Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia. Day One

March 10, 2018, Moscow, Russia

The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia kicked off in full swing this Saturday, attracting thousands of visitors and fashionistas to Moscow’s grand Manege building, right next to the historic Red Square.

The week launched with several children’s runway shows, with children’s brand ACOOLA presenting its Street Tropical, Seaview and School collections and the country’s largest children’s department store Detsky Mir showing off its latest seasonal looks, created by the retailer’s designers.

Vyacheslav Zaitsev’s “The Origins-2” show was the collection most visitors of the day came to see. The maître, who celebrated his 80th birthday last week, announced earlier this month that the show was inspired, in his own words, “by his love towards Russia and its national dress”. It felt like it, too – the Fall-Winter 2018-2019 show was a true cornucopia of Russian historical style – from 17th and 18th century aristocratic dresses to coats, traditional Russian sleeveless jackets, camisoles paired with blouses and full multi-layered skirts.

The show also included three-piece suits, shawls traditionally created in Pavlovo Posad, little number dresses and evening gowns which came as a part of a two- or three-item set. A large portion of looks were created in an entirely new technology from Russian lace.

The men’s portion of the collection showcased Indian and Chinese fabrics in collaboration with designer Alexey Mikhaylov – these brought us back to the art of Ballet Rousses, reminding us of Léon Bakst’s iconic and exotic creations. The fashion jewelry and Russian-style felt headpieces, were created specifically for the collection by the talented Lidia Tskhovrebova.

Russian style has always been an inspiration for Slava. With its rich and vivid colors and textures, the traditional Russian style of dress reimagined by Zaitsev even back in the 60’s is still very appealing, balanced and at the same time cozy. At the same time its elements are easily adjustable for everyday life.

Arguably the most famous of all Russian designers, Zaitsev looked radiant when he himself appeared on the runway. He was met with a standing ovation – truly, the most respected of all the Soviet and Post-Soviet Russian couturiers deserves no less. His models led him to the end of the runway and back, and Slava – as Russians affectionately call him – was smiling all along. Even though Zaitsev doesn’t plant to leave fashion altogether, the audience gave him a beautiful finale for his incredible show in silk and gold and lace.

The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia in Moscow this year played host to the Kazakhstan Fashion Week Showcase, showing off designers from the former republic, now young visitors to Paris Fashion Week and more.

Today was the turn of Dinara Satzhan, Naiyl Baikuchukov, the brand Ye.s Couture by Yegana Sadyxova, and Di Siitova.

Naiyl showed off her semi-transparent collection, encrusted with pearls and jewels and sporting long, feathered tails and high collars.

Dii Siitova presented a collection inspired by Native American culture, with gowns and garments looking as if they were created by nature itself.

Yegana Sadyxova created a futuristic gown collection, with models sporting jeweled face masks and balaclavas on the runway.

Dinara Satzhan showed off a collection fully inspired by the national dress of her native Kazakhstan but with a modern twist – with models wearing traditional tubeteika headdresses (albeit made of space-age fabrics). All added an international flair to the day, with the audience completely enthralled by the variety and passion of the young talent.

MERÉ presented their collection next, with Maria Rafikova and Alexandra Talalay bringing an air of pureness and minimalism to Moscow Fashion Week. The brand’s name itself means “pure, perfect, existing” in Latin, and their new offering for the next season was a perfect palette cleanser. The collection was aptly titled “The Frame”, with clean and perfect lines and silhouettes inspired by formalism, modern architecture and the geometrical shape of a rectangle. However, the two young alumni of Moscow’s British School of Design claim that they always try to keep comfort and functionality in mind while creating their garments and it showed – the models looked both futuristic and comfy, soft yet geometrically perfect. The designers also employ a clean and sustainable method in creating their collections, with smart consumption being a constant theme in their work.

Finally, it was the turn of Arut Arustamyan’s ARUT MSCW. The Central Saint Martin’s alum presented a striking show, with all models dressed in shining glitter and embellishments and fast-walking on the runway to 80’s hits. The shiny garments were accompanied by super-hero capes, flowing silk trousers and rock-n-roller girlfriend leather jackets. Shocking-pink high-heel boots brought a punk flavor to this serving of concert-goer chic, with tight silk chokers adding a little kink to the collection. A fun and beautiful set of looks for both a New York fashionista off to Art Basel and a French enfant terrible girl on the lam from her parents, ARUT’s new collection will definitely be a mainstay on Paris and Moscow streets next Fall/Winter season.

Title partner of the Fashion Week is Mercedes-Benz. Partners of MBFW Russia: IWC Schaffhausen (Official partner), Aizel.ru (Official partner), glo (Official partner), L’Oréal Professionnel (Official stylist), Mary Kay (Official make-up stylist), DHL (Official logistic partner), Metropol (Official hotel), Laska (Official partner)

 Vyacheslav Zaitsev, The Origins-2 show/FW 2018-1019

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