Russian catwalk a gloomy affair for autumn/winter

Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:48pm EDT
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By Nastassia Astrasheuskaya

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Moscow trendsetters look set for a gloomy and conservative autumn/winter 2012/13 season if Russian Fashion Week has been any judge of the trends for menswear and womenswear.

Models without jewellery, in pale make-up and with simple hair styles strode the runway last week in long dark skirts and dresses, swathed in thick gray sweaters and coats at catwalk shows for some of Russia's best-known designers.

Designers said the drab colors and austere collections of Fashion Week -- which ended on Sunday -- reflected the mood of a Russian society that has had a winter of discontent, filled with mass demonstrations in the run-up to and after presidential elections won by Vladimir Putin.

The demonstrations, which began after the December 4 parliamentary election and went on until after the March 4 presidential vote, even led Russian "it" girl, Kseniya Sobchak to exchange her usually loud and extravagant outfits for subdued grey, black and white uniforms.

Designer Julia Nikolayeva presented a "homeless" line, with models, dressed in classic dark blue and black jumpers, classic brown trousers or long skirts, clambering out from underneath newspapers and boxes thrown around a runway covered with artificial snow.

Debut designer Maroussia Zaytseva presented a minimalist 1960s dress in cold colours worn by models with wet hair and white eye-brows. Her show was based on a story about a plane's emergency landing, and the models played the survivors emerging from the freezing water as zombies.

"I created the sketches around the time when planes were falling here, ships were sinking, and everything was so awful," the short-haired 17-year-old Zaytseva, dressed in a long black skirt and a black T-shirt under a leather jacket she pulled off one of her models, told journalists after her show.

"At those moments you start realizing that everything is very fragile. But in my story, everyone survived, because I think there has to be hope."   Continued...

Models present creations by Russian designer Yegor Zaitsev during his show at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Moscow March 25, 2012. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin