New Russian talent at Avenue32

It’s been around for less than eighteen months but Avenue32 is powering along in its quest for etail market share. It prides itself on scouting new talent, not least from further afield than St Martin’s London, New York and Paris. This is an interesting video spotlighting three of its Russian designers – Vika Gazinskaya, Vassilisa and Vilshenko (The sound quality’s not great but stick with it).

As Roberta Benteler, founder and managing director of Avenue32 told me, “supporting and discovering new designers from all over the world is very central to the Avenue 32 philosophy and is where our passion lies. Russia is experiencing a revolution in terms of fashion right now, so we’re definitely paying close attention to the talent emerging from that. We will soon have five Russian designers on the site; essentially they’re all very different in style, but they all definitely share a certain romanticism and the will to break away from the stereotypes that Russian fashion is often identified with.”

Olga Vilshenko is moving on from the trad long-sleeved, high-necked silhouettes of earlier seasons to simpler shapes that show off her folk-inspired prints and embroideries. And Vassilisa (a name I’m not familar with) produces fine cashmere scarves repeat-printed with mink tails and fox heads that have a strong graphic appeal. Vika Gazinskaya is the much-photographed elfin-faced darling of many a Fashion Week pap, but her designs are impressively accomplished. In the video she explains about her humble background – she didn’t see a copy of Vogue until the age of 16 – yet her demi-couture designs (from £855) are made from high quality fabrics and produced in Russia. I love this simple but luxe dress with its wavy hem and hand drawn cloud pattern that’s not printed but actually woven into the fabric…

VIKA GAZINSKAYA DRESS

VASSILISA FOX HEAD PRINT SCARF

VILSHENKO EMBROIDERED BLOUSE

VASSILISA MINK TAIL PRINT SCARF

VIKA GAZINSKAYA DRESS

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