Perestroika at the Côte d’Azur
For the 33rd Festival of Fashion in Hyères Russian designer Antonina Sedakova takes a political stance on fashion as a weapon of individuality
In the idyll of the French Riviera, Finland based designer Antonina Sedakova roused the sheer perfect perception of luxury fashion by presenting her raw and challenging menswear graduation collection in the exclusive setting of Villa Noailles. Her collection ‘Communication Tube’ is an ode with a twist to her motherland Russia and its long forgotten (ok, except Gosha Rubchinskiy) youth subcultures. At the influential annual festival international de mode, de photographie et d’accessoires de mode de Hyères, Sedakova warped the jury back in time to celebrate ’80s Russian rockstars, such as Viktor Robertowitsch Tsoi and his pals. The frontman of the famous underground rock group Kino served as one of her main inspirations for the collection in which oversized silk and satin tunics with chemical dyed hand painted prints that are faintly reminiscent of military camouflage, huge trench coats, patched jackets and worker overalls set the tone. While Sedakova’s collection oozes charm with its bright and vibrant color palette and clean-cut tailoring, the designer doesn’t fear to address the challenges of a suppressing society by telling a vestimentary story of hope and individualism.
By sharing her mother’s personal story – the silent idol behind this collection who grew up on the Eastern side of the iron curtain in an insular communist country – Antonina Sedakova gives depth to her designs and accentuates the desire of young people to express themselves as individuