It was inevitable that the huge migration from countries like Poland, the Czech Republic and Russia to cities like New York, London and Paris would have effects on fashion trends. And in May, when some of these countries become fully integrated into the EU, the spirit of the Eastern bloc will demand even greater attention — for now we can report some early signs. On the fashion runways, a fierce new crop of Slavic beauties including models Natalia Vodianova, Eugenia Volodina, and Hana Soukupova have stolen the fashion runways from the long reigning Brazilians. Designers from red-hot labels Slava Korin, Bulga and Due Farina are from the region. And at the Paris men’s shows the feeling of Eastern Europe was undeniable. Oswald Boateng showed a Revolution theme catwalk presentation with strapping Eastern bloc models in well tailored suits, cashmere coats, and fur hats, all marked by red military emblems and detailing. The designer finished off the show by embracing his Russian wife. Gaspard Yurkievich, at his showing, created the atmosphere of a Cold War gymnasium, depicting athletes grunting their way through tae kwon do routines to show off the Hoping collection, which could have easily been titled the Russian gym collection. Gleb, the Paris-based Russian photographer is shooting cold, well-choreographed black and white images for i-D magazine. And probably the trendiest endorsement of the Slavic arrival is the casting of heartthrob Mikhail Baryshnikov as Aleksandr Petrovsky Carrie’s final season love interest on Sex in the City. How will the trend evolve in fashion? YSL Russe or Giorgio Sant’ Angelo’s Siberian inspired collections? Bohemian eclecticism? The arrival of an icy new sex appeal? It’s all still unfolding.
Photos: Oswald Boateng fall 2004
models and Natalia Vodianova and Eugenia Volodina by Alfonso Smith
Gaspard Yurkievich fall 2004