Moscow fashionistas say city back in the groove

Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:34pm EDT
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By Amie Ferris-Rotman

MOSCOW (Reuters Life!) - International designers and stars descended on Moscow on Thursday night, oozing confidence that the glitzy Russian capital famed for its love of excess had got back its groove.

Russia's love affair with fashion, from home-grown designers to its thirst for luxury abroad, took a severe blow earlier this year as the recession bit into all strata of society, forcing sales to plummet and boutiques to board up their windows.

"Everything is coming back and it's great," French designer Roland Mouret, famed for his geometric women's dresses, told Reuters. Mouret met around a dozen Russian designers for Vogue's fashion night, celebrated on Thursday around the globe.

Later, dressed in a white suit jacket and dark jeans, Mouret joined Moscow's stilettoed, champagne-quaffing elite on cobbled Stoleshnikov Pereulok, Moscow's answer to London's Bond Street.

British model Naomi Campbell, who spends part of the year in Moscow with Russian boyfriend and property mogul Vladimir Doronin, hid from the photographers' glare as she swooped up Mouret's designs and a grey snakeskin clutch.

In unusually warm September weather, scantily clad Muscovites swung on Dali-like red lip couches in the middle of the street while DJs blasted music.

Nearby, Moscow's prestigious department store Tsum, which is housed in a grey turn-of-the-century stone building, launched an entire floor dedicated to Russian designers.

Russian Vogue Editor Alyona Doletskaya, her blonde fringe hanging gently over one eye, said the idea, inspired by stores such as London's Harvey Nichols which has sections for British designers, shows Russia is back.   Continued...