St. Petersburg is home to one of the biggest fashion capitals in the world. Placed in the heart of Russia, the port city is well known for its baltic weathers with only 62 sunny days a year. Founded in 1703, St. Petersburg has a rich history which is transparent through artwork and creative fashion pieces displayed by the designers of Russia.
St. Petersburg Fashion Week
St. Petersburg attracts fashionistas from all over the world, as their most unique and cultured designs are showcased. Russia’s most polished looks step out to parade a variety of designs such as Gosha Rubchinskiy, Milla Berillo and Nasir Mazhar at St. Petersburg Fashion Week. Large commercial brands and international guests feature as the runway debuts some of the most futuristic designs in the world. Equally, their couture collections are also popular as they are presented to A-lister crowds. Not only this, but presentations directed by some of Russia’s greatest such as Xavier Chaumette and Veronique Sobul-Polshi are shown to the crowds during Fashion Week.
St. Petersburg is although not as high profile as other cities for the event but has a loyal audience of over half a million people on social media. The event allows for designs and journalists to find opportunities that launch their fashion careers or careers in the media pushing for diversity. St Petersburg is supported by the government and by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russian Federation with many more organisations yet to be listed.
Up and coming designers:
Milla Berillo has been developing since 2011 and is a new brand to Russia with their very first collection being exhibited at Central Saint Martins College, the same place designer Lyudmila Berillo graduated from. Previously between 2005-2011 Berillo studied at Omsk State Institute of Serve from which she graduated from with a degree in Fashion Design. 2012 then saw her internship with British designer Aimee McWilliams whilst she studied sewing with Marie-Claude Roche from France. The minimalist designs are based upon inner and external one-of-a-kindness, with the idea that every piece is unique and deserves individual credit. The designer wants to push the ideology that every person in the world deserves an individualistic style.
David Koma focuses on his feminine, polished pieces to complete his collections with an obsession for contouring the female silhouette. He has designed dresses for A-listers such as Lady Gaga and Rihanna. Freshly-appointed director of Mugler, Koma grew up in St. Petersburg where he studied Fine Art showcasing his first designs at the young age of 15. Despite being born in the US, he then moved to London to study fashion at Central St. Martins and joined the French label. His inspiration fruits mostly from his personal mentor Professor Louise Wilson, OBE, of where he completed his BA in Fashion Design degree in 2009.
Tigran Avetisyan graduated in London in 2012 showcasing his first collection attracting world press and buyers. At his home in Moscow, he launched his own eponymous label which pushes for movement in contemporary menswear. His futuristic designs meet classic minimalism, expressing the need for edge and creativity. Recent collaborations see him working with Eliminator and Burberry (of whom have just finished up their collab with former Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy).
Last but by no means least is the very heart of Russian fashion- Gosha Rubchinskiy. One of the biggest legends of modern Russian culture. The once filmmaker and photographer designs some of the most aesthetic collections to date. His influences fuel from the fall of the Iron Curtain, designing the edgiest pieces based on Russian street culture, specialising in menswear. Collaborations such as Adidas and Burberry represent British youth culture and so translate to Russian ideology of rebel activism. A lot of gym- and casualwear are designed by Rubchinskiy and so demonstrating further informalities of the subcultures.
Text: Ellie Botti
Images: Gosha Rubchinskiy, Calvert Journal, Hollywood Life, St Petersberg Fashion Week, Milla Berillo