Blade Runner. Shanghai. Neon. The set up made me long for Bored Panda distractions. However, the SAINT TOKYO fall-winter 2016 show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia kept my attention from the first floral to the last feathered look. The brand was created to explore and fill in the conceptual gap between East and West historically occupied by the Russian culture. This mission comes with centuries of baggage. Designer Yury Pitenin managed to chart his own course through the treacherous “it’s all been done before” waters. The effort is fresh and earnest. The flower patterns are stylized slightly outside pictorial conventions that could be expected within the brand premise. These are not sharp bright petals as shorthand for “Asia” nor allusions to bouquet realism of European “Masters”. The arrow warrior layering and diagonal cuts made the central part of the collection beg for descriptors like Shaolin Punk. The coda looks with paillettes and feathers were elaborately performative yet not out of the realm of street style possibilities. While menswear was absent (and missed!) from this season, the evolving SAINT TOKYO aesthetic continues to foment desire for more. There is undeniable alchemy in this work, not always self-evident, at times counter-intuitive, akin to following a Haruki Murakami plot. That makes Yury Pitenin the Sputnik Sweetheart of Moscow fashion scene.
Check out my other fall-winter 2016 MBFWRussia reviews: PIROSMANI
And read my season review for the FORBES magazine!