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Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia Fall-Winter 2018: Day 3
March 13, 2018 16:58


 Day three of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia started off with much aplomb, with a whole new slew of young designers to whet the visitors insatiable appetites.

Following presentations by children’s designers Alta Costura and Olga Zavgorodnjaja, the audience moved on to the first major show of the third day - that by Snezhana Paderina of the New York-based brand SNEZHANA.NYC.

The Parsons School of Design graduate is well-known for her love of architecture, technology and cyberpunk, and her interest in combining modern technology and traditional techniques in her approach. Her new FW 18-19 collection was titled DIGITAL FOLDING OF THE WORLD, and the spectators got what they usually expect from Paderina - a futuristic Japanese soundtrack, glossy evening wear, multifaceted slip dresses, sparkling with all the colors of the rainbow, sci-fi coats made of space age polymers and plastics. The models elaborate and slow movements emphasized that we are firmly in a dreamy Blade Runner world now. Combat boots and beautifully-crafted high heels accentuated the otherness of this collection, and modernist art was often incorporated into the garments. Yet the collection never felt like a lot of the same - every look brought out something new and different from the overall theme of the future, sustainability of our world, science fiction and Pan-Asiatism.

Fans of Slava Zaitsev, who celebrated his 80-th birthday this month, were happy to see one more offering from his famous Fashion Laboratory, which hosts Russian students to allow them to bloom into full-fledged designers. This time the young creators showed off, in turn, a collection of classical fur coats and blouses, a modernist take on fashion, with models coming out in Lily McMenamy-inspired red lip makeup, an artistic collection which played with the traditional silhouette and emblazoned golden crowns onto adorable, Victorian-style coats, camisoles of red and black with long, flowing tails, bold lacey evening dresses straight out of Eyes Wide Shut… A veritable pick and choose of young, promising talent.

A special treat was then offered to Moscow fashionistas - «Africa Explosion» - a lengthy showcase of South African fashion designers. This special feature attracted a great deal of press attention, with the designers and guests from South Africa themselves in attendance.

ERRE (pronounced “Air”) is the brainchild of Natasha Jaume and Carina Louw. The result of their collaboration is a label that focuses on quality fabrics, tactility, craftsmanship and the perfect fit. This time the label from Pretoria did not only focus on black shimmery leather, with long, flowing black dresses giving the small leather vests and jackets a beautiful and complete look.  

MaXhosa by Laduma
was up next. The Johannesburg brand stays true to its roots which are deeply entrenched in traditional Xhosa culture and patterns. Designer Laduma Ngxokolo uses traditional knitting and beadwork methods in his work, with mohair and merino wool sourced specifically from South Africa. Bright and beautiful patterns in knitwork is an uncommon sight, and visitors loved the beautiful approach to knitted pullovers, skirts, dresses and sweaters Ngxokolo took this time. Models cut imposing figures in these striking traditional garments.

Ekta Kalan of EKTA
presented her collection afterwards, with her looks inspired by, in turn, South Africa, Portugal and Spain. Beautiful dresses and skirts of deep shade of emerald green and jade were coupled with soft pink and ochre tights and jackets. Perfect geometric patterns made each garment look very unique. A beautiful collection reminiscent of traditional African art and 20th century European and African impressionist works.

A collection by Rich Mnisi rounded up the «Africa Explosion» portion of the day. The LISOF graduate and Africa Fashion International Young Designer of the Year award winner founded the label in 2014. With a global view catering for the world market, the brand is young at heart and explores the treasures engraved within Africa and the world of modern culture and heritage to tell the unique stories of then, now and soon. All this packaged in extreme yet minimalist structures which take design and craftsmanship as the first and foremost motivation. This time Mnisi showed us a bright set indeed - zebraskin patterns and traditional art combined with modernist ideas on the fashionista-about-town looks, each coupled with a giant wide-brimmed semi-transparent bolero hat - for both men and women. An exciting finale to such a diverse and talented set of designers from South Africa.
Buy Russian designers clothes:

Vika Gazinskaya

Olga Vilshenko


Sultanna Frantsuzova

From the scorching sands of Africa to a rainy day in springtime Paris we swiftly go - for it was that mood that ruled at the Atelier B by Gala B show. Gala B - that is, former stylist and now successful designer and human right campaigner Gala Borzova - showed us a distinctly French collection, with clear plastic being one of the key elements of the looks. Clear capes, clear headscarves, plastic ponchos, even fully-opened clear plastic umbrellas! All this created such a light and airy atmosphere, the onlookers couldn’t help but tap their feet along to the yé-yé soundtrack. Baby pink and white, with bright orange and sky-blue were the colors Gala was most interested this time. A stately 70-year-old model made an appearance right in the middle of the show, to loud applause, with young model Liza Serpova echoing her look in a fresh, youthful and playful way. At the finale of the show, a French cover of Rihanna’s Umbrella set a final, romantic mood for the show. A rainy day in the city of love - and after all, why shouldn’t muscovites “dress like a French girl”?
Atelier B by Gala B

Next up, a definitive highlight of the evening - the new collection by Anastasia Dokuchaeva. With the loud soundtrack by Tatar rapstress AIGEL whose hit “Tatarin” made the top of the charts last year, the guests knew they were in for an energetic and no-bs show, with Dokuchaeva providing the front row guests with her futuristic strap sunglasses, which were to be worn by the guests during the show.

Atelier B by Gala BDokuchaeva’s entire modus operandi is “out with the old, in with the new”, freedom from cultural, gendered and societal restraints. A fun and colorful collection is what the guests got then, with big puffer coats in soft shades of lime, yellow, pink, red and purple. Leopard-print and shiny fabrics were used in creating outerwear, while dresses and pullovers looked soft and comfy.

But by far the most striking part of the show were the accessories - like a 3-D oil spill, the plastic handbags, totes, duffel bags and accessories made one’s eyes pop, sparkling with all their prismatic goodness under the bright runway lights. As Depeche Mode’s “Precious” finished the show, it was evident that youth was the word of the evening, and the energy of youth was present in every look and garment by Dokuchaeva.

Finishing up the day was the new offering by Julia Dalakian, a favourite of Russian singers and stars. A star-studded crowd it definitely was, with several Russian pop stars. Dalakian studied under Slava Zaitsev, worked at Cavalli and took part in Berlin, Milan and Brussels fashion weeks for years now, so we were in safe hands that night. “Softness” is what Dalakian wanted to convey with this collection most of all, and that she did - subdued wool and velvet numbers, muslin and chiffon, angora fur. The designer wanted to create a comfortable yet beautiful collection - and with her trademark big sleeves and shoulders bringing a stark contrast to the classical silhouettes of the dresses, and big hoods aften covering the heads of the models, this collection felt as comfy and cozy as it gets.


Many of the guests then went on to the Design Factory FLACON in another part of Moscow, for a special off-Manezh show by the Georgian-Russian Moscow-based brand BESO TURÁ. Founded by Georgian Beso Turazashvili, the brand led the young designer to the fashion weeks of New York and Dubai, and finally to collaborating with Stella McCartney. Silver, white, black and red - these dramatic colors were the course of the day this time, with popular Russian models Maria Minogarova and Anya Mikhailova opening and closing the show. Thus, beautiful oversized white coats, puffy black skirts and dramatic crimson dresses rounded up the third day of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia.


Author: Anna Dorozhkina


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