Last August, thirteen budding talents traveled from the Florentine cityscape to traditional Russia, venturing through visions of folk art and handcrafted goods to fuel their creative fire. The Traditional Russian Patterns Expedition, a 7-day journey through traditional Russian production sites, served as a hotbed of inspiration for the development of a one-of-a-kind joint fashion collection, which recently earned a spot on the global stage at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia 2019.
Launched by the Russian Fashion Council, the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade and the National Arts and Crafts, the collaboration with Polimoda and HSE Design School in Moscow consisted of creating a joint collection, designed and produced by students, that drew on the quintessential elements of Russian tradition discovered during their week-long adventure. The end result, produced over the course of six months, consisted of 22 pieces (13 outfits by Polimoda students and 8 by HSE design students), providing many of the institute’s recent Fashion Design alumni their official industry debut.
In addition to the fashion show, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week also held an exhibition displaying student sketches, which were placed alongside interior design pieces and accessories – from teapots to necklaces, bath sets, plates and bags – manufactured by the very companies that hosted students during their August visit. Coming full circle, these companies, the main production hubs of traditional arts and crafts, served as the starting point for sketches developed by students and later displayed to industry eyes.
Both the fashion show and exhibition were attended by the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry of the Russian Federation, Gulnas Kadirova, as well as Alexander Shumsky, President of the Russian Fashion Council, and representatives of all major companies participating in the project. Ms. Kadirova confirmed the success of the project, stressing both the importance of supporting new talent and urging the continuation of this collaboration for years to come.
The Russian Fashion Council also invited Polimoda, alongside leading Russian fashion institutions, to participate in the first-ever Futurum Education, an initiative aimed at introducing fashion education opportunities to Russian students both in Russia and abroad. For the occasion, Polimoda presented a selection of creations by design students and alumni, with outfits by Chiara Lombi and Chiara Rimondini, and select leather goods, including shoes and bags, by Liubachev Grigorii. During the event, Claudio Marenco Mores, Polimoda Head of Education of Fashion Design and Design Management, delivered a lecture on the “anatomy of a creative idea,” which explored how fashion, architecture, technology and other seemingly unrelated fields share a common ground when it comes to ideation.