Skip to main content
Monthly Archives

September 2021

R e p e a t N a m e: Future is already here to interact with you

By /ART/

From the opening. Sevcable Port, Saint Petersburg. September 26, 2021. Photo: Polina Nazarova

J u l i a  K r y s h e v i c h

‘R e p e a t N a m e’: Future is already here to interact with you

No patterns, no ethics, no personal background. It’s hard to imagine a human like that. But thanks to ‘Repeat Name’, now you can witness an interaction, which is NOT based on the life experience of its participants, at least, on the one part… A three-day rendezvous in a sterile, transparent room with a bunch of viewers gazing from behind the glass. Another ‘Artist is Present’? Well, it’s the robot who is present here, and it’s certainly about to stay in the near future. 

‘Repeat Name’ features two mirror installations located in two cities: for 72 hours the rooms will host a robot and a human who will interact continuously in front of the audience (whether spontaneously or algorithmically, amicably or indifferently, we may only guess). Illogical, counterintuitive, the performance might bring us to a better understanding of reality, according to the project team… Hence, Purplehaze reached out to three of the ‘Repeat Name’ originators, Anna Peplova, Natalia Fedorova, and Ilya Karpel, to briefly question them on the mind-blowing initiative. Enjoy it below.

Natalia Fedorova, curator of the St. Petersburg-based venue, artist, researcher, lecturer

Ilya Karpel — author of the project ‘Repeat Name’, artist; 

Anna Peplova — producer of the Moscow-based venue, co-curator and producer at Vzor Future Culture Lab, art manager, digital art producer (TECHNE Platform at NCCA, SIGNAL festival), performer, co-founder at LabirintLab; 

Natalia Fedorova — curator of the St. Petersburg-based venue, artist, researcher of history and philosophy of technology, curator at 101. Festival of Digital Art, lecturer at SPbU and ITMO (Art & Science Program). In her artistic practice, Natalia focuses on the intersection of natural languages and technical mediums;

Ilya Karpel, author of ‘Repeat Name’, artist. Photo: Daniil Primak

Anna Peplova, producer of the Moscow-based venue, digital art producer, performer. Photo: Daniil Primak

Authors of the ‘Repeat Name’ project: Ilya Karpel (below), Dmitry Masaidov (left), Maria Rozhkovskaya (overhead). Photo: Daniil Primak

PH: How did you come up with the idea for the project? 

Ilya Karpel: Do you mean how the ideas are usually born? Honestly, I have no answer to that question: sometimes you just come up with an idea, that’s it. However, it’s not the desire to create something, but the determination to carry it through that requires will and efforts. 

PH: Can you compare ‚Repeat Name‘ with any other existing art project, either in Russia or abroad? 

Ilya Karpel: A lot of things happened before us, and some more will take place in the field of contemporary arts; we’re just mediators between the past and the future. So keep on moving forward.

From the opening. Flacon Design Factory, Moscow. September 26, 2021. Photo: Dmitry Shelestov

Natalia Fedorova: As for me, ‘Repeat Name’ focuses on our future, i.e. living with robots. In the installation, the future is being sought after through the artificially prolonged communication between a human and a machine. For test purposes, a human participant of the project needs to be isolated from other humans. 

Such practices of isolation have a long history: here I should refer to hermitry and, indeed, art of stamina. The most obvious example might be a three-day performance ‘I Like America and America Likes Me’ by Joseph Beuys, in which he locked himself in with a wild coyote in the room.

Besides, there are quite a few works aimed at creating interfaces for interspecies communication. Take for instance, ‘Myconnect’ by Saša Spačal: an installation suggests communicating through sound that one can hear not just with auracles, but also with knees and elbows. Some less obvious but still bright examples are those from art & science: e.g. the introduction of horse blood serum into the blood of artist Marion Laval-Jeantet.

From the opening. Flacon Design Factory, Moscow. September 26, 2021. Photo: Dmitry Shelestov

A more robotic and far more communicative example is SEER (the Simulative Emotional Expression Robot) by Takayuki Todo: a robot that mimics the facial expression of the viewers and, thus, recognizes their emotions.

Anna Peplova: I always find it difficult to compare. You know, there are some artists today who take the robotic mediums to explore the forms and means of communicating, whereas the bioart-oriented projects reflect upon the interaction of bacteria and plants and animals. 

Speaking about the communication of a human and a machine, we might refer here to the sophisticated dance by Huang Yi and KUKA, (Editor’s note: a robot conceptualized and programmed by the artist). It’s also worth mentioning the attempts of finding the common language within the Co(AI)xistence project by visual artist Justine Emard. 

