Spying through English Eyes

Spying through English Eyes

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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Clare_Lopeman_AW10_08 Clare_Lopeman_AW10_10

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Clare_Lopeman_AW10_17 Clare_Lopeman_AW10_20

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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)

32 comments

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  1. Clare

    2010-04-09 at 1:15 PM

    Wow, these designs are just amazing… Turned down a trip to Moscow?! Boo…
    http://iliketweet.blogspot.com/
    x

  2. Penny Dreadful

    2010-04-09 at 1:17 PM

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

  3. Retales de Histeria

    2010-04-09 at 1:20 PM

    lovely dresses! I like them!

  4. Amber

    2010-04-09 at 1:21 PM

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

  5. katie

    2010-04-09 at 1:55 PM

    Structural, architectural, technical, wow so incredible- katie.xx
    would love you to stop by
    http://www.fashionclocked.blogspot.com

  6. The Boy from Newcastle

    2010-04-09 at 1:58 PM

    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. All Women Stalker

    2010-04-09 at 2:12 PM

    Moscow vintage style was HOT. 🙂

  8. FangZINE

    2010-04-09 at 2:25 PM

    Amazing post! I love the eyewear so much!
    XX

  9. Leonidas

    2010-04-09 at 2:45 PM

    the glasses are magnificent
    http://thestyleparticle.blogspot.com

  10. M

    2010-04-09 at 2:57 PM

    Incredibly executed dresses the details on some of them remind me of a navigation chart…well patterns are navigation charts but for the body no?

  11. AngieMontreal

    2010-04-09 at 3:12 PM

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

  12. moi

    2010-04-09 at 4:04 PM

    Those shoulders are very Dean Quinn…hmm

  13. Sophia Schwan

    2010-04-09 at 4:17 PM

    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.
    http://skiepies.blogspot.com/

  14. Frances

    2010-04-09 at 4:40 PM

    love this collection it is beautiful!!

  15. theStylelocker

    2010-04-09 at 5:11 PM

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

  16. Misanthropic Pulp

    2010-04-09 at 5:54 PM

    Structure + Fashion/Accessories = AWESOMENESS
    adore the glasses…
    http://misanthropicpulp.blogspot.com/

  17. Allison Berlin

    2010-04-09 at 8:07 PM

    I love the symmetry and the geometric prints for these dresses. I love the Herve Leger Striped Bandage Mini Dress.
    http://twitter.com/SMSstylefeed

  18. Skye

    2010-04-09 at 10:29 PM

    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!
    http://clothestalgia.blogspot.com

  19. Margaret

    2010-04-10 at 2:03 AM

    way to feed my need of geometric prints 🙂 x

  20. Becca

    2010-04-10 at 3:19 AM

    These are fantastic! I love the prints

  21. Caroline Youngman

    2010-04-10 at 1:01 PM

    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 .
    Congratulations.

  22. Abigail

    2010-04-10 at 4:02 PM

    I love love love these dresses, amazing design and structure. The glasses really finish it off very well.
    http://www.justabigail.com

  23. googly

    2010-04-12 at 8:45 AM

    You are obviously not very good at googling 😉
    Link to 100 dresses below

  24. googly

    2010-04-12 at 8:46 AM

    http://books.tr200.ru/v.php?id=3606
    sorry, forgot link 😉

  25. Kim

    2010-04-12 at 2:37 PM

    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.
    http://kimbambo.blogspot.com/2010/03/lfwfinally.html

  26. Ant

    2010-04-13 at 3:02 PM

    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!!

  27. –õ–∏–∑–∞

    2010-04-25 at 7:21 PM

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

  28. –õ–∏–∑–∞

    2010-04-25 at 7:23 PM

    can’t send photo here – here’s a link http://www.flickr.com/photos/lizalanzberg/4506979377/

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