Designer Vika Gazinaya photographed by Phil Oh for Vogue.
If street style were an Olympic sport, then it’s fair to say that Russia would have a pretty strong team. Between the tiny but perfectly formed Buro 24 founder Miroslava Duma and her chic circle of friends, including model Lena Perminova and stylist Anya Ziourova, the country has a formidable league of head-turning dressers. Arguably one of the most imaginative in the bunch is designer Vika Gazinaya. The adorable Moscowite manages to tread the line between playful and ladylike, and steps out her signature voluminous ball skirts with a pair of Nikes and a cheeky smile. She's hands-down the best advertisement for her quirky and colorful clothes, and swans around the Tuilieries in Paris wearing samples straight of the racks of her presentations (The blush-pink suit pictured here from is from her new spring 2014 collection).
Looks from Vika Gazinaya Spring 2014.
As far as plugging directly in to the true grit of the street though, Gosha Rubchinsky is an interesting new name to watch. He’s been on my radar lately for a couple of reasons: first off because this season marks his first foray into women’s wear, and secondly because the punk spirit of his designs is reminiscent of outspoken young Russian activists like Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina of the band Pussy Riot. Rubchinsky started out making clothes for his skateboarder friends, and his website is littered with images of the post-Soviet concrete landscape where gilded spires of orthodox churches share the same skyline as curling skate ramps. The slouchy skater-boy-meets-girl attitude of the new collection feels totally in step with my wardrobe of slide-on sneakers and baggy suits, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that his collaboration for Vans will be Stateside. Thankfully you can buy his own designs at the new Murray Hill outpost of Dover Street Market, alongside other great emerging labels like Proper Gang.
Looks from Gosha Rubchinsky Spring 2014.
I made my third and final Russian discovery shopping for new jeans at Opening Ceremony. Walk of Shame (yes the name leaves something to be desired, so let's call them WOS) has a bunch of cool denim skirts, and I’ve had my eye on the buttoned maxi below for a while. The real WOS showstopper at the store right now though is a striped curly hair wool coat. A quick Google image search of the label throws up a pretty impressive fashion footprint—in other words, a slew of street-style pictures of Duma and her crew showing support for the home team in their clothes.
Looks from Walk of Shame at Opening Ceremony.