Mercedes-Benz fashion Week Russia SS18 is one of the last fashion weeks of the season and I am always looking forward to seeing Bezgraniz Couture collection, developed in collaboration with the British Higher School of Art and Design Moscow (BHSAD) students. Year after year Bezgraniz Couture (Fashion without borders – Rus.) reminds us that fashion is and should always be for everyone.
Catering over 18% of our society, Bezgraniz Couture designs and produces modern functional clothes for people with mental challenges and physical disabilities. The SS18 RTW menswear and womenswear collection Dress for Success featured models with different disabilities, including men and women with cerebral palsy, amputees, Down syndrome and other challenges.
As we found out from Janina Urussova, the co-founder of Bezgraniz Couture, the fashion show, which is on the official MBFW Russia calendar, the collections are being created together with the models-advisors, who help the designers and manufacturers understand the needs of their own. It might be impossible to imagine that putting on a jacket, buttoning-up the blouse or even reaching to your pocket can be a challenge. Different disabilities require individual design and technical solutions, whether it’s just a strong colour preference and easy to wear design, or a durable and multi-functional pair of trousers for an amputee, with pockets, zippers and adjustable width just the way it should be.
At the same time, the show itself has become a real empowerment instrument with hundreds of models applying to walk down the catwalk each year. Each season we see Jack Eyers a British ambassador of Models of Diversity and model amputee opening the show.
Annual Fashion shows in Moscow and Los Angeles is just one way to spread the positive message of change for the Russian fashion and art project. Their bigger mission is to rebrand disability. They are doing a great job by taking a leading role in focusing on design and functionality, without compromising on either. I have heard women (including myself) complaining about the mission impossible of finding stylish maternity clothes, or spotting designers who cater the fashion-savvy plus-size customer. Can you imagine looking good being completely different from what would society see as a ‘norm’? Honestly, Bezgraniz Couture is one step ahead of all the designers I know.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia SS18 is taking place 21-25 October in Moscow. Follow Fashion Bloc news to see the full review of the MBFWR.
All Photos ©Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia
Watch the full show Dress for Success by Bezgraniz Couture