Two trains of thought emerged at the Miu Miu Salon, temporarily housed at the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture in Moscow last Friday. The subject was women, frocks and freedom. “The important thing for a Russian woman is to always be ready (to find a sweet man).” This is the sentence from which the conversation took off. It was quoted from one young Russian fashion editor originally from St. Petersburg. But it wasn’t long before an alternate point of view surfaced. That Russian women have always had a love of beauty and detail which comes across in the way they dress and has not much to do with attracting men. Andre Leon Talley enforced this point citing artifacts from the Kremlin, such as wheels from a horse’s carriage bearing crystals and semi-precious stones. Even the chair Peter The Great sat in was set with rubies and emeralds, he pointed out, so historically Russia has had a great affinity for beauty.
The photographer Jean Pigozzi explained that a young Russian woman once told him, that the sheer loss of men in Russia during both world wars left a major imbalance in the ratio of men to women creating the peacocking of women. So it seems that he agreed with the first statement.
Between both ideas though, it seems that what Russian women have the freedom to fantasize and the freedom to wear the most exuberant frocks. Whether they are attracting the attention of men or their friends, they seem to take great liberty in refining every detail, whether it’s in the delicate flex of an ankle or placing an emerald brooch on a turban. And maybe it’s this skill of refinement that is so attractive in Russian women. It is a trait that both sexes can appreciate.
First published in Garagemag.com November 2011.
Photo of a Russian Woman (Elena Perminova) by Tommy Ton
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