Moscow on the fashion map: between periphery and centre

Studies in East European Thought 63 (2):111-121 (2011)
This essay considers Moscow’s simultaneously peripheral and central position on the global fashion map. It is predicated on a study of imaginary Russian geographies presented in Vogue and other fashion media, advertisements and promotional activities by important fashion brands, as well as the promotional texts and visuals of several new Russian fashion designers. While these different players all contribute to shaping the imagery of Russian fashion today, their agendas and aesthetics differ. This essay identifies three main approaches within the field of the symbolic production of Russian fashion. Western fashion designers and fashion media mainly rely on Russian imperial sartorial heritage in their orientalizing approach to Russian fashion. Secondly, Russian Vogue perpetuates Moscow’s peripheral international fashion position either by passively transmitting derivative Western representations of Russianness, or by reconstructing its own high-fashion versions of traditional Russian decorative style. Finally, several young Russian fashion designers deconstruct both traditional Russian and socialist iconography, in a fundamentally new development for the country’s fashion scene
Keywords Auto-exoticism  Centre  Fashion designer  Fashion quotation  High-fashion ethnic  Orientalism  Periphery  Picturesque  Symbolic production of fashion   Vogue
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DOI 10.1007/s11212-011-9138-y
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Orientalism.Edward Said - 1979 - Vintage.

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