The amount and diversity of Russian fashion blogs is impressive. There are street and personal style blogs, shopping-related, inspiration, you name it… A true revelation for me was that many fashion bloggers in Russia started long before the rise of Susie Bubble, Tavi Gevinson and other modern day icons.
Nowadays Russian bloggers get invited to all important fashion events, freelance as journalists, stylists, etc. and have a huge impact on Russian fashion industry altogether. To connect you to the best ones out there I asked four bloggers what they think about the most recent fashion weeks in Moscow, namely Volvo Fashion Week and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia (MBFWR).
It came out that the organization and management of these events is quite a thorny subject…
Juliet Polilova – a cute 20 years old style blogger who blogs in English
This season I attended Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia for the first time. I think it is the most important event in Moscow fashion industry. An uplifting holiday mood was supported by the brilliant event management. Shows, fashionistas, foreign guests were a kaleidoscopic feast for the eye and the soul. My favorite Iceberg show was a mix of different textures, pearl trim and oversized sweaters, which will definitely be a big trend next fall.
The overlapping schedule of two fashion weeks this season has made it really difficult for freelance journalists and bloggers to do their job. We inevitably had to choose between shows. This season I applied for a press accreditation only at Volvo Fashion Week, as designers whose shows I planned to attend at MBFWR gladly sent me personal invitations, which allowed me to avoid the hassle of dealing with snobbish MBFWR PR people.
I have to say that Volvo Fashion Week gets better and better every season. It applies not only to the press relations but to all aspects of event organization. Guests are treated with all possible care, shows start with virtually no delays… Of course, fashion weeks are still seen by some as a big party but after all these years I got used to it. It is just a certain mentality. We didn’t have a fashion industry for so long that now we can’t get enough of it.
Seasoned journalists know too well the phrase “seats for the press begin from the 3rd row”. These words are sometimes pronounced with cold politeness, other times – aggressively and usually mean that journalists are people of no importance at the fashion show. But I need to point out that fashion week organizers aren’t always to blame for that. During my three and a half years of attending shows I’ve seen many attempts to make the life of the press easier.
What annoys me most of all is that the press has to wait outside before the show while PR people are taking care of the VIPs, celebrities and all kinds of strange people who doesn’t seem to belong there (people who actually works in fashion know each other pretty well). After all of them are seated there is no room even in the 3rd row.
Not every journalist or blogger can bear being treated the “third row way”. It is indeed very hard. First you need to wait for an hour on your feet, then swallow the humiliation from PR people, watch the show from the seat behind the column, write an objective and interesting review nevertheless and the next day find the guts to go through all this again.
This text originally appeared in Svetlana’s blog post
Oleg Sharan – freelance journalist at GQ Russia, photographer, TARAKANOVA’s brand ambassador and just a very fine man
Recent fashion weeks in Moscow were ravishing. It seemed that the public’s interest in fashion, which declined during the recession of 2009-10, is now in full swing.
There are well-defined designer “leagues” in Russian fashion. Alena Akhmadullina, Alexander Terekhov, Vardoui Nazarian are ahead of the competition in the high-end sector, but there is also ‘crowd’s choice’. Brands like Pavloff, Shiyan&Rudkovskaya and Lenskaya design bureau make clothes that, honestly, fit better for the street than for the catwalk.
It was really great that Volvo Fashion Week took bloggers seriously and treated them as professionals, which allowed them to write timely and objective reviews.
Womenswear still prevails on the catwalk. Menswear industry in Russia is in its diapers so anybody who will make a good move into this field will become Russian Ralph Lauren. With that in mind, I need to say that many critics were pleasantly surprised with the menswear collection by TARAKANOVA brand from Belarus. It was fresh, full of new ideas and showed us all we needed to know about the way the modern man should dress.
Arsenicum and Bessarion shows were probably the strongest in terms of creating the mood. The inspiration behind Bessarion collection was Jewish culture, so there were “female rabbis” strolling in the dark, a single ray of light accentuating somber silhouettes.