From March 22nd to 29th Moscow’s Gostinny Dvor, near to the Red Square, was a spectacular location for the Spring 2008 edition of Moscow Fashion Week. As is the custom, the event was opened by Valentin Yudashkin whose fashion house turns 20 this year, so the show was particularly sumptuous and well attended (the Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov himself was present). As well, a certain legendary Minnie, beau of Mickey Mouse, was in attendance, and dressed by Yudashkin especially for the occasion.

Another anniversary celebrated during the week was the 70th birthday of Russia’s first noted fashion designer Slava Zaitsev. His catwalk show, entitled Istoki (The Origins) reenacted the key moments in his creative history, mainly based on themes of Russian cultural heritage.

Although the main content of the Moscow Fashion Week is essentially ready-to-wear deluxe, a certain number of designers showed casual-oriented collections. The first was Ilia Sh’iyan, whose black leather attire seemed to be custom-made by some hip rocker/motorcycle-club.

The young designers duo 2 Gun Towers showed a witty topsy-turvy series of garments including jersey dresses, checked skirts, down-jackets and matching hats and shoes, which all appeared to be turned upside-down, with coordinating over-size shoulder bags.

An interesting young collection was presented by Natasha Glazkova who re-worked astronaut gear with hoods and pharaoh-like hats and pant-like jackets.

Sabina Gorelik brought to the catwalk short dresses, coats and tops with triangular and rhomboidal details set in the form of flowers which transformed apparently conventional bon-ton garments into original stand-out looks.

Designer duo 13.20 created variation on the video installation to present their collection of “unisex transformers” whilst at the same time garments were brought onto the catwalk by one male and one female model and then projected onto the screen.

Other young collections were presented by Li’sa (designed by Lilly Sakhanovski) which featured many 60’s motives and by Natalia Novikova with a series of playful tops and dresses with cat and beetle prints.

The review of young Russian fashion would not be complete without a mention of the phenomenon of Kira Plastinina, the enfant prodige of Russian design who presented a very mature collection, full of avant-garde cuts and giant prints which read “I believe in love”.

In the whole, apart from the glamorous aspect of what was Moscow Fashion Week, one could also see a good amount of interesting ideas which certainly can be developed further in the future.

- Oxana Senchenko

Photo: A look from the Valentin Yudashkin collection