From the opening. Flacon Design Factory, Moscow. September 26, 2021. Photo: Milana Tokaeva

From the opening. Flacon Design Factory, Moscow. September 26, 2021. Photo: Milana Tokaeva

From the opening. Flacon Design Factory, Moscow. September 26, 2021. Photo: Milana Tokaeva

In that sense, the project ‘Repeat Name’ keeps on immersing us into the topic, yet from a different angle. While exhibiting various agents of communication in one space and locking up that lively process behind the glass panel, the authors leave them alone to co-exist, making the entire procedure visible for the external viewer. That’s certainly a physical and emotional challenge, both for the participant and the audience. We’ve just started, so we all wonder how it plays out. 

PH: Which audience do you primarily focus on? What kind of person, from your point of view, might be very interested/completely uninterested in the project?  

Ilya Karpel: I guess people engaged in academic arts, if I may say so, will enjoy ‘Repeat Name’ the most. That doesn’t mean, however, that contemporary art fans may find the project boring: they will definitely savor the beauty of the process, whereas the classics lovers might also benefit from discovering something new. All those who see the installation will probably appreciate it, except for the Russian Ministry of Culture (I’m kidding). 

From the opening. Flacon Design Factory, Moscow. September 26, 2021. Photo: Milana Tokaeva

Anna Peplova: If you more or less consider the global future of humankind, the way people change when technologies are interwoven into their lives, then you might get interested in the project. Also those involved with theatre and performance might be impressed by ‘Repeat Name’, precisely because it’s a different performative form, an attempt to exist intuitively in front of the viewer watching. 

Natalia Fedorova: I would say the installation might appeal to those used to seeing media art on the screen, which operates data and delivers abstract visualizations and sonifications. The currently bored regulars from international art biennials might also like ‚Repeat Name‘: the former usually represents video pieces as a narrative, while the latter doesn’t have it at all, just a pace and a deep breath. 

PH: Anna and Natalia, what do you find special about running ‚Repeat Name‘ at each of your venues? How may (choose the option: Sevcable Port/Flacon Design Factory) affect the way the audience perceives the installation? 

From the opening. Sevcable Port, Saint Petersburg. September 26, 2021. Photo: Polina Nazarova

Anna Peplova: I would rather talk about the Moscow-based part of the project. ‘Robohall’ at Flacon Design Factory is a kind of home to one of its machine residents, which used to stay in this place for some time already. Bright and clean, that space is tailor-made for experiments, like making a fine drawing. In both cities, we locate the installation in lofts, i.e. originally industrial areas that at some point became cultural platforms. We furnish the installation rooms with AliExpress goods, introducing some usual, household things into an art space.

Natalia Fedorova: For Sevcable Port (Editor’s note: St. Petersburg’s venue) both robots are aliens that, however, are far from being from another planet. As you may know, Sevcable Port is a space that used to belong to the first Russian cable factory. It’s no secret that a cable as a structure of electronic communication is equally important both for electric machines and a human, who depends upon the Internet and electricity a lot. Today Sevcable Port is a point where the city meets water. Water had long jeopardized the existence of Saint Petersburg and for that reason, Obvodny a.k.a. Bypass and Griboedov Channels were dug, while the embankments were faced with granite. A rendezvous with water can be compared to that with a robot: it’s enthralling, dangerous, and almost inevitable. 

From the opening. Sevcable Port, Saint Petersburg. September 26, 2021. Photo: Polina Nazarova

From the opening. Sevcable Port, Saint Petersburg. September 26, 2021. Photo: Polina Nazarova

From the opening. Sevcable Port, Saint Petersburg. September 26, 2021. Photo: Polina Nazarova

PH: Ilya, what kind of decision was that to demonstrate ‚Repeat Name‘ at two venues in different cities, an organizational or conceptual one?

Ilya Karpel: Indeed, the decision was a part of the concept. Lots of people from the project team were involved in the process, big thanks to them! 

PH: Please continue with the rest of the sentence: ‚Robots and humans are…‘ 

Ilya Karpel: Robo-humans, whatever you call them. 

Anna Peplova: A part of the future, an immense and shockingly beautiful one. 

Natalia Fedorova: Partners, who, however, neither know, nor can understand each other well. Yet it’s already clear that machines are coming, thus, the ability to communicate with them will soon become a key human competence.  

From the opening. Sevcable Port, Saint Petersburg. September 26, 2021. Photo: Polina Nazarova

PH: What should the viewer know before going to see the transparent room? 

