Russia is full of faithful believers in many grandiose ideas, but tears ain’t one of ’em. “Moscow Doesn’t Believe in Tears” was the manifesto title of the 1980 Oscar-winning Soviet film. Crying gets you nowhere in this land of grit, hot blood and cold sweat. “Russians embrace their hardships, in the same way the French savor the joie de vivre or the Italians cultivate la dolce vita.” It’s a line from my Forbes Magazine review of the latest edition of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia. Designer Jenya Malygina proselytizes this ethos with her brand Pirosmani. The fall-winter 2016 collection, inspired by the Orthodox icons of Mikhail Vrubel and the idea of transcendence through suffering, falls somewhere between couture masochism and zen fashion. Even at its brightest, the minimal palette is resolutely pastel. The rough hems, the asymmetrical cuts, high waists and noir styling: the brand DNA is instantly identifiable. The downcast wings layered throughout the looks appear more as inspirational beacons than relics of crash landings. Herein, psycho-emotional distress is made comfortable to embody and, therefore, becomes bearable, manageable, and overcome-able. Malygina’s brilliance sustains the subversive appeal of Pirosmani.
Check out my other Pirosmani reviews: PAGE TURNER FW’15 and follow Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia.