The grand gates of Moscow’s Manezh show building finally swung open to let in the crowds of fashion lovers wanting to see the opening day of the first Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia in 2019.
For the grand opening of the week, the organizers – Artefaсt Agency – have completely refurbished the enormous space of the Manezh halls, leaving more space for the visitors, yet ergonomically allowing for more features – such as a food truck, a bar, a grand music stage and an all-important visitor stands (complete with comfy cushioned seating), which allowed visitors to enjoy all the action straight from the runway on the gigantic screen, just like in a movie theater.
GLOBAL TALENTS: HARRIET ECCLESTON
One of the nine designers chosen as part of the Russian Fashion Council Global Talent Initiative supported by glo, Harriet is a graduate of Northumbria University, having worked with All Saints, Paul Smith and Palmer/Harding in the past. Today she showcased an irrepressibly stylish and chic collection, that also remained traditional and practical.
A collection meant to show how easily men’s fashion can transform into womenswear – when you know how to apply it – her new A/W19 offering was cozy, yet chic, revolutionary, yet nostalgic. Mesh fabrics on jumpers and jackets were reminiscent of fabrics used in ghillie suits, while oversized men’s shirts served as jackets and oversized men’s trousers turned into beautiful palazzo pants, with a Chinese flair in their bright designs. Huge velvet coats, classic shirts and tidy grey vests were combined with playful elements, such as splashes of vivid orange on the kerchiefs or the lining, and some see-through mesh fabric insets in many of the designs.
A classic, but novel and refined look back at the last century of British fashion.
KSENIASERAYA x MAD DAISY MOSCOW
The new Autumn/Winter 2019 collection by Seraya is a beautiful demiseason woolen fantasy, inspired by the Russian countryside life and the dacha – a countryside house that most Russians associate with their childhood. Indeed some of the fabrics were recycled from old Soviet sweaters from the 1980’s, complete with prints by Roman Manikhin.
Fabulous blues, teals and greys of the deepest, most succulent hues, bold use of mesh and jacquard fabrics, intricate detailing on the graphic knitting, coupled with some extremely creative silhouetting (wide shoulders, slim hips) made this a collection that at the same time, looks both to the future and the past. Retro prints on the knitted designs by MAD DAISY (inspired by the works of Jean-Michel Basquiat) made this collection a real feast for the eyes, charming and European and at once, warm and Soviet.
Ksenia Gerts is known in the Russian fashion community for taking her designs one step further – her minimalism and perfect geometry conceal a forward-thinking approach that is out of this world. This new offering is no exception – the garments conceal Verisium microchips – an entirely new technology, that helps identify and preserve information about every individual piece of clothing. With brand like Louis Vuitton now relying on blockchain to keep their unique identity safe, Gerts is right on the forefront of where technology in fashion is going. This tech also helps save the environment, by getting rid of the paper labels and other plastic parts of garments that make the fashion industry harmful to the environment.
Besides the Verisium chips, footwear from the revolutionary Pinatex material (created from recycled pineapples) were used in the collection in collaboration with the Unichel company, and downstairs, in the special Ksenia Gerts corner in the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia Pop-Up Shop, guests were able to partake in an augmented reality experiments with the garments from the new collection, with the help of devices provided by The 3D Cap Company.
On the runway itself, we saw a futuristic and minimalist collection of coats and capes in a stylish monochrome, jumpsuits and trenches in a sandy grey.
Constructivist and modern, these looks of cotton and wool were completely waterproof – all thanks to another useful tech – Hydrop, a fully environmentally-friendly fluid covering for your clothes and footwear, consisting of 93% water.
emergency res color pn vests and jumpsuits
Techwear elements were also present in this new collection, with zips and straps hanging from the back of the coats or the sleeves of the jackets, some of which sported a bright emergency-yellow color palette.
This interactive, multi-dimensional approach to sustainable fashion turned more than a few heads, and the Ksenia Gerts booth on the lower floor of the Manezh will continue to educate and amaze visitors throughout this season’s fashion week.
Polimoda graduate Olga Vasyukova brought us a fresh collection inspired by architectural design. Using leather, denim, nylon, cotton, and their various combinations, the designer boldly employs somewhat unconventional techniques – painting, burning, and burying textiles in the ground.
This time, we saw a varied streetwear collection, starting off with red and black tartan fabrics on jackets, coats and jumpsuits, using bold silhouettes and wide shoulder angles.
Continuing the rock-n-roll in Paris feel with leather trousers and egg-yolk yellow vests and sweaters, Vasyukova brought an edgy and punky feel to her garments.
Denim suits and wild, structured coats and trenches of veridian, amber, crimson, black and white, all accessorized with RED SEPTEMBER’s trademark leather teddy bears, spiked and studded. Model Sasha Panika walked out in a tartan coat with playful clear PVC inserts, while other models swaggered in skirts of teal leather. The brand’s motifs – a raging bear face gnawing on a vodka bottle and jackets resembling milk cartons – were a common sight on the runway through this show.
As playful as it was aggressive and brave, Vasyukova’s newest works will definitely suit those wild-at-heart fashionstas who are looking to spice things up this Spring or Autumn.
