In Moscow, Russian Fashion Designers Excel in Theatrics

Dramatic clothing seems to be more than just a trend at this fashion week.

Ksenia Knyazeva.
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Slava Zaitsev.
Courtesy Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia
Slava Zaitsev.
Courtesy Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia
Julia Nikolaeva.
Courtesy Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia
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Julia Nikolaeva.
Courtesy Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia
Julia Nikolaeva.
Courtesy Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia
Vadim Merlis.
Courtesy Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia
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Alexandr Rogov.
Courtesy Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia
Alexandr Rogov.
Courtesy Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia
Alexandr Rogov.
Courtesy Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia
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Dimaneu.
Courtesy Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia
Dimaneu.
Courtesy Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia
Ksenia Knyazeva.
Courtesy Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia
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Isabel Garcia.
Courtesy Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia
Bella Potemkina.
Courtesy Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia
Bella Potemkina.
Courtesy Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia
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Bella Potemkina
Courtesy Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia

It’s commonly believed that fashion month officially ends when Paris Fashion Week wraps up, but in actuality, it’s always fashion week somewhere. Currently, the style set is in Moscow, where local fashion designers (along with a few fellow Caucasus creatives) are hosting the runway extravaganzas at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia.

The collections officially kicked off on Sunday, March 11 and the local talent has shown a penchant for embracing theatrics. Lasting nearly 30 minutes, these runway shows are rather lengthy and tend to include some sort of special or shocking moment. At Ksenia Knyazeva, that was a model wearing a white chiffon dress, spinning endlessly in front of a flaming graphic, so it looked as if she were on fire. At Bella Potemkina, the runway show started after a rather lengthy behind-the-scenes video of the eponymous designer putting her collection together, from fabric sourcing to model casting and everything in between.

Designer Vadim Merlis and his congratulatory bouquets. Courtesy Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia

During the finale of nearly every show, audience members step forward to hand the designer a bouquet of flowers. Sometimes, an assistant steps forward to help carry the congratulatory loot.

Of course, the clothing on display follows along with the dramatic narrative. Most collections are heavily dominated by evening wear: sequin festooned gowns, slinky branded dresses, and for the boys, loud suits that will stand out in a crowd of subdued black suits.

For example, Potemkina’s aforementioned video was a mere afterthought, as the local celebrity sent a parade of hot pink faux fur jackets and dresses, along with thigh high latex boots, down the runway. A shiny purple t-shirt dress with sleeves made from layers of soft ruffles stole the show at Isabel Garcia. Even in a subdued collection, such as Yulia Niolaeva’s, the heavy repetition of leopard print felt like a dramatic move. Alexandr Rogov used pink glitter as his dramatic medium, painting a model’s face in the material, as well as one model’s exposed nipple.

It’s safe to say that dramatics are more than just a trend at this fashion week; it’s more like a widespread theme. Stay tuned as the week of runway shows unfold. We anticipate plenty other dramatic moments to report on.

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