Saint Petersburg Style and Fashion
Every time I visit a new city I find myself observing architecture, attractions and, of course, its citizens. As for me, people’s clothing and behavior complete the image of the city as a whole.
According to statistics there are only 62 sunny days a year in St. Petersburg – all the rest are rainy, foggy or snowy. Citizens prefer to dress in black and gray because of the weather. Though the architecture in the center of the city is pleasing to visitors with its colorful facades, in everyday life residents seem to be dressed in 50 shades of gray. And that’s the result of a highly unpredictable climate.
Weather may change several times during a day and you have to adapt your style to it. After leaving your flat, be ready for hot or extremely hot weather and for cold wind as well heavy rain that will probably turn into hail or maybe even snow. So it is therefore necessary to take a raincoat, jacket, umbrella, scarf and a bag that will fit this stuff, provided that all of the above should look stylish together.
Harmonious appearance is another trait of the Petersburg style. Historically, all new buildings in the city were elegantly inscribed in the architectural environment, so that St Petersburg grew in balance and harmony.
Despite the regular grumbling on the weather, I truly love St. Petersburg style. Its elegance, austerity and classical look suits the cultural capital of Russia. St. Petersburg is called a “window to Europe,” because a lot of European traditions invaded the country through the city. The fashion industry of the city is not an exception; it is a unique combination of rethought European trends with a variety of Oriental and Slavic motifs.
To understand the true Petersburg style, we need to understand its origins. Two of the most famous fashion designers in St. Petersburg are Tatyana Kotegova and Tatiana Parfionova.
Tanya Kotegova fashion house appeared in St. Petersburg 20 years ago. Tatyana believes that “St. Petersburg is a real school of style, an excellent example of good taste.” She offers classics and excellence, perfect cut and immutable elegance. The main color is black.
Fashion expert Alexander Vasilyev once compared Kotegova style with Christian Dior brim. Tatyana is almost always dressed in black – her favorite color. If you are looking for true classics, you should definitely come here.
Tatiana Parfionova fashion house was opened in 1995. Her collections were shown around the world – Paris, Milan, New York, Beijing and Montreal. Parfionova believes that Petersburg is one of the main sources of inspiration: “Whether we like it or not, the city strongly influences us by its architecture, idyllic proportions and history.” She says that in comparison to Moscow, St. Petersburg designers show greater aristocracy, independence and creativity in collections. “They seek to create a thing, and not to show off.” Combination of different fabrics, layering, embroidery and appliqués are the main techniques employed by the designer to create a unique and inimitable image. There are many interesting collections such as “Eternity” that is reminiscent of old dolls and ghostly creatures from children’s dreams; “The women’s name, a collection devoted to women’s wisdom’ Freylinsky Garden, a wizardly collection with elves and fairies, introducing light dresses decorated with laces, pearls and beads.
Stas Lopatkin and his Studio of Beautiful Clothes offers a variety of contemporary romantic trends of St. Petersburg’s fashion. Here you will find delicate and conservative, but at the same time bright and modern works. Stas defines his approach as “retrospectivism.” It is a compromise between utility and elegance, classic and modern, and has a desire for comfort with use of a soft color palette and laces.
Oleg Biryukov is another master of St. Petersburg style. His models look classic and reserved, feminine and elegant. The prevailing colors are black and white or natural ones (the color of flax, wool or cotton).
“The courage to make simple things leads him to pithiness and minimalism – the real test points for the designer,” ELLE magazine wrote about him.
Simple models by Biryukov are often decorated with draperies and pleating, which make them even more feminine and elegant.
Fashion designer Leonid Alexeev annually represents two clothing lines: Leonid Alexeev Femme and Leonid Alexeev Homme. The brand is especially loved by creative youth of St. Petersburg. The designer is making the Petersburg style more contemporary. Leonid also became an art director of Erarta Fashion Storage – a project of the Erarta Museum of Modern Art, where under his leadership a portrait of contemporary Russian fashion will be created.
Where to shop
The store offers only Russian brands and many items by St. Petersburg designers. Except for the above mentioned Stas Lopatkin line, you can buy more affordable brands like Ilya Chelyshev, BORODULIN`S, Ekaterina Smolina, Faina Tveritina, KARNACHE`VA, Katya Anderzhanova, Spicery, YURI MALASHENKO, KOGEL, Natalia Meckler and many others.
St. Petersburg, Bolshoy prospect PS, 28, Bld. 1
St. Petersburg, Leninsky Prospect, 132 (Mall Breeze, section 12 on the second floor)
Phone +7 (812) 372 0670, +7 (812) 951 9425
The shop sells works, clothing and accessories, made by students and graduates of St. Petersburg art colleges. Young fashion designers present their graduation works here. There is a chance to find something truly unique. The store also offers clothing for rent.
Skywalkers online fashion store: www.skywalkers.ru
Tanya Kotegova Fashion House
St. Petersburg, Petrograd Side Grand Ave, 44, 2nd Floor
Phone +7 (812) 346 3467
Tatiana Parfionova Fashion House
St. Petersburg, Nevsky Prospekt 51,
Phone +7 (812) 713 1415, +7 (812) 713 3669,
Studio Stas Lopatkin
St. Petersburg, Petrograd Side, st. 10 The Lenin,
Phone +7 (812) 232 1522,
St. Petersburg, Nevsky Prospect 71, sections 4-7
Phone +7 (812) 600 5132
St. Petersburg, Nevsky Prospect, 11
Phone +7 812 740 4919
St. Petersburg, Bolshoy prospect PS, 46, Bld. 1
Phone +7 (812) 322 0896
Translation by Kira Egorova
Edited by Erin Swanson