Crafting Ties with Tradition

Polimoda meets Russian craft during the Traditional Russian Patterns Expedition


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In an effort to foster creative ties between Italian culture and traditional Russian craft, Polimoda has partnered with the Russian Fashion Council for an exclusive border-transcending project: the Traditional Russian Patterns Expedition, a 7-day journey through Russia incentivizing hands-on craftsmanship, plus a noteworthy feature in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia 2019.

It’s a great privilege for Polimoda to have been chosen by the Russian Fashion Council as the first international partner for a project of this magnitude. This opportunity allows our students to increase their professional advantage by learning to grasp a foreign culture while developing additional hands-on skills. Moreover, the initiative is emblematic of Polimoda’s educational projects, which manage to bring together not only competing fashion groups but also influential players on the international arena.

Danilo Venturi

Merging the creative zeal of 13 Fashion Design alumni with the country’s traditional artistry, the expedition ventured through Moscow and Russian cities renowned for their traditional folk art and craft goods production, from Saint Petersburg to Orenburg, Torzhok, Semenov and Rechicy. Alongside students from HSE Design School, the budding talents participated in workshops, lectures and excursions to learn the inner workings of traditional Russia, including Gzhel and Khokhloma painting, Torzhok gold embroidery, Porcelain making and Orenburg shawl making techniques.

Traditional Russian Patterns Expedition

Under the guidance of leading craftsmen, students crafted personal interpretations of traditional Russian products, presenting their technical sketches to the Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Denis Manturov, and his deputies Gulnaz Kadyrova, Alexey Gruzdev and Alexander Shumsky, President of the Russian Fashion Council. The selected sketches will be put into production by the relevant production houses, giving students a one-off opportunity to become an integral part of Russian craft and take their first steps as designers in the industry.

“We have a long-term close relation between Polimoda and the Russian Fashion Council. Polimoda is in the top 10 fashion institutions around the globe, so the idea of the project was aligned with the top quality of education,” elaborated Shumsky. “Polimoda’s students have talent and passion and we are happy that they received this exclusive artistic experience and inspiration in Russia. There was a lot of positive feedback after the Russian Expedition and I hope that this experience will be reflected in the students’ collections in the future.”

Traditional Russian Patterns Expedition

“The Russian Fashion Council and Polimoda helped us get a fresh look at the world of fashion and reconsider our usual approach to work. It is highly important to preserve traditions and culture, but it is no less important to share them with the rest of the world, including the new generation of designers,” added Polimoda student Sara Armellin.

With the new academic year kicking off, this is only the start of enduring ties between Polimoda and its northern partner: in addition to the creation of traditional Russian products, the young talents will produce an outfit inspired by the expedition, which will be displayed as part of a joint fashion collection at the next Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia.