Organizers wrapped up another edition of Moscow Fashion Week on Mar. 27.

But with the atmosphere in Moscow’s fashion scene generally that of general turmoil, attributed to the global economic crisis, there was much anticipation for the 21st instalment of Fashion Week.

For one, while organizers maintained the same prestigious venue, Gostiny Dvor, and the same list of (47) participants, the event was renamed Volvo Fashion Week. The significance of the change was underlined at the opening catwalk show by Valentine Yudashkin, who unveiled the Volvo C30 Yudashkin Edition.

Another notable event included the return of Alena Akhmadullina, one of Russia’s most acclaimed designers, to the catwalk. Akhmadullina began her career at Moscow Fashion Week. Her collection, probably the most original and creative of the whole week, showed the image of strong, independent yet mysteriously feminine woman. It was characterized by unusual details in horsehair, which sometimes covered the complete garment in a cascade of alien-looking locks.

For the first time one entire day was dedicated to men’s fashion. Notable collections were presented by Max Chernitsov (ironic and sexy with Superman-like hoodies and tees) and Leonid Alexeev, whose Far East styles were mixed with “signature” British influences. Chernitsov and Alexeev are definitely two promising Russian designers.

Fashion Week newcomer Yana Rudkovskaya presented a collection, created with Il’ya Shiyan, called “High Gothic.” His usual aggressive “macho” style, with plenty of leather and metallic details, was somehow smoothed over with more tender and feminine notes by his partner.

Belarussian fashion designer Ivan Aiplatov showed off a new collection inspired by boxers: boxing gloves transformed into cool purses or teddy-bears, also present as prints.

An unusual project presented during the week was 10iQ. Launched by 3M, it involved several prominent Russian designers (Olga Deffi, Max Chernitsov, Elena Uvarova for Zimaletto, Tatiana Miskevich, Olga Romina, Nadja Nurieva, Lilia Kiselenko), who offered several fashion solutions using 3M’s Thinsulate technology.

“Traditional” participants at Fashion Week also offered several cool surprises. Kira Plastinina, the former “enfant prodige” of the Russian fashion already widely recognized in the international fashion scene, brought to the catwalk another collection of her LUBLU line, inspired by the 1980s punk-rock style. Plastinina recently confessed to the media that next year she would be enrolling in a top fashion school (she has yet to choose between Central Saint Martins in London and Parsons in New York).

The design duo of 2 Gun Towers (Andrey Melnikov and Irina Krupskaya) offered a collection called "The Banquet of Spirit" that was full of cool accessories and blended materials that borrowed ideas from the 1920s cinema, Japanese Kabuki theater and punk. Melnikov himself played the jazz soundtrack for the show on the piano.

Overall, almost all the designers tried their best to transform their presentations into shows with live music and with celebrities on the catwalk and special effects, probably to demonstrate that fashion could go on without the economic crisis. As a result, they were rewarded with crowds of fans that flooded the enormous atrium of Gostiny Dvor during all seven days of Volvo Fashion Week.

—Oxana Senchenko