(images via intermoda)
honestly (and probably because we discuss just so many each season), there are a good number of russian designers i don’t really remember by name but vaguely, sort of knowing that we’ve seen their work in the past, but never really connecting it until i see it all sprawling out before me (though i do remember most of the collections, of course). so it comes as rather a surprise to see it all inextricably linked as part of a greater story of one atelier, and then i’m only a little saddened that the name hasn’t stood out to me more, given how much the clothes have.
but! nevertheless, i suppose it’s the latter point that matters the most, or so i was thinking when taking up with designer lena vasilyeva‘s (Лена Васильева) latest show at moscow fashion week, for the f/w 2013 season. we’ve seen her gorgeous, ladylike and thoroughly grown-up work a couple of times in the past (for f/w 2012 & s/s 2013), and much as it struck me then, i’d have to say she’s just so rapidly improving, and was in full-on oscar de la renta mode today with some lovely interplay between cocktail, evening, and work wear.
that is to say, ms. vasilyeva definitely caters to a more upscale, sophisticated, and often older clientele (although there were some very precious gowns and ballet-like tulle creations that probably could satisfy the younger set juuuust fine for winter, too), but i’d often say that we need that in fashion (much as everyone seems to want to argue the contrary and get things younger! and more revealing!), and anyway, thanks to some delicate pastel tones mixed in with her darker hues, there was a certain playful element present, alas.
so. for the upcoming season, as with many of the collections we’ve been facing, there wasn’t a lot of press for the range, but the excellent intermoda explained that (trans.) “(a)fter trying to find herself in a fashionable minimalism, Lena Vasilyeva went back to the aristocratic theme,” while the russian site procapitali$t did, quite similarly, allow that the designer (trans.) “shows the history of the modern noble maidens boudoir dress…[in] cocktail and evening dresses.”
in other words, i’d say that the offerings ranged from simpler day dresses and almost sixties-like skirt suit-type creations to more complex strapless party or cocktail-type frocks and even a handful of full-on evening gowns, complete with elaborate tulle skirts and some of the most marvelous embroidery and detailing (in the form of swirling florals that looked to have stepped off the walls of some stately eighteenth-century french manor), enough to make all of us wish we had a place to wear them (if only just to rent for the evening). oh, sigh. indeed, it was all a rush of heady romance.
anyway, as i’ve suggested above, the colour palette was a nice blend of serious, darker tones (black, deep merlot, navy blue) and more spring-like sherbet hues that indeed could signify the breaking-through of warmer weather, coming in floral shades like daffodil yellow, peach, seafoam-aquamarine, ballerina pink, cream, and a pale mint with some classic white occasionally splashed into the mix. and though there aren’t a list of fabrics readily at hand, i know there was some silk and chiffon action, as well as the aforementioned tulle, wool, velvet, and lace.
on the whole, thanks to some excessively fanciful details like bows, complex draping, tucks, bishop sleeves, ruching, and lots of embroidery, there will probably be a good many girls who find the range too fussy. but then, there are those among us who don’t want the shortest of mini skirts and the most skin to put on display, who like a little throwback governess-y dressing in the days of jane eyre, and i quite imagine that the range will find its mark there. and for the rest of the kids, i still think those strapless gowns will similarly endear themselves–maybe even to a wider audience, for they had a certain fifties prom appeal. so there, you see, we can probably all leave with something we like. isn’t it fun when we can all go away happy? (see some additional images at red designers)
(watch the complete fashion show video here)