The Russian Fashion Blog




Interview with Caroline Groves, Bespoke Shoemaker

Interview with Caroline Groves, Bespoke Shoemaker

Bespoke luxury shoemaking is a domain of a very few; it is and always has been a fairy-tale that only a handful of artisans around the world have ever been capable of making come true. Caroline Groves, a London-based bespoke shoemaker with more than 25 years of experience, unmatched craft skills and a unique eye for beauty, is undeniably one of them. Here she shares her thoughts on the life as an artist and shoemaker and talks about Russian influences in her work.

Interview with Caroline Groves, Bespoke Shoemaker

Bespoke shoemaking is now a rare professional path. How did you start making shoes?

I was fascinated by leather as a child, and I grew up in a family of craftspeople. My great-grandfather was a cabinet-maker and the right-hand man of C. R. Ashbee1; my grandmother was a silversmith and a very good needle woman. I spent weekends and holidays with her making things, but at some point leather became my passion. At first I just made bags and belts, but an opportunity came to work with a shoemaker and I realized that shoes for me are the greatest expression of what leather can do. The construction of the shoe is about leather and the construction technique; that became the fascination for me. I worked with that shoemaker for 15 years. As he was involved in orthopedic shoemaking, that was a good place to learn, because you learn that there is not one way to make a pair of shoes – you have to be versatile.

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I Am Fall 2013 Lookbook

I Am Fall 2013 Lookbook

When you need something cool to wear every day, Moscow-based label I Am never disappoints. Structured without being too stiff, feminine but not revealing, balanced between funky and classic – that’s what their new fall-winter collection feels like. Double bonus points for the trendy jewel tone palette, and those snake-textured knits are an absolute must-have!
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Russian Top Models of the Past

Russian Top Models of the Past

The much-talked about beauty of Russian women gained its fashion momentum at the turn of the 21st century. The early 2000s saw the rise of top models like Natalia Vodianova, Natasha Poly, Olga Sherer and Sasha Pivovarova working in high fashion and commercial worlds, mixing runway shows with top-notch editorials and adverts. For all their success, they were, however, not the first Russian models to establish international careers of such calibre. If anything, Sorokko, Semanova and Pantushenkova got there first.

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5 Fashion Photographers You Need to Know

With fashion photography on the rise globally, bursting with waves of studio and street-style photographers, it is at times easy to lose track of those talents, who are shaping the industry or are the most promising newcomers today. Russian and Ukrainian photographers do not yet possess the same widely acknowledged reputation as Mario Testino or Steven Meisel. but they are carving their own paths and building portfolios with unique aesthetics that will surely distinguish them in the future.

Danil Golovkin

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Danil Golovkin, a Moscow-based fashion photographer, is probably the most prominent talent working with Vogue Russia, Harper’s Bazaar, GQ and L’Officiel. With a background in graphic design, he worked first as a successful art director for an advertisement agency before embarking on an equally successful career in photography. Golovkin remains in high demand for his strong sense of lighting, portraiture skills and, above all, an ability to create striking images.

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A Brief History of the Sarafan

A Brief History of the Sarafan

The word “sarafan” might not be familiar to many, but most people easily recall how a traditional Russian costume might look. The sarafan is, in fact, built around the concept of a long, trapeze-shaped dress that, over the centuries, went under the names of “feryaz”, “klinnik” and, finally, “sarafan”. The word itself takes its origin from the Persian language, but the clothing came to Russia from Europe back in the 13th century and survived well until the 20th century, before various changes led to their decline.

Initially worn by men, the sarafan was modified through the centuries and gradually became a wardrobe staple for women of various social backgrounds across the country. Read the rest of this entry »

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