GO SORRY or GO HOME: Sorry, I Am Not Spring/Summer 2017

Audacity is the fuel for the launch into fashionsphere. The team behind Sorry, I’m Not revved up for its second outing at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia on a full tank. Lead by the young designer Nikita Moiseenko (who admittedly dealt enough runway trump cards to claim a win), the show exhibited all the immediacy of the Business of Fashion newsfeed: no season distinction, womenswear and menswear presented together, Instagram or bust. It was the least “Russian” runway show of the day, impressive.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the SORRY, I'M NOT show during day three of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia SS17 at Manege on October 15, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA – OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the SORRY, I’M NOT show during day three of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia SS17 at Manege on October 15, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images)

Yet, a dissonant aftertaste lingered… Sure, Vetements has reset “design collective lead by a visionary” as the new maison. It’s a brave new default modus operandi of Moiseenko & Co. Yes, street couture is all the rage: Dior does backpacks, Chanel doubles as a supermarket, Gucci is one never-ending bohemian party. Sorry, I Am Not collection titled ‘Burn That Witch,’ aims for the niche, but falters on landing.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the SORRY, I'M NOT show during day three of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia SS17 at Manege on October 15, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA – OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the SORRY, I’M NOT show during day three of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia SS17 at Manege on October 15, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images)

I saw two distinctly different offerings by Sorry, I Am Not brand. Several womenswear pieces were singular. There was creativity and daredevilry therein. Too bad the younger Bowie is gone and the older Gaga is Country Western now. This type of glorious freak style is in desperate need of its next global icon. But, I digress.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the SORRY, I'M NOT show during day three of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia SS17 at Manege on October 15, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA – OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the SORRY, I’M NOT show during day three of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia SS17 at Manege on October 15, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images)

The problem is the other clothes. Whenever the collection veered from its one-off theatrics, the garments appeared almost as an afterthought to the art statements they were trying to make. A hoodie dress slouched off the shoulder to reveal a heart-shaped cleavage line? Any Halloween/mall store has that look down.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the SORRY, I'M NOT show during day three of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia SS17 at Manege on October 15, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA – OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the SORRY, I’M NOT show during day three of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia SS17 at Manege on October 15, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images)

Menswear was particularly dispiriting: half unwearable, half a joke. I couldn’t help but to ask myself: Is Moiseenko a fashion stylist disguised as a fashion designer? Maybe. But could Moiseenko pull of Nichola Formichetti and rise to the occasion? It’s evident he savors the grandeur.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the SORRY, I'M NOT show during day three of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia SS17 at Manege on October 15, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA – OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the SORRY, I’M NOT show during day three of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia SS17 at Manege on October 15, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images)

A business model built on spectacular publicity pieces with a sporadic “limited edition” T-shirts or totes or whatever else to stave off the style-hungry is hardly the way to sustain any fashion business, especially in the emerging fashion market like Russia.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the SORRY, I'M NOT show during day three of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia SS17 at Manege on October 15, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA – OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the SORRY, I’M NOT show during day three of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia SS17 at Manege on October 15, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images)

To survive in the fashionsphere, beyond audacity, to sell nationally as well as globally – Sorry, I’m Not must focus not on the butterflies under model’s nose, as delightful as those were, but on becoming a brand with long-term vision.

Stephan Rabimov, Alexey Timbul

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