After tackling the spring 2017 shows in New York, London and Milan and Paris, we've kept the fashion train rolling all the way through to Moscow, where the 33rd season of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia (#MBFWRussia) just wrapped up in the nation's capital.
Read on for the looks that caught our attention on the last day of shows.
When designer Lena Karnauhova founded her eponymous brand in 2009, it was one of the only labels in Russia that was based in creative engineering and technology. Specifically, her work revolves around the "folding" of materials, a procedure which largely reduces the need for tailoring — which, in turn, reduces the cost. But rest assured, her pieces are exquisite, with high-quality fabrics and recognizable, often asymmetrical silhouettes being the line's mainstays. The above look closed the show, and for good reason: The gown's long, billowing sleeves and satin-like finish was a sight to be seen as it came down the runway. And while the open bodice revealed quite a bit of sternum, it looked tasteful, somehow, thanks to the large amount of fabric elsewhere.
I'd been eager to check out Ksenia Seraya's work since Chantal named the designer a Russian label to watch last March. The Moscow-based knitwear designer lived up to the hype. Of all the collections of the week, it was Seraya that struck me as being one of the only true contemporary brands showing in Moscow. Not only was her collection cohesive, but it also felt representative of how women want to dress today. The garments were just body-hugging enough to feel fun and modern, without having the effect of an actual body-con dress. This #Tumblrpink look opened the runway show, and I was delighted by the extra-long sleeves, houndstooth-like pants and pleated fan detailing.
Here's an example of that non-body-con-body-con dress, my favorite of Seraya's collection. The back was completely open and featured waist-cinching detail that imitated a sweater. I loved the thick shoulder straps and subtle skirt slits up the side, as well.
In 2006, Dasha Gauser quit her day job and launched her label without any outside investment, and today, her brand is a regular headliner of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia. Her garments are architectural and modern, but what's better is what goes into them — Gauser mainly uses natural fabrics, including silk, wool, linen and cotton. She specializes in accessories, too, showing unique clutches and bags alongside dresses, blouses, hoodies, trousers and more. And while this frock would've been exceptional on its own (note the asymmetrical sleeves!), it was the sequined cactus pin that brought out the metallic detailing on the collar and really did it for me.
I'm always a sucker for sequins, especially when used in excess (and on a slinky slip dress) — but even so, the styling of this look was the standout. Does it have you convinced that you, too, should dress down a formal frock by wearing a patterned blouse underneath? After seeing this on the runway, I'm ready to give it a shot.
We haven't been shy about praising Alena Akhmadullina's work in previous seasons — why isn't she showing in Paris already? — and her spring 2017 collection held up. While I'll expand on this Moscow-based designer's prowess in a separate post, I'll admit now that this collection (which was presented in two parts, immediately following each other) was the most impressive of MBFW Russia as a whole. The first half was more casual, with patterned mini dresses and subtly embellished blouses, as well as this impeccable vest-and-culotte set. Once again, it was the styling that blew me away. I'm not ordinarily one for colored tights, but the above pair in turquoise looked so sophisticated against the sky blue suit and mossy green shoes.
Meanwhile, the second half was comprised almost entirely of ornate, ankle-length gowns and voluminous minis. If there's an "It" piece from the collection as a whole, it was this gilded, laser-cut dress, which closed the show. Paired with the easy, middle-parted waves, minimal makeup and embellished velvet ankle boots (with a lucite heel), the look was nothing short of jaw-dropping.
Disclosure: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia paid for my travel and accommodations to attend and cover the event.