Russia’s second fashion event of the season Russian Fashion Week, closed this past Sunday in Moscow, claiming, with its almost 50 participants, to be the greatest fashion week in Eastern Europe.

The edition was characterized by a greater international presence: a whole day was dedicated to Spanish fashion, with designers such as Antonio Garcia Dal Bat, El Caballo, Isabel De Pedro and Armand Basi showing as well as Spanish footwear brands. According to organizers, the next edition of the RFW will host the “Italian Day”. Other foreign designers to show this time around included the UK’s Jenny Packham, the Greek Elena Vorrea and Francesco Smalto from France, as well as those from former Soviet republics, such as Ukraine, Georgia and Byelorussia.

More formal and tailored design was a definite trend this season, with designers choosing to stick with classic looks, even those who traditionally work in the sphere of young and casual fashion like Max Chernitsov and Viktoriya Andreyanova. Chernitsov, in his interview with SI, said that “nowadays it has become more difficult to compete in the casual-wear segment with great Western brands arriving to the Russian market, so my own brand is changing its position towards a more luxury niche”. Nevertheless, his the designer’s collection, entitled Power featured some interesting tees, jackets and sweaters cut in hexagon patterns. Andreyanova, on her side, brought a Traveling Aristocrat to the runway, wearing jumpers with incorporated scarves, warm dresses and raincoats and great travel bags made of innovative plastic materials.

More casual looks, both for men and women, were shown by Konstantin Gayday, featuring provocative prints on tees and hoodies, jersey and hats with original patterns and his first sneakers with Indian embroidery.

Leonid Alexeev as usual showed a smart mix of British bon-ton and casual originality to create a nice young men’s collection for city and country living.

Another interesting collection with casual inspiration was presented by Masha Sharoyeva: jerseys, pants and voluminous jackets, decorated with chains and zipped details.

A fresh young look characterized the show of Ukrainian designer Irina Karavay with a series of dresses and minis with original cuts, unconventional color-matching and colorful embroideries.

Olga Deffi, Julia Nikolaeva and Borodulin’s also included casual looks in their collections. Deffi took inspiration from the biker’s style (two Harley Davidsons entered thundering onto the catwalk), Borodulin’s called it’s tracksuit-like ensembles Legion referencing ancient warriors, and Nikolaeva showed very feminine multi-layered jersey and silk tops and pants, defined by the name Geometry.

On the whole, Russian Fashion Week, like the earlier Moscow Fashion Week, confirmed the general trend: the average professional level of the presented collections is growing steadily, but at the same time creative daring and originality is visibly restrained. Looking at the beau monde gathered at the shows (and on the catwalk itself), one could think that most designers are more concerned with their client’s approval then with innovation in their creations. Who knows, maybe this kind of approach is the right one, given that clothes are made to be worn by real people.

- Oxana Senchenko

Photo: A look from the Chernitsov collection