Cycles & Seasons by Mastercard, volume VI, part I

This fall Cycles & Seasons VI coincided with the Moscow Biennale and ran under Fashion-as-Art slogan. Gallery and studio spaces were used as catwalks to showcase Russia’s brightest and bravest fashion designers.  Over the next few articles, we will review Spring/Summer 2012 collections and profile Russia's most exciting designers.
Lena Vasilyeva opened the sixth installment of Cycles & Season with an ambitious collection. It was meant to simultaneously uphold her reign on Moscow’s conservative upscale niche and reach a younger more adventurous demographic.

Vasilyeva beautifully managed the task by mixing her signature minimalist style with wellness aesthetics. Models navigated the lobby of MAMM Multimedia Museum in barely-there ballet flats. Silk, organza and chiffon flowed freely in banner red, clear sky blue and off-white colors. Occasional notes of warm cognac brown were a welcome addition to the laconic spring palette. Avid trend-watchers appreciated Vasilyeva’s subtle habergeon print.

All looks were midi or floor-length. Even shorts were hemmed reservedly at the knee. Vasilyeva appears to be aware of the country club design trap and aims to evolve beyond its constrains. This collection hit all the right notes with her target audiences. Plastic visors with organza netting and silver trim were the night’s clear winner. Judging by the post-show enthusiastic response, you might want to rush order this item or risk getting an out-of-stock notice. The brand scored extra panache points for recruiting Austria’s Next Top Model onto its catwalk.
Later same evening largely the same crowd gathered to see another comrade-in-minimalism. Serguei Teplov presented his collection atop the iconic Pekin Hotel with panoramic views of nighttime traffic.

From dragon-stylized designer signature on the back of jackets to the requisite kimono, far-eastern influences were evident throughout the fair collection. Shades of grey and blue silk shimmered in the light reflecting off the tall windows. Mini was the length.

Black lace was the choice detailing material for top and bottom trims. The line between eveningwear and lingerie appeared tantalizingly blurred. Vintage golden chains with key pendants adorned all looks. For a moment, these James Bond Girls were about to get away with another glamorous heist. A congratulatory kiss from former Vogue Russia maven Alena Doletskaya worked as stop-signal for all criticism. Russophile fashionistas will no doubt update their private wardrobes with latest ST pieces, but probably wear something else in public. Just as the famed Pekin Hotel is about to undergo renovations and expansion, fine Teplov brand could use a bit of a creative upgrade. For more about the designer check out Serguei Teplov's profile on DEPESHA. Alexey Timbul

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