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Russian Fashion Week

Opening on March 29th inside Moscow’s World Trade Center, provocative and influential European designers previewed their Fall ‘09/Winter ’10 collection at the 18th Annual Russian Fashion Week (RFW). Founder of RFW, Slava Zaitsev opened and closed the week with shows on the first and last day of the event. Zaitsev, internationally known as Red Dior for his Soviet infused styles, celebrated the 100th anniversary of Diaghilev’s Seasons in Paris. Diaghilev, himself, won over Europe when he founded Ballet Russes in France at the beginning of the 20th century.

Take a walk around Moscow and it is easy to see why Russia is the world’s leading fashion consumer. People love to dress up and with infl uences from the West, East, retro, Soviet and post-Soviet eras, urban and the great outdoors – the options are limitless. Given the variety of trends on the streets, it is no surprise that year after year, Russia’s Fashion Week is the biggest fashion event in Eastern Europe.

The 2009 RFW continued its ongoing collaboration with Italy’s Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana, a partnership, which began during Milan’s fashion week in 2005. Each year, organizations send their up and coming fashion designers to showcase works at each other’s respective events. This year, Leitimotiv, BeeQueen and A.Ve highlighted Italy’s take on next season’s styles. Joining the Italians were Toni Francece and Maria Lafuente of Spain, as well as France’s Jean–Charles De Castelbijac who made his RFW debut.

While it was nice to see Russia’s Western European counterparts, the week’s main focus was on Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian designers. Arngold, Tatiana Parfi onova, Julia Delakian, Elena Sonproun, BIRYUKOV, Poustovit, Sergei Teplov, Chistova & Endourova, TEGIN were just a few of the 50 collections on display. Highlighting the opening day was Masha Kravitsova, who is regarded as the It Girl of Russian fashion. Her high end, men’s and women’s clothing line offers a Russian take on the sophisticated London look and is sure to be seen on the streets in the seasons to come.

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