By Evgeniya Ratnikova and Ieva Zu

Once a regional Fashion Week, today Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia is an international fashion event attracting dozens of respected titles, counting over 50 this season, including Vogue US, Vogue India, Fashionista, WGSN, Business of Fashion and many other fashion media leaders.

Fashion Bloc’s Evgeniya Ratnikova presents a comprehensive overview of MBFW Russia, an alternative European fashion scene.

A Month of Fashion

The MBFW Russia SS17 season opened its doors on 13 of October in the heart of Moscow – the ‘Manege’ Central Exhibition Hall welcoming over 80 designers from Russia and other countries from emerging Europe (former Soviet Bloc). Among the established names there were 12 emerging designers together with Russian Fashion Council’s grant awardees. All shows were live streamed.

Photo © Ianis Chamalidy
Photo © Ianis Chamalidy

On 22nd of October, the event has catapulted to a lovely St Petersburg for one day. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Day Saint Petersburg has become an integral part of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia. Famous St. Petersburg fashion designers such as IANIS CHAMALIDY, VIKKI (Victoria Afanaseva) and IGOR GULYAEV showcased their collections in the Manege of the Cadet Corps.

The final event under the MBFW Russia umbrella will take place on 11 November with Igor Chapurin’s show, which will be presented at a separate venue in B.E.R.E.G. DISTRICT.

Veterans vs. Emerging Talent

The opening of the new season of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia started with Russian fashion veteran Vyacheslav Zaitsev. Zaicev stylistically divided his Impromptu Number 3 show into separate blocks all featuring traditional Russian costume aesthetics, always embraced by the designer, with the use of recognisable shapes and cuts such as puff gigot sleeves, dropped shoulder seam lines and round pumped-up shoulders.

Photo credit @ MBFW Russia
Photo credit @ MBFW Russia
Photo credit @ MBFW Russia
Photo credit @ MBFW Russia
Photo credit @ MBFW Russia
Photo credit @ MBFW Russia

Celebrating emerging designers alongside established names, MBFW Russia has enabled young talents to flourish in front of the international media and buyers.

Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images © MBFW Russia
Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images © MBFW Russia
Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images © MBFW Russia
Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images © MBFW Russia

Aida Robertova from Kyrgyzstan was awarded Slava Zaitsev (same guy, Viacesav) fashion home grant to show her Japanese inspired unisex sporty chic collection.

Another favourite of the MBFW Russia was Yasya Minochkina – Ukrainian Born designer. She graduated from Central Saint Martins and Royal Academy of Arts in London, moved to Moscow and is a super successful young designer with a signature romanticised aesthetics. Flowers, colourful

Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images © MBFW Russia
Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images © MBFW Russia
Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images © MBFW Russia
Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images © MBFW Russia

 

Attracting designers from ex-Soviet Bloc countries MBFW Russia has become a leading fashion week of the region. Designers from Georgia were extremely popular this season. The public and press endorsed Georgian brand Aka Nanita who presented a collection of carefully cut delicate gowns. Another Georgian designer Goga Nikabadze surprised the fashion audience with an overwhelming show bringing everyone to a summer getaway with bright colours and floating dresses.

Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images © MBFW Russia
Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images © MBFW Russia
Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images © MBFW Russia
Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images © MBFW Russia

Diversity

An annual tradition of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia is the Kids Fashion Festival which always brings many positive emotions to the youngest fashionistas. Designer collections are created in collaboration with the children’s department store Detsky Mir (think Selfridges for children) together with Disney World, This year, the collections were inspired by Disney cartoons and a soon to be released Beauty and the Beast movie.

Diversity on a catwalk has also become an integral part of the Fashion Week. On the last official day of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia, Bezgraniz Couture in collaboration with British Higher School of Art and Design students presented an exclusive collection for physically disabled people. A collection is a fresh take on physical disability demonstrating new functional solutions combining comfort together with fashion trends. Designers took into account all the specifics of their clients’ lifestyle to add comfort and mobility alongside presenting technical garments with trendy asymmetric cuts. We are super inspired!

See our exclusive selection of behind-the-scenes photos of MBFW Russia SS17 here.