Ilya Karpel: One shouldn’t enter it, actually… 

Anna Peplova: The viewers aren’t allowed in the room. It’s a different world out there, to say the least. Still the audience can watch the process from the outside, through the glass panel. I would recommend the viewer not to think too much about the things (s)he sees, but, instead, to reflect upon the possible future scenarios. What’s a machine to you? Who is a human? What do you feel while watching the installation? 

Natalia Fedorova: Well, we invite the audience to watch the transparent room, yet, as with a mirror or a glass ball, one can’t enter it. Therefore, an unusual but very important and precise view of reality is provided to the viewers. 

From the opening. Sevcable Port, Saint Petersburg. September 26, 2021. Photo: Polina Nazarova

‘Repeat Name’ runs parallely on two venues, Flacon Design Factory, (Moscow, Russia) and Sevcable Port (St. Petersburg, Russia) on September 27-29. 

Authors of the project: Dmitry Masaidov, Ilya Karpel, and Maria Rozhkovskaya. 
Curators of the Moscow-based venue: Anna Peplova, Olga Remneva.
Curators of the St. Petersburg-based venue: Natalia Fedorova, Anastasia Blur. 

Learn more about ‘Repeat Name’ here:
And don’t miss a chance to see it first-hand.

13th edition FASHIONCLASH Festival, 26 – 28 November

13th edition FASHIONCLASH Festival, 26 - 28 November

13th edition of the international and interdisciplinary FASHIONCLASH Festival in Maastricht will take place from 26 – 28 November 2021 in Maastricht.

During this three-day hybrid (on- & offline program) festival, a new generation of designers and performing artists from all over the world are given the opportunity to show their work to a broad (inter)national audience. The program with exhibitions, fashion and theatre performances, talks, workshops and film screenings, showcases projects that explore, contextualize and celebrate contemporary fashion culture.

FASHIONCLASH Festival is all about discovering, stimulating and co-shaping current developments in fashion and opening up these developments to a wide audience. The festival program focuses on developing and presenting performative experiences in which designers are challenged to actively experiment with presentation forms and inclusive audience participation. Participants of the festival belong to a generation of designers and artists who explore and question the boundaries of their discipline. With their works they move between the transdisciplinary domains of fashion, social design and visual arts.

The program consists of a selection from the submitted proposals and from the projects initiated by FASHIONCLASH itself that are being developed in co-production with other organizations.

FASHIONCLASH Festival consists of a number of on- and offline program components:
– The Clash House: talent development trajectory and presentations from five designers
– New Fashion Narratives: a virtual showcase with performances and installations
– Fashion Film & Video: a program with fashion films, videos and digital fashion
– Open Mic Night: a theatrical evening program with performances and shows
– Talks: moderated conversations with various speakers and festival participants
– Fashion Makes Sense: participation projects ‚Stand-In‘ and ‚Off the top of my head‘.
– Individual Events: various own initiatives and activities to be seen at physical locations in Maastricht, Aachen and The Hague.

FASHIONCLASH Festival is accessible to everyone through ticket sales and free activities. The program consists of online and offline presentations. Tickets go on sale at the beginning of November. More information about the program, participants and ticket sales will soon be available on:

Campaign image in collaboration with filmmaker Luca Tichelman

Each edition, FASHIONCLASH collaborates with a different designer on artist for the festival’s campaign. The campaign image for the 13th edition was developed in collaboration with filmmaker Luca Tichelman and was inspired by the hybrid festival program. It is a campaign that contains both static and moving images and uses mixed manual set and film techniques.
She worked together with Leo van den Boorn, costume designer and head of the Opera Zuid costume department.

FASHIONCLASH Festival is an initiative of the Maastricht (Netherlands) based FASHIONCLASH Foundation, an interdisciplinary showcase and development platform for fashion and fashion culture and a worldwide network of new generation fashion makers and (performing) artists. Since 2009, the FASHIONCLASH Foundation has realized more than 200 projects in the Netherlands and abroad, including China, Portugal, South Africa, Malta, Germany, Belgium, Poland, etc.

Photography & concept: Luca Tichelman
Gold outfit: Leo van den Boorn
Video campaign sound: Dikkie Baan

Cosmoscow 2021: Spectacular, Against All Odds

By /ART/

J u l i a  K r y s h e v i c h

Cosmoscow 2021: Spectacular, Against All Odds

Attending Cosmoscow this year (Sep. 18-20, Manege Central Exhibition Hall, Moscow) was certainly a special experience. Firstly, the art fair unfolded into a record-breaking, fully-fledged programme, despite all those unexpected changes that took place at short notice. Initially planned to run at Gostiny Dvor in the second week of September, the event doesn’t seem to have lost anything from being transferred in space and time. The current edition featured 82 galleries (a number never seen at Cosmoscow before), 16 of which enjoy international presence in countries like Austria, Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Georgia, Germany, Hong-Kong, Switzerland, the US, and Estonia. Some tech upgrades made the visit to the fair even comfier and more enjoyable, while the extensive framework of projects helped to channel the guests’ attention to the most noteworthy things.

In the middle_ ‘Soul piercing, Aura kissing, Mind blowing’. Neon installation by Genda Fluid (Antonine Baever), 2020

Where digital art meets NFTs

Along with the variety of galleries participating, Cosmoscow impressed its visitors with a range of special projects this time. An absolute novelty of the season was a section of NFT art hosted by the Moscow-based fair together with their colleagues from New York, CADAF Crypto and Digital Art Fair. Immersive videos to discover, displayed on flat screens, were presented by some young but already famous Russian artists, the award-winning millennials, such as Maria Agureeva (b. 1985), Ivan Plusch (b. 1981), and Dima Rebus (b. 1988).

From left to right_ NFT-installations by Ivan Plusch and Dima Rebus

Among those who came to stay it’s worth mentioning an Irish tech-savvy, contemporary photographer Kevin Abosch, who pioneered in being on the first-basis with AI and blockchain, and Anne Morgan Spalter, a US digital mixed-media artist with a great academic background. A certain trend of the year, a show of NFTs, has been promised by the Hermitage Museum’s director (St. Petersburg) Mikhail Piotrovsky, while Russian art fairs are gradually catching on to that kind of crypto fashion. The Cosmoscow NFT section was curated by Elena Zavelev of CADAF and Jess Conatser of Studio As We Are, just to note the names. 

NFT art section at Cosmoscow featuring works by Kevin Abosch, Maria Agureeva, Anna Taganzeva-Kobzeva and others

From Moscow with love 

Unless we’re talking about the fairs of young art, some large-scale art events rarely focus on its novice members: while the latter might be presented at the show, a greater emphasis is usually given to the acknowledged maitres. It’s the second time in 2021 that Cosmoscow sabotages the ingrained tradition, making way for the new. The section titled ‘Created in Moscow’ (curated by Alexey Maslyaev) aimed at highlighting works by some emerging Russian artists, who were, in turn, represented by the local city galleries. 

Created in Moscow_ section aims to highlight emerging talents. Curated by Alexey Maslyev

That is not to say, however, that all the gallerists who applied for the section were up-and-comers. Indeed, quite a few freshmen like a-s-t-r-a gallery (since 2018) and ARTZIP (since 2019) seized the opportunity, yet they shared the space together with the residents of some full-blooded art venues, take pop/off/art and JART Gallery, for instance, founded in far 2004 and 2008 respectively. So what’s so special about ‘Created in Moscow’? The thing is, each gallery admitted to the section could demonstrate a work by one of its artists for free. Impressive, isn’t it? Considering the very preliminary cost of Cosmoscow participation, that might amount to a few thousands dollars per booth in the main section.

P. S. Apparently, Cosmoscow adheres to a rather sensible pricing policy as compared with its international colleagues, yet there is no exact, publicly available information about the fees at the fair.

Booth C03, pop_off_art gallery, Moscow. Featuring Vladimir Potapov, _From Inside_ series, 2017

Booth D4, 11.12 Gallery, Moscow. Featuring Rinat Voligamsi, 2020


Since the time it was founded in 2017, Cosmoscow Foundation for Contemporary Art has delighted its audience with a great assortment of projects that primarily aim to support and encourage young artists and noncommercial art institutions by reinforcing their names in public view. That means not only financial support, but also a great help in promotion, including an opportunity to show one’s project at the fair and present oneself at Cosmoscow Talks. It was Irina Korina, Russian installation artist with a theatrical background, who received the main nomination for her tangled work ‘Razzle-Dazzle’ this time.

Installation ‘Razzle-Dazzle’ by Irina Korina, 2021. Courtesy of Cosmoscow_

Irina Korina was named the ‘Artist of the Year’ by Cosmoscow in 2021. Photo_ Sleek Magazine

Just like Korina became the ‘Artist of the Year’, the Vyksa Art Residence (Nizhny Novgorod Region) was named the ‘Institution of the Year’. The same age as Cosmoscow, Vyksa functions as a year-round research platform for culture professionals from the entire country, which has been a great matter of interest of late.