«Quelle beauté!» is the name of this new collection by famed fashion designer, historian and collector Elena Souproun. She herself quotes the 1950’s as the main inspiration behind its creation, with Dior, Cardin and Jacques Fath ruling the minds and hearts of fashion lovers across Europe.
Hepburn and Bardot’s use of these designers talents went right into the DNA of this collection, with immensely glamorous ladies strutting out on the runway in finely-tailored black and yellow dresses, most with open shoulders, decolletage or a bold open leg.
Sexy and exquisitely crafted, with tiny waists, or constructed in a complicated manner with spiked statement shoulders of velvet, it’s as if these looks came right out of a film noir masterpiece.
Expensive fabrics – brocade, silky velvet, taffeta – were used extensively, with some Victorian influences visible in the use of high collars.
The asymmetrical cotton skirts looked ephemeral, wispy and beautiful, here and there – tender pink and bright yellow accents flashed from underneath the luxurious black velvet.
Sequins and black and white dresses with flower applique and decorative sewing and patterns were used in the later part of the show, accentuated with jewelry by designer Katya Fillipova.
«Quelle beauté!» indeed, and Audrey herself, it seems, would be proud to own any piece from this fabulous and chic collection.
The Moscow Art Industrial Institute (MHPI) — a leading design institute and college, presented a fantastical show – essentially 4 fashion shows in one – to commemorate its 20-year anniversary.
Four thematic clusters were presented by more than 30 designers of MHPI, all wrapped into a coherent and engaging narrative, accompanied by a special collaboration with Russian rock goddess LINDA, who’s famous not only for her unorthodox approach to music, but also for her extraordinary looks.
Four armies – four essences of being and four humors – clashed on the runway, starting out with a fiery presentation of red pleather coats with not much underneath.
A cyberpunk view of the future, models strutted out wearing fetishy spiked helms or tiny black straps to cover their chest. This dominatrix-inspired quarter of the show featured latex harnesses and straps, bright-red lips and black, Madonna-inspired corsets and boob tubes.
The second faction featured clean and bright puffer jackets, silvery garments, seapunk dresses and cerulean jackets and coats. Originating from a love of the oceans and accessorizing with eyepatches and exotic masks, this army felt as if the spirits of the sea were rising up to do battle with the dominatrixes of the future, especially when these Atlanteans showed up wearing geometric, accentuated armor.
The “Animalia” faction of the four-part collection showed us zebra prints, asymmetric tribal garb (all geared for battle) and lion manes, while the final “Arma” squad were all about military style – little black dresses shaped in a unique way to resemble hand grenades, and bullets as accessories, jet fighter helmets and cartridge earrings, all accompanied by drab army-green parachute dresses and jackets.
To finish off this bloody confrontation, LINDA herself sashayed onto the runway in a trademark avant-garde dress, to perform her all-new hit single «Put me close», accompanied by two dancers.
This incredible battle was finally brought to a close – thankfully, bloodlessly, leaving the audience astonished at the variety and the amount of young talent coming up soon from the Moscow Art Industrial Institute.
A special invitation-only show by the designer Nikolay Prokofiev rounded up today’s proceedings, showing off its famed formalwear for men and women alike.
Grey business suits were shown, at first innocuous and classic. Yet this simplicity covered up a deep infatuation and understanding of powerful Slavonic and Pre-Revolutionary Russia elements. The traditional embroidered shirt – the vyshivanka – was present in the lace epaulettes that swayed from the finely-tailored suits with each step.
The shirt collars were created as a tribute to kosovorotkas – literally the “skewed collar shirt” and were specifically left buttonless. The subtle yet deep Slavonic symbolism continued in the accessories – golden medallions with ancient sun symbols hung from every models neck, and silver needles (a traditional element in folk magic) features as elements on many of the suits and jackets.
Tan coats and ash-grey genderless suits were the basis upon this collection rested, where traditionalism met formalwear.
This restrained but deceptively simple and culturally significant collection with impeccable tailoring was the perfect finale for a varied and spectacular first day at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia.
MUSIC SET: CREAM SODA
Hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube – the rise of the Moscow electronic music trio Cream Soda has truly been rapid. Starting from 2012, their ethno-house music has garnered a legion of fans in Russia and abroad.
Their set today was for them – several tracks from their latest albums. The band – Anna, Dima and Ilya – are cornerstones of Russian festival and club scene, and today their experience really showed – the crowd immediately gathered at the main stage in Moscow’s Manezh to listen to their smooth beats and Anna’s angelic voice.
The trio are currently working on an all-new album, set to release this Spring – so keep an eye out!
MUSIC SET: LINDA
Linda is a legend amongst Russian singers – with over 3 million albums sold just in the country throughout her storied career. She famously, and, perhaps, uniquely in Russian rock music – kept the top spot in Billboards top-100 list for a record 12 weeks with her initial hit single “Vorona”.
Today’s special set was coordinated with a new show by The Moscow Art Industrial Institute (MHPI), in which Linda took an active role on the runway, and premiered her latest single and music video «Put me close», which she performed once more for the adoring crowds at MBFW’s grand stage, alongside such hit singles from her past as “Too Little Fire” (Malo Ognya) and “Psychoes” (Psikhi).
The performance, although short but sweet, was met with a standing ovation from her loving fans stageside, neatly tying off this grand opening of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia 2019.