Artem Shumov refers to himself as an aspiring designer and the disarming modesty is refreshing. Nothing about him or his spring-summer 2017 collection showcased at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia appears expectantly, well, Russian: no glitz, kitsch, bravura. No burden of monumentalism either. It’s fun, vibrant, resolutely urban with slightly off-kilter styling befitting Barcelona, Vancouver or similar alt-fashion platform.
The premise of a young Russian designer mining retro-athletics for inspiration triggers inevitable comparisons to the breakout success of Gosha Rubchinskiy. However, Shumov averts such easy parallels. Where Rubchinskiy relishes his homoerotic post-Soviet nostalgia, Shumov offers no precise cultural geotagging.
His aesthetic is of the globalized now even if Warhol-esque platinum wigs softly queered the lens. He boldly staked his signature brand item on a jumpsuit, of all garments, and he does it justice with about half a dozen styling options. The tracksuit business suits succeed in walking the tightrope over tackiness: they might not be exactly wall-street, but nail it for every other circumstance where going bespoke is taking a step too far.
Shumov’s press release notes described the target persona as someone who “has figured out what he wants in life, but needs some extra time to enjoy the present, take care of himself, get fit and everything… before he moves to the next level, the next goal in his life”. An assured collection, it should land Artem Shumov on the industry’s next-level-watch list.
Alexey Timbul exclusively for Depesha