Fashion in the USSR

par Shannah

I’m pretty fond of history and fashion, and I think Russian style is one of the most interesting. Unfortunately, I missed an exhibition which took place in Moscow (and ended a few days before I arrived there) that was about the evolution of Soviet fashion, from the post WWI to the Perestroïka. Fashion behind the Iron Curtain took place in the Tsaritsyno museum (which is incredibly gorgeous). I found some pictures :




Well, those wonders were worn by the Russian elite… Let’s not forget that the Soviet Union had as an overriding objective to equalize the whole society, and  to immerse everyone in grey… Normal women had not hope to dress like this, but actresses, ballerinas, heiresses; all women who were enable to travel, participated to keep alive the famous Russian style… Long dresses, fur, Byzatium-inspired accessories, this baroque attitude and feminity.

The mains inspirations for women in the USSR were ballerinas. Symbols of beauty, feminity, of grace and rigor; the most famous were Galina Ulanova, Maya Plissetskaya and Olga Lepeshinskaya. Pride of the regime, those icons were adulated by Russian women, who certainly were craving for their clothes brought from Europe…

Despite the lack of materials, and the closed borders, there was a huge burst of creativity. What’s better than the Do it yourself ? Copying Russian fashion magazines, women created their own outfits.

Dior models in Moscow.

As you can see, the country started tolerating foreign designers…

The fashion magazines were, as the whole press, subject to control. The aim ? Utilitarianism. Sure, but the Russian woman never forgot her taste and her sense of aesthetic.