moscow fashion week: vilshenko

(images via vogue)

so like pretty much every other event we’ve been encountering of late (only much faster, because after all, there are just so many additional shows included here), we’ve been suddenly inundated with a flash flood of collections in the form of moscow fashion week (or, at least, one of moscow’s assorted fashion weeks that are held around the same time, but organized by different sponsors, though i keep them under the same hat for clarity and convenience’s sake)! are you ready?

anyway, even though it means we’ll soon be absolutely awash in russian designs (and for months ahead, as i think we’re all well aware), i’m excited! are you excited? it usually means great things for us, with a lot of exciting labels, new and familiar, to talk about, and thus, it seemed like the right thing to do to mix things up a little bit this time ’round, by opening with the f/w 2013 range of a label that’s new to us–vilshenko (Вилшенко).

anyway, i’m imagining that their fall range will be a little bit more interesting than the typical russian show to most fashionies, largely because they decided to drop some coin on the models for their exhibition, casting some familiar faces to those of us who follow these things in the mainstream four cities, with the likes of irina kulikova, caterina ravaglia, and antonina vasylchenko all gracing designer olga vilshenko’s (Ольга Вилшенко) runway.

and so, although there were some slight variations on what everyone saw as the theme for the fall range, pretty much everyone agreed, as the russian msn lifestyle site pointed out, that the designer’s girl appeared (trans.) “like a heroine of some European films of the ’70s and ’80s.” i’d agree (and say largely late seventies, or perhaps early eighties), while also noting that ms. vilshenko did what a lot of russian designers like to do–namely, incorporating some slavic elements into an overtly westernized display (and with western silhouettes).

giving a little more detail on the actual background was the russian website spletnik, relaying that (trans.) “(t)he creation of the new fall and winter collection inspired the designer with elegant 1970’s Western images on the one hand, and on the other, the paintings of artist Filipp Malyavin (Филиппа Малявина) glorifying the Russian folklore motifs. The main emphasis is put on the suit and the geometry of the mixing of textures: the show is ruled by flying feminine silhouettes with rounded shapes and translucent fabrics gently and tightly shaping the figure of the models.”

i honestly think this is the best way some of the european labels have been doing things of late, rather than stuffing a particular aesthetic upon us, that may be particular to one country or culture, but instead to introduce it in little gasps and sights. and here, the designer did a particularly nice job of capitalizing on a lot of trends that are already circulating–and although i don’t think anyone has mentioned it yet, doesn’t this remind you quite a lot of what valentino has been up to lately?

alors. carrying on from the inspiration, the russian site buro 24/7 noted that, in keeping with the trends we were seeing all over the mainstream catwalks for fall, the designer launched a bit of cape action in her collection (trans.): “Along with dresses, one of the main elements of the collection was the cape. And not in the usual [form], performed as a variation of the autumn coat, but as an independent evening dress [element] made in silk and leather, decorated with feathers and embroidered with metallic threads.”

in other words, ms. vilshenko is looking to full-on grab onto some of valentino’s clientele base, and perhaps they’d be best served to watch out, for although she was a little light on the trouser front (and, like, ‘day’-type separates), she really did do a nice job of mixing things up in terms of day-to-day wardrobe, with certainly some drama in her show-ending metallic frocks and some of those flowing/sweeping numbers, but also a decent dose of practicality in a-line skirts, pretty peasant-y blouses, and some of the season’s other ubiquitous item, leather!

well. as perhaps my personal favourite russian website, intermoda, reflected, the designer had a touch of the (trans.) “aristocratic” in her work, and i think that’s something the luxe brands have been trading on a little more of late to play themselves up in relation (especially with the fragile economy) to those more ‘street’. we’ll have to watch how that unfolds, but i think it’s safe to say, this is one designer who will probably never be trying to court the kids, the totally flash-and-bling crowd.

finally, in that last little bit of helpful info, the russian site fashiony explained that the (trans.) “collection is characterized by a combination of fabrics of different textures. Lightness, dynamism and lightness are given to crepe, lace and satin, and are responsible for the sculptural leathers and coat fabrics.” well. i’d say it was lovely, if not exactly a reinvention as we know it, but with the girls on the catwalk and the money spent on the clothes, i’d say all the same, this will be one to watch in the seasons to come, yes?


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