The Vyksa Steel Works, the major factory in the town of Nizhny Novgorod Region, painted by the Russian street artist Misha Most. Courtesy of the Vyksa Art Residence_

Neither did the organizers forget about the museums. It’s not by chance that the Multimedia Art Museum has been acknowledged in 2021: this year MAMM marks the 25th anniversary and does it with great pomp in the space of the fair! Some works by Russian conceptual artists including Sergei Shutov, Valery Chtak, and Andrey Kuzkin have been recently added to the museum’s collection and proudly shown at the display. At the same time Garage MCA, which was honoured as the ‘Museum of the Year’ at Cosmoscow in 2020, turned to their St. Petersburg-based archives, to highlight the practices of performance coming from the northern capital.

The Multimedia Art Museum has added some works by Valery Chtak to their collection for the anniversary

The contemporary art fair had also room for loving memory: specially created for the show at a Japanese university, the work ‘A Night at Shore’ by the late artist Nikita Alexeev, ex-member of the ‘Collective actions’ art-group, was exhibited in Russia for the first time. The no less exciting section ‘Collector Eye’ based on the gems of some private collections featured the artworks by some outstanding Russian non-conformists, including the recently deceased Oleg Tselkov and Oskar Rabin.

Ironic vS Serious_ the ‘Collector Eye’ section was organized thematically this time

Simply incredible 

Cosmoscow goes digital, fortunately, only in part. While we are still able to watch the best from the world of contemporary art live, loading ourselves up with some audio guides produced by the Russian Association of Galleries (often abbreviated as AGA; founded in 2020), the process of purchasing the artworks has been greatly transferred online. Launched by the Cosmoscow team in 2020, the digital TEO platform, which is by the way the biggest Russian marketplace now to sell contemporary art on the web, enables the audience to learn more about the liked work, discover the price, and, actually, purchase the piece. Just get your camera phone ready to scan the QR codes written on the label. In fact, the Cosmoscow online version runs until September 26, so we are still able to speak of it in the present tense and, if desired, support the vibrant Russian contemporary art market… 

Wait, QR codes as a work of art_ Recycle Group says yes

To be continued…

Interview with artist Polina Polikarpova

By /ART/

I r e n  R u s s o

Interview with artist Polina Polikarpova

How would you describe what you create?

I try to project the very special state of melancholy and nostalgia for times before the Internet era.


I was born and grew up in a creative family, my father is a commercial photographer and my mother is a seamstress, so I usually try to use my parent’s craft in my artistic practice. Also I’ve got my BA as an art historian in Kharkiv state academy of design arts. But academic education gave me much more networking skills among other students who became gallerists, artists, art managers, etc.

What kind of photographer did you set out to be?

Independent photographer-flâneur, who is always aestheticizating the local Ukrainian context for creating my own visual vocabulary of characters, landscapes, vernacular architecture. I always wanted to be a “pioneer-discoverer” in different aspects. For example, for creating portraits I am always much more interested in finding interesting, unknown people, without having a rich model experience and having nice Instagram. Or I enjoy finding new “wild” locations for shooting, then share it to other colleagues on Google maps, then to be calm and pleased that I was the first who has been there.

What are the fundamental messages you want to get across with your work?

I never have some strict messages, for me it is important to transfer the general state of nostalgia.

What is the concept behind your ongoing ‚Absentee — Attendee‘ series?

From the very beginning of my photographic journey, I have explored my habitats with a clear, defined goal — to find new, interesting locations that could become a worthy backdrop for a good portrait. But this time I changed my method and focus. For this, I turned to flanery as a kind of meditation, the desire to explore and contemplate the most unobvious places and views.

What’s the most important thing for you when shooting a series? How do you bring out the idea?

“Pretty Ghetto” and “Absentee’Attendee” series weren’t planned in advance, it’s result of my constant long-term explorings. In “Pretty Ghetto” the human was always the main hero, happening on some surrealistic but local background. In “Absentee” I’m changing my focus to native landscape as a main character and theme for observing. In other series, such as “38” I appeal to the theme of relationships between me and my best friend and model Yaroslava, because I always was obsessed by such themes as similarity in relationships between best friends, models and photographers, etc. In the near future I’ll present my new series called “Childhood Ballad” where I was looking for children like me in my early 2000’s childhood, and then photographing them in my old clothes with old toys from that time.

Which artists have inspired you?

There are my contemporaries: Michal Pudelka, Lukasz Wierzbowski, Nazar Furyk, and of course, Synchrodogs.

Which work are you most proud of?

I appreciate all of my work.

What is next for you?

First photo book 🙂

The Manege Fair is over, but Cosmoscow Online continues


I v a n  E r o f e e v

The Manege Fair is over, but Cosmoscow Online continues

Dear Friends,

The 9th edition of Cosmoscow International Contemporary Art Fair took place against all odds this year and was a huge success. Thank you for all your support!

There was a lot that was new at this year’s fair, and we are not just referring to the change in dates and venue. Cosmoscow 2021 played host to a record number of galleries, which came from the widest range of countries in the fair’s history. We introduced ‘The Inbetween: Digital Art as NFTs’, a new section of the fair that was developed in collaboration with CADAF (Contemporary and Digital Art Fair). It was also only the second time that we presented the collective booth Created in Moscow, together with Moscow’s Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development and the Agency for Creative Industries. This year, the booth was dedicated to sculpture.

As usual, the fair presented a number of projects in connection with programs run by the Cosmoscow Foundation for Contemporary Art. Visitors were greeted by Razzle-Dazzle, a new work by Irina Korina (our Artist of the Year), and Clot, an installation by Misha Bury (winner of the Ruinart Art Patronat competition) which was created specially for Cosmoscow Fair. Visitors also had the chance to see booths by Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow and Vyksa Art Residence, who featured as our Museum of the Year and Institution of the Year respectively. Finally, for our Collector’s Eye program, we displayed selected works from the collections of Alexey and Vera Priyma (Moscow) and Evgeny Khamin (Voronezh).

We are infinitely grateful to our partners who made it possible for the fair to take place: the official partner Ruinart, the automotive partner Audi, the innovative partner Samsung, the partner Hutton Development, the watch partner Breguet, the Cosmoscow Online partner Visa, the partner Otkritie Private Banking and the official hotel The St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya.

We also thank the partner for fundraising and special projects v confession agency, VOSS official water, the insurance partner „Alfastrakhovanie“, the logistics partner Fine Art Way, the partner for the design of Collector’s Lounge DesignAid, the partner for the design MPS Pooling Systems, the partner for transfers Ultima Yandex.Go, partner of VIP Preiview Zelinsky & Rosen.

Thank you for joining us at the Moscow Manezh. We were delighted that you were able to spend time with the art and enjoy our wider program of events, including performances and a series of discussions at our Mediaforum and Cosmoscow Talks.

The good news is that Cosmoscow Fair continues online! The online version of fair will be available until September 26 and can be found on the platform TEO. Whether you didn’t manage to attend the fair in person or just feel that you didn’t have long enough with the art, we encourage you to visit us at Cosmoscow Online.

Remember, online visitors can receive access to special rewards by making a purchase with any Visa card, including an invitation to an exclusive event by Cosmoscow Collectors Club. They can also enjoy free delivery on all purchases over 150,000 rubles within the Moscow region as part of a special offer by Otkritie Private Banking.

We’ll see you next year when Cosmoscow will be celebrating its 10th edition!

Aleksandra Gritsenko „kukla“

By /ART/


Fashion stylist: Yuliana Popova @yulianappv
Model: Arina Sanzhizhapova @ BST Models Agency @arinaa___s
Makeup Artist: Vasilisa Nikolaeva @nikol_vasillisa
Photographer: Aleksandra Gritsenko @ask_me_to_shoot

Bodysuit Cheremushno

Suit – Argan Project, Shoes – Dasha Uragan; Bodysuit Cheremushno

Shirt – Tex man, accessories stylist own;

Suit – Argan Project, Shoes – Dasha Uragan

Dress Argan Project, Shoes vintage

Kimono – Embra and more; Shoes – Dasha Uragan

„After Gucci’s heads in hands, nothing looks surprising.“ Interview with the designer of the brand N. Legenda.


Lyubov Melnickowa

"After Gucci’s heads in hands, nothing looks surprising." Interview with the designer of the brand N. Legenda.

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week will be held in Moscow from October 19-23. PURPLEHAZE magazine asked questions to the designer of the N. Legenda brand, who has been participating in MBFWRussia shows since autumn 2016. The main concept of the brand is a drama in the style of minimalism. Interested in psychology and anatomy, the designer of the N. LEGENDA brand creates a faceless cut for the personality, not being afraid to talk about gender.

