Ruskie Business: A Russian Onrush in the Cultural Scene

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Is it just us, or is the Russian influence spreading far and wide? There is evidence of it everywhere: in the museums (the V&A's Magnificence of the Tsars 1721-1917), on the runways (Chanel's seventh annual Métiers d'Art show, a Russified tribute), on film (thank you again, Karl; check out his silent movie, Paris-Moscou, an homage to Chanel's Ruskie inklings), and as a destination for fashion photographers (The Sartorialist has made multiple trips to Moscow). From the magnificent embroidered ceremonial robes of Peter I to the red military-themed skirt suits by Karl, the extravagance of Russia-inflected fashion is forging a Soviet union from all corners of the fashion world. Meanwhile, arty socialite Dasha Zhukova is pioneering Moscow as an art hub. Editorial powerhouse Aliona Doletskaya, Russian Vogue's decade-strong editrix is described as "the lanky Slavic counterpart to Miranda Priestly." Behind those crazy fur hats, there's a lot going on, and it's infiltrating internationally. Like Cold War paranoia, 'cept not so problematic this time around.

Clockwise from left: Chanel via the Independent; Chanel via the Independent; Coachman's Jacket via the V&A Museum; Chanel via the Independent; Coronation herald's boots via the V&A Museum.