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"No More Gzhel and Fur Hats!" - Igor Chapurin about Russian Fashion Industry
September 28, 2011 14:21

There are not many real professionals in Russian fashion industry, who know all realities of that business better than Russian fashion designer Igor Chapurin. Being born at the times of Soviet uniformity, coming into industry during post-Soviet vulgarity, he was able to adopt the best examples of Russian and world fashion to create his own unique style, which was recognized by the very highest fashion circles. 

Chapurin creates modern and called-for clothes, which can be practical and elegant at the same time. Igor Chapurin was born on 21 March 1968, his parents were manufacturers of knitwear. In 1991 he entered the Vitebsk Technological Institute as a clothes designer. After his graduation Chapurin became one of the prize winners at the Nina Ricci young designers' contest. In 1995 he made his first fashion defile, while already being well-known in the West, and in 1999 he opened his boutique "Chapurin Couture". Now Chapurin makes dresses for many international beauty contests, takes part in big contests and world fashion shows, was a repeated laureate of prestigious fashion awards. Lately Igor Chapurin has began his collaboration with Russian theatres, making great stage costumes. 

This autumn the designer presented his last couture collection, named "Silver Night", where he intended to express the charm of night, its emotionality and depth. In that collection Chapurin used deep "night" colors, fanciful tints of light, blinks and shimmering, changeable textures and shapes. The collection was an enormous success among Russian celebrities.

In his latest interview to the "Actual Comments" site, Igor Chapurin expressed his opinion about the perspectives of
Russian fashion's development. 

- Some fashion adherents think that fashion is a sort of modern art. Do you think such opinion is well-grounded?
- I don't think fashion is an art. Of course, haute couture can be related to that term to some degree. But still, fashion is just some designer's thoughts about the appearance of a modern person. So people shouldn't take it too seriously.
- Understandably, Russian fashion industry is just in its making, but why have you refused to take part in Russian fashion weeks? Are they really too bad?
- I agree, Russia still doesn't have any serious fashion industry. We refused to take part in numerous Fashion Weeks, as we didn't see any necessity for us in it. We usually show our collections abroad and then just repeat the defile in Moscow. Therefore we make our fashion delifes outside the actual Fashion Weeks.
- Are you annoyed about the exploitation by Russian fashion designers of their Russian routs and national identity? Maybe they should become more West-oriented?
- I'm sure that West is no longer interested in Russian dolls, traditional primitivistic style or earflapped fur hats. The world fashion industry is ready for the period when Russian designers will be judged not only by ethnographic factors, but from a perspective of their topicality, relevance, quality, that is, the same which applies to Holland, Belgium or Italian fashion designers.
- When will the "Russian fashion" concept lose its sarcastic meaning?
- I don't think the measure of sarcasm to Russian fashion is very big. But it will take us another 10-15 years to create Russian brands, which will be able to compete with monsters of fashion industry.
- And what should be done for the situation's improvement? What is the main problem? Is it in the young designers' presumption or in Russia's light industry invalidity?
- There are many different problems. On the one hand, there is no support from the government. Young designers don't always understand what to do with their abilities, as there are no clear moves through the ranks or institutions of development. On the other hand, the lack of developed light industry prevents our fashion business to rely on the safe platform.
- How can anyone set up the fashion business in our conditions?
- The same as any other business: good idea, competent management, risk assessment, and the ability to make oneself known in his own industry niche.
- You say that the government must support young designers. Does it mean that our fashion can be something more important than just a club for rich fans?
- Certainly, but only if the government wants to make this sector stable and attractive to investors. I think we have the potential and we'll definitely see the results of our work in the future.
- And what about Russian women? Has the epoch of an excessive embellishment gone for good? And what do they think about ascetic and geometrical silhouettes, which are so typical for your collections?
- I think Russian women have already passed the post-Soviet "get one's fill" stage. Of course, some rudimentary traits remain, but they will sink into oblivion soon. So the habit of a true simplicity became a reality for some Russian women. Our country is no longer in the outskirts of fashionable Europe. And when I see a well-dressed woman on the streets of London or Paris, I always think she can be Russian. And it is very pleasant.

Sources: Actual Comments Fashion People

The preface and the interview's translation: Julia Alieva

Author: Julia Alieva

Tags: Igor Chapurin Russian fashion designers interview Russian fashion  


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