Russian Style. Vogue or Vodka?

Despite all the achievements of Russian fashion designers, the world still considers the phenomenon of “Russian Fashion” as something between “impossible” and “the most impossible” (somewhere between an alien invasion and world economic stability).

russian style2

Reading comments to this photo makes it clear that the audience is puzzled, considering this French woman’s outfit ugly. When it turns out that the woman is Russian, critics with a sigh of relief admit, “Russian? That explains everything”. Of course, practically everyone can fail putting together a great outfit. But, can we judge Russian fashion by some celebrities’ outfits?

If it were a Frenchwoman or an American, I bet everyone would feel sorry for her, asking, “Why so pale?” admitting it’s just not her day, and giving some practical advice on improving the outfit. If it’s Russian, a sentence is adamant, “No go!”

Let’s consider another example.

russian style

All comments admire in unison her sense of style, lavishly complimenting her outfit. When it turns out that the girl is Russian, the fact is followed by poorly concealed amazement, “Russian? Are you kidding me?”  If a Russian girl with well-crafted wardrobe and dainty sense of style shows up to a social event, she seems to be an exception only proving the rule.

Let’s compare a conception of a typical Russian grandma (age 65) and a photo of French woman Fanny Ardant (age 65), who claims that the blade of a surgical knife has never touched her face.


The only questions is Why? Well, one more is How?

WHY did so sad stereotype form about Russian women?


HOW can we get rid of it?


6 thoughts on “Russian Style. Vogue or Vodka?

  1. I think the modern Russian woman represents herself well in the international community. Perceptions die hard even when faced with the fact those perceptions are false. There is much to overcome but taking pride in oneself and in one’s culture makes for a good example for others to appreciate. The old hegemony of western dominance in fashion and style is fading. The east is where the sun rises now. As for vodka, there is no better cure for chronic sobriety. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that’s exactly what I wanted to say in this post. No matter how hard we try, for most people we will never be trend-setters. And, yes, I’m really proud of the fact that there’re many Russian women, who look like the epitome of style (even if they had to do their shopping in Europe ha ha)
      Fashion is calling for a strong vision and sensibility to challenge the stereotypes, and I think we have it. Thank you for your comment 🙂 I like when people share their views

      Liked by 1 person

  2. whoa ….. from what i see and the discussions i’ve been with guys/people who have been to russia and the women of russian descent i’ve met, russian women are some of the most beautiful women on the planet! my conception is not the old gal on the left … who emerged from the khruschev era hardships …

    on the hierarchy of needs, women from that era hardly made it above the ”feeding yourself” level let alone, being self sufficient enough to explore their minds and associate with other like minded people. they were too busy trying to survive.

    every man i’ve talked to mentions the pale blue eyes, natural blond hair (for the most part) pale skin and a blending of asiatic and russian features … put the whole thing together and you have amazing beauty.

    you can’t compare the russian women of the past with french women of the present or even russian women of the present with that older culture of woman.

    on top of all that … the accent is exotic, beguiling and very sexy.

    as for the female person above who you say is put together very well .. the way i see it .. she looks like she is imitating a sense of style that was in existence 20 years ago when ”girls just wanna have fu-un” was popular …(can’t think of her name ) she looks phony to me. she’s wearing a mish mash of different stereotypical american items … to me it looks like she has draped these ”items” over herself … as it they are things she is displaying to let the world know that she is a hip girl … it’s embarrassing … look at the purse and that base ball cap … jeeze …,

    the one thing russians in general need to get over is trying to imitate american culture. i know that’s a shitty thing to say and is NOT true of all russians. but i know that this attitude existed before the ussr fell apart when a pair of Levis jeans was a most prized possession. the whole thing came to a head when the beatles sang, ”back in the USSR” and made russian’s in general a joke. that must have been awful and contributed to this inferiority complex i am hearing from you.

    what needs to happen is to build on your OWN russian traditions … develop really stylish peasant clothes with great fabrics or figure out how to make ‘babushkas’ come into style in some creative way. be unique … wear clothes of your own identify … it’s time to create a russian melange … a russian identity …, then and only then can you say, if you don’t like what i wear then go fuck yourself … the same attitude as the french … and believe me … russian women have more exotic beauty than those pretty faced, anorexic looking french women, any day.

    i’m just an average guy … more mature perhaps … who doesn’t know nothin’ about fashion except what looks good plus i’m a student of human nature and i’ve been around long enough to know … a lottlittlebit about a lot of things … i’ve never seen an unattractive russian woman … for one thing .,.. the accent will do it every time .,… hey .,.. thanks for reading my blog …. ks

    Liked by 2 people

    • Generalization is the last thing I wanted to do in this post, so if it sounds so, I’ll try to clarify my thoughts and words the next time.
      We all know there are extremely beautiful and plain people in all nations. There are many women with a great sense of style and the lack of it in every country.
      I agree, our past (perestroika, wars, revolutions, iron curtain, you name it) has a huge impact on Russian fashion and style but those days are gone a long time ago… New technology allows us to evolve and develop with ultra-high speed, and it’s not only about imitation american fashion.
      For sure, you may not know and you haven’t to know but our designers have been creating really amazing clothes with traditional Russian prints, patterns, fabrics, images for the last 20 years. Those things are gorgeous but, frankly, they are not so popular, to say the least. The matter of fact is the fashion laws and the language style are natural, universal, and intuitive. Even the tiniest details of peasant style and fabrics which were suitable when our women worked in the fields are not so good for day-to-day office life of a modern woman.
      What comes to our appearance…It’s just another stereotype.
      It’s hard to meet a natural blonde today, even in Russia. A number of women with fair hair decrease significantly day by day. I won’t tell about the Tartar Mongol Yoke, those days added the lion’s share of brunettes in our gene pool…and asiatic features : ) as you’ve said before.
      Those women I compare in the pictures are the same age and the same time, it’s our present. I walk in Russian streets every day and I can tell certainly what I see.
      And for sure I don’t consider that Russian hipster-girl as the embodiment of style. It’s not my favourite style either… I just point out what other people say.
      I’m proud of my culture, my heritage and “unique” style…but I’m writing a comment on the American computer, an American phone is nearby, there is a typical babushka is walking with her dog outside the window, and I’m staring in the American dictionary, though I’ve got a lot of peasant things to do…
      Thank you so much for your comment and for reading : ) I appreciate your thoughts and time

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beauty, does society place unrealistic demand upon a woman’s visage.
    Must she fit in to a “perfect” set of defined norms from an often invisible panel.
    Hmm, as for the 65 year old nana. I liken her features are the evolution of humanity’s ability to adapt to a bitterly hostile climate and environment. I admire her powerful build.
    Check this: in a cottage with a banked fire, that room temperature will plummet. Grammy move over.

    Luv your writing. The HTML helper on the page bottom rocks.

    Liked by 1 person

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