Fashion fever hits Moscow

Oct 25th, 2011 | By | Category: Featured

Moscow's fashion week has kicked off with a focus on simplicity as the luxury industry battles on through a difficult economic climate.

The city's elite gathered together with designers and models to view the latest trends over the weekend, with events wrapping up this week. But despite the opulent surroundings, it appears that fashionistas will be keeping things simple in Spring/Summer 2012 if the catwalk shows are anything to go by.

Slava Zaitsev, a 73-year-old Soviet couture designer, informed Reuters that fashion is “getting closer to the people” this season. He added that his own collection was simple, and had a heavy presence of linen due to problems with importing many other traditionally luxury materials.

Unfortunately, despite adaptations, many dressmakers and designers have been forced to close in the region due to the onslaught of Western fashion. Many of Zaitsev's peers have shut their doors, while his own firm has suffered from declining sales.

As a result of the change in attitudes, some designers are starting to focus more of their attentions on accessories in their new collections, expecting consumers to be more willing to spend on colourful hats and jewellery than main wardrobe items.

But it isn't all bad news and change. In fact, the Russian fashion industry could just be starting to find its feet as a viable market rather than a predominantly artistic endeavour. The designer informed the news agency that the influx of foreign brands to Russia has largely reached saturation point as the companies have established shops everywhere they hoped to.

Now, attention is shifting away from these Western curiosities and back towards the fashion and clothing being designed and produced by Russia itself. Whether or not the government and the establishment manage to provide the reinforcement needed to make the industry a success remains to be seen.

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