Thank you for taking time for an interview with us! We are happy to welcome you to PURPLEHAZE magazine. Before asking questions about the brand, I would like to learn more about the designer and founder of the brand N. Legenda.
Tell me a little about yourself. How did your creative path begin and why did you decide to become a fashion designer?
I dreamed to be a fashion designer since was a child. I have graduated from the ST. Petersburg University of Technology and Design as an engineer-constructor of clothes in 2010. Then I did two years of Master’s degree studies and my Masters’s thesis was “An image as the synthesis of dress and body”. My education was not as artistic but more as technical. During studying, I was an assistant stylist and sewed single things for the photoshooting.
Then I worked in different fashion houses like a patternmaker (constructor of clothes) along with created own fashion brand on weekends and evenings, 24/7. It seems… that I had the first month holiday this July for all this time))) In 2013 I sent an application to Fashion Scout (the international platform of support young designers, based in London), taken a grand to participant and could debut at MERCEDES-BENZ KIEV FASHION DAYS with catwalk show. The next three years were continuously saturated with all kinds of competitions for designers in Russia.
In spring 2017 we presented a debut menswear collection “Beautiful Boys” during MERCEDES BENZ FASHION WEEK RUSSIA. Outfits with pink oversize jacket and with monochrome lines samurai jacket were noted a lot of Russian and international press. These two catwalks were the most important and turning events for the brand’s history

What does fashion mean in your understanding?

For me, the concept of fashion has grown into trends, fashion is like a virus, but design is an own opinion. I mean if you can’t defend your opinion, it will be difficult to create fashion brand and to stand up to the competition.

The N. Legenda brand was founded in 2012. How has the fashion world changed since that time?

Fashion in 2012 and fashion in 2021? These figures are very symbolic. I want to believe that fashion world is turned over. Earlier, connections solved a lot. But today in Russia emerging designers have a lot of opportunities, people and press are interested in “a new blood”. Seems that now it’s important such words like individuality, talent and conception. Now it is not shameful to wear the clothes of young designers.

Tell us a little about the brand. At what point did the idea of creating a brand come up?

Most likely the idea born while I was studying at the University. I remember that different people imposed their opinions and said a lot of commentaries how my clothes must be look and which color of fabrics I must use. Then for the first time I thought about what exactly I like. I decided to create an account in Facebook where I will post articles and photos with arts and creativity which I interested in. I gave the account nickname Nikolay Legenda. I find that this was the beginning of the history of my brand.

Few people know the real name of the brand designer. Why N. Legenda?

I did not set the task of hiding my person behind N.LEGENDA. I’ll be honest with you, I consider that name Olga Kapitonova doesn’t fit the clothes which produces brand N.LEGENDA. All my environment waited from Olga Kapitonova women dresses of pastel color. By the way, I’ll tell you a secret, I have another one name stuck in my head, and I want to make it to a reality.

As a rule, a clothing brand is a large team that takes part in the creation of collections. How many people are in the brand team and what are the responsibilities of the chief designer?

N. LEGENDA-a brand of a specific thematic segment. We make our collections in St-Petersburg (Russia) in our own small manufacture. We don’t pretend to produce large collections, we value individuality and the possibility of choice. I design and patter make collections by myself. Even a couple of garments in the collection happens that I sew by myself. Several tailors and a manager help me. If it necessary, we are attracting additional people.

Now many brands are for environmental friendliness and recycling. What materials does the N. Legenda brand use? Are you planning to create collections from recycled materials?

Environmental friendliness and recycling is a very serious problem but it has not yet been fully studied, like the situation with recycle paper cups and cotton shopper’s bags is as eco-friendly as it seems. It is necessary to really understand what is 100% recycled and what is not. To begin with we decided to work at slow fashion, produce limited edition of collections. I cut items myself and know which fabric consumption need, therefore, have scanty waste. Also, sometimes we recycle our items from previous collection or use up-cycle vintage fabric.

In the latest collections of N. Legenda, you can notice that the models who participate in the shows correspond to the main theme of the brand (without gender boundaries). Are there any non-professional models among them? How does the selection of models for displaying collections take place?

Each collection has own character. We work with modeling agency and I’m glad that they have many different types of models now. we also like to give opportunities to new faces. For them, participation in our show becomes their first show, and then it’s nice to see them on the world catwalks.

But I still think that I have a lovely type of guys with „sharp cheekbones that can be used to cut veins“.

The brand exists since 2012. Thanks to the cut and style of the brand, it suits any gender. The brand was created when the topic of gender was not as popular as it is now. What prompted you to create a brand without gender? In your opinion, has the brand become more popular due to the relevance of this topic?

When I created brand in 2012, the education taught that there were a lot of style which had clear differences. Also with gender. It was very annoying! I wanted to make clothes free of borders and that it could not be attributed to any style and gender. I

n 2012 I didn’t know that in 2021 it will be so harmonic. Female designer with men name of brand who make clothes without gender sounds so epic.

About question, has the brand become more popular due to the relevance of this topic? I think, no. Most our customers appreciate clothes by N.LEGENDA for brightness and individuality, because it adapts to different looks and styles. Maybe that’s why musicians like to use our outfits in music videos, shootings and at performances.

Who is the N. Legenda brand for? Can you describe its target audience?

