From the front row: 7 designers we discovered at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia
The best of local and global designs
Over five days, Moscow reiterated why it’s (rightly) the fashion capital of the country. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia (MBFWR) was a splendid display of craftsmanship and glamour—over a 100 designers rolled out collections that ranged from couture to athleisure. With 33 foreign designers, we saw a glimpse of fashion from Spain, Argentina and Germany. “We started the global talent section last season. We host the designers here and we think it’s good for young, local designers to communicate with global counterparts,” says Alexander Shumsky, President, MBFWR.
Scroll through for the showcases that caught our eye, straight from the front row:
Femme De Mars
The Belgian label sent out models in creations that embody a woman who’s strong, fierce, aggressive, even. From flow-y dresses in crimson and black to modern power suits in monotones, the collection was peppered with silver chains, tassels and fringes.
This season, designer Artem Bakhtin, a regular at MBFWR, turned to his childhood’s pop culture for inspiration. On dresses, bridal gowns and suits alike, we saw with patterns from old movies, newspapers, youth magazines from the ’90s. Leather was prominently used in the collection, including a black apron-like skirt for men and a flaming red suit for men.
Designer Margarita Fedoseeva’s collection, in collaboration with State Tretyakov Gallery, sought to expand beauty norms, by choosing women with alopecia to take to the runway. Many women walking the ramp chose to remove their wigs and sport a completely shaven head, to much applause. The outfits saw a motif of a daisy field, and were characterised by the use of blue, yellow, violet and silver. The one-piece pantsuits, palazzo trousers and flowing dresses are meant for the modern fashion-forward woman of today.
Expats, a fashion collective featuring Russian and American designers Stephan Rabimov (also the founder), Vasily Vein, Ella Shadrunova and Liliana Bahor presented a collection that spanned three momentous centuries of Russian history. Red was a dominant colour in the collection, which featured couture gowns and military suits embellished with Russian royal house symbols. A number of the pieces were created using low-waste methods.
Although a menswear label, featuring strong masculine looks, the collection also saw a number of unisex garments, including blousons and skirts in dark tan. The vibe of the collection took us back to the ’70s and the European men’s fashion of the era. Think oversized coats in warm colours, muted tartan pants and jackets, wide-brim hats and fisherman hoods. Functional and romantic at the same time, the designs ranged from wide shorts and shirts in matching tones to light and summery dresses and tops.
Designer Olga Vasyukova drew inspiration from industrial and architecture for her showcase at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia. Featuring bomber jackets, tees, sweatpants and hoodies, the urban streetwear collection, predominantly consisted of a muted colour palette but also saw pops of bright pink and violet.
The young designer turned to Roma culture, in particular wedding ceremonies, for inspiration. The models would fit in at an opulent wedding dinner in Moldova, with their ruffled shirts, kaftan dresses, and black jackets in wildflowers, flowing draped dresses and sombrero-like hats. The jackets were created out of a kleenka-like fabric (a common plastic fabric used in tables in Slavic villages). Flowery shawls, an element often noticed in Romani culture and flower appliques were also spotted.
All photographs: Courtesy Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia