It was most peculiar that on the day I turned down a trip to Moscow for the Cycles and Seasons event (booo….), a gem from Moscow turns up in my inbox in the form of Clare Lopeman.  Well, actually, Clare is British and has been living in Moscow for two years and most recently showed as part of British Council's British Designs Day at Russian Fashion Week (apparently there are several fashion weeks in Moscow…).   Lopeman is a CSM BA grad who has freelanced for a number of brands, finally settling on establishing the BA Fashion programme at the British Higher School of Art and Design in Moscow… alongside that, she has set up her studio and made her debut that reflects the culture clash between her Moscow surroundings and her British design background.

Her A/W 10-11 collection took vintage patterns from a classic Soviet dressmaking book '100 Dresses' which reflect French 50s couture silhouettes and shapes and transferred them to body conscious pieces with a lot of complex construction in some cases.  (I may have to email Lopeman to probe her about this intriguing pattern book which wasn't Google-able…)  If I hadn't known they were dress patterns, I was thinking they might have been aeronautical or mechanical ship drawings, what with the rigorous technicalities of the dresses, which are then further emphasised by the Soviet-era eye testing glasses, reminiscent of the old fashioned ones we all had to use for checking our prescription (urgh..enough with the myopic woes…!).  I love how the patterns from her inspiration source don't ever overwhelm the dresses themselves, allowing Lopeman's construction and precision toe shine through.  I also love the subtle palette seen best in the gradiated grey peeking out from the inside of a cape…


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Reading her inspiration list, I was also elated to find Howard Sochurek's LIFE magazine photograph story from 1959 depicting Christian Dior's New Look hitting the streets of Moscow as one of them.  Lopeman speaks of a British girl in Moscow and the fusions of cultures which I guess is why she relates to this seminal photostory, where alienation, curiosity and sharp contrasts are all at play.  The political and social significance of this story of course can't be ignored either (this site analyses it quite well…).  I'm hoping we see a few more collections of Moscow through Lopeman's English eyes…


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(Images from Rambling of Glamour Addict)

Comments (32)

  1. Clare says:

    Wow, these designs are just amazing… Turned down a trip to Moscow?! Boo…

  2. Wow, I had never seen this before – lovely images!

  3. lovely dresses! I like them!

  4. Amber says:

    They are very cool indeed! The pattern reference is brilliant.

  5. katie says:

    Structural, architectural, technical, wow so incredible- katie.xx
    would love you to stop by

  6. i love this stuff… there are moments i do think of other english designers like Mary Katrantzou and Holly Fulton, but then there are moments of thing I have not seen before and the glasses are killer… I LOVE THEM.

  7. Moscow vintage style was HOT. πŸ™‚

  8. FangZINE says:

    Amazing post! I love the eyewear so much!

  9. M says:

    Incredibly executed dresses the details on some of them remind me of a navigation chartβ€šΓ„ΒΆwell patterns are navigation charts but for the body no?

  10. Stunning work! I can see the little armhole and darts of a wee top in one of the prints, so witty!

  11. moi says:

    Those shoulders are very Dean Quinn…hmm

  12. I love the stark architectural pieces!! The strong shoulders and sleek silhouettes together with a strong but colour wise muted print. I love it! Thanks for sharing!! I really love the photographs and the glasses finish it off beautifully.

  13. Frances says:

    love this collection it is beautiful!!

  14. A fascinating blog. Going to keep following. Would love to hear more from you having set up the

  15. Structure + Fashion/Accessories = AWESOMENESS
    adore the glasses…

  16. I love the symmetry and the geometric prints for these dresses. I love the Herve Leger Striped Bandage Mini Dress.

  17. Skye says:

    Ah, the glamour of classic fashion. Beautiful! I am a Moscow native, and its funny to see the faces of the shocked women. How Moscow has changed!

  18. Margaret says:

    way to feed my need of geometric prints πŸ™‚ x

  19. Becca says:

    These are fantastic! I love the prints

  20. Caroline Youngman says:

    What a breath of fresh air ! your designs are truly breathtaking and so original ! a Soviet Songbook full of suprises and delights to set the imagination racing .

  21. Abigail says:

    I love love love these dresses, amazing design and structure. The glasses really finish it off very well.

  22. googly says:

    You are obviously not very good at googling πŸ˜‰
    Link to 100 dresses below

  23. googly says:
    sorry, forgot link πŸ˜‰

  24. Kim says:

    Beautiful pieces, they remind me a lot of the Belle Sauvage dresses at London Fashion Week 2010, check out the pictures here. Love them, very structured.

  25. Ant says:

    Holly Fulton is incredible. Who else makes jewellery, accessories, art and fashion with such a connected aesthetic across all those platforms? However, this isn’t derivative of her. I’d say Lopeman’s collection has a more deconstructed feel with its own starting points and references. Admittedly both designers have an interesting mix of strong architectural print executed with an amazing lightness of touch, resulting in very wearable, sophisticated, beautifully feminine clothes… but what could be better than that? Love it!!

  26. She is amazing! I was on her show in Moscow, surprised that she took patterns from ‘100 Dresses’ πŸ™‚ some strange photo from the show – I hope you like it)

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