russian Fashion Week Poustovit by Sam Parr
Poustovit by Sam Parr.

Moscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia Poustovit  Photography by Amelia GregoryMoscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia Poustovit  Photography by Amelia GregoryMoscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia Poustovit  Photography by Amelia Gregory
Poustovit A/W 2011.

Poustovit by Evannave
Poustovit by Evannave.

Poustovit A/W 2011 by Amber Cassidy
Poustovit A/W 2011 by Amber Cassidy.

Considering how many great models come out of Russia it was something of a surprise that there were so few world class models present on the catwalk… or maybe not. There were six packed days of shows, so they cannot have been heavily edited for quality, which was reflected in the fact that they felt seriously under-attended by journalists and buyers, in fact the audience was really quite peculiar. It was almost as if each designer had used their mailing lists to invite faithful customers to what was essentially a private viewing to enable them to order their favourite pieces. Which brings me to my next point… much discussion was had over the state of Russian fashion during my time in Moscow with the British Council. It was generally felt that it is sadly under developed due to the shortage of good design schools combined with the dire state of home manufacturing. You just can’t get any decent production going on – fashion designer Clare Lopeman somewhat nuttily decided to start her own fashion label when she moved to Moscow to run the fashion design department at the British Higher School of Art and Design, and she has found it extremely tough going. It seems you just can’t make the clothes that you dream of in Russia. Not without an almighty struggle.

Moscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia Photography by Amelia GregoryMoscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia Photography by Amelia GregoryMoscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia Photography by Amelia GregoryMoscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia Photography by Amelia GregoryMoscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia Photography by Amelia GregoryMoscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia Photography by Amelia Gregory
Some of the hoopla that surrounded the shows.

Of course, there is extraordinary style to be found throughout Russian design history, and it will surely only be a matter of time before this is put to good use in fashion design. There are already moves to implement a better design discipline through initiatives such as Practicum: British Fashion and new schools such as the British Higher School of Art and Design. Once this discipline is in place the new generation of designers will hopefully be much better equipped to interpret their vast cultural legacy in a new, exciting and contemporary way. Let’s hope the new era ushers in a greater awareness of sustainability too. I can’t wait to see what happens!

Moscow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia Photography by Amelia Gregory

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  1. [...] is the original post: Amelia's Magazine | Russian Fashion: RGataullina and Poustovit at … Tags: all-competing, moscow, one-fashion Tags: all-competing, moscow, [...]

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