During all time customers and influencers of brand are our like-minded people, creative personalities who value individuality, uniqueness and quality. Fans and customers of N.LEGENDA are the younger generation of artists, musicians, stylists and etc.

Target audience – bad guys who in deep of their soul prefer sweet ice-cream))))

N. Legenda is a well-known brand in Russia. Many Russian celebrities can be seen in N. Legenda clothes. Would you like the brand to exist on the world market in the future?

YES, I would. In dreams, to make collaborations with some international painters and illustrators.

The main concept of the brand is a drama in the style of minimalism. Can we say that N. Legenda a reflection of the inner world of the brand designer?

Most likely, Nikolay Legenda can be called my alter ego.

Why do you think there are so few Russian designers on the world catwalk?

We get a lot of offers to participate in pop-up stores and catwalk during fashion weeks from Europe and America. But we just don’t have enough finances to create international professional crew like own crew in Russia and organize fashion show with dignity. What reasons do other designers have?! I don’t know.

How would you describe today’s fashion and what feelings does it cause you?

It seems to me that now is the calm before the storm. After Gucci’s heads in hands, nothing looks surprising. I believe that something interesting is waiting for us in the near future. Today I’m seeing only how Asian idols, Italian music bands and American singers are attracted to promotional fashion campaign.

5 of your favorite designers.

John Galliano, Martin Margiela, Rick Owens, Cristobal Balenciaga, Dries Van Noten.

Instagram N. LEGENDA @nikolaylegenda

Anna Kurmaeva „born for gold“



Photographer/Producer/Retoucher: Anna Kurmaeva @solar.anny
Art director/Wardrobe stylist: Nina Gusarova @gnina_style
Make up artist/Hair stylist: Irina Starinova @iriss_star
Model: Alina Pavlushova @iambeba

Dress – SPRWMN @sprwmnofficial Tights – Calzedonia @calzedonia Boots – MSGM @msgm Accessories – Vintage; Body – Alex NYC @alixnyc Accessories – Vintage

Dress – Michael Kors @michaelkors Jumper – Tibi @Tibi Boots – MSGM @msgm; Dress – Michael Kors @michaelkors Boots – MSGM @msgm Accessories – Vintage

Jumper – Tibi @Tibi Tights – Calzedonia @calzedonia Sandals – Preppy @preppyshoes

Dress – Toteme @toteme Sandals – Simmi London @simmishoes; Dress – Michael Kors @michaelkors Boots – MSGM @msgm Accessories – Vintage

Dress – SPRWMN @sprwmnofficial Tights – Calzedonia @calzedonia Boots – MSGM @msgm Accessories – Vintage

Top – Theory @theory Pants – Fendi @Fendi Sandals – Simmi London @simmishoes

Overalls – Hannah Artwear @hannahartwear Boots – MSGM @msgm

Body – Alex NYC @alixnyc Accessories – Vintage

Arnaud Ele & Laura Knoops „drapes“



Photography by Eleknoops — Arnaud Ele & Laura Knoops @eleknoops @arnaud.ele @knoops @cosmopola_berlin
Styled by Sonja Hodzode & Judith Gölzer @sonja_hodzode @judith_goelzer
Muah by Victoria Plekhanova @diekunst @agency_bigoudi
Model: Malaya Stern Takeda @malayatakeda @vivamodelsberlin

Shirt: Schepperheyn @schepperheyn Pants: Stella McCartney @stellamccartney Socks: Falke @falke Sneaker: Adidas @adidas; Bra: Frances.O @frances___o Pants: Henrik Vibskov @henrikvibskov Sneaker: Saucony @saucony

Scarves: Schepperheyn @schepperheyn; Shirt: Schepperheyn @schepperheyn Pants: Stella McCartney @stellamccartney Socks: Falke @falke Sneaker: Adidas @adidas

Blazer: Joseph @josephfashion Sneaker: Asics @asics_sportstyle; Blouse: House of Gobin @houseofgobin Pants: American Vintage @americanvintage_officiel

Top: Iceberg @iceberg Earring: Acne Studios @acnestudios

Blanket: Laura Knoops @knoops Earring: Ni Daodao @takeoni; 

Bra: Frances.O @frances___o Pants: Henrik Vibskov @henrikvibskov Sneaker: Saucony @saucony

Shirt: Prada @prada Scarves: Schepperheyn @schepperheyn Graphic prints: Laura Knoops @knoops @zigzagzurich Floral prints: House of Gobin @houseofgobin; Stockings: Hēdoïne @hedoineofficial Ring: Mies Nobis @miesnobis; Top: Iceberg @iceberg Earring: Acne Studios @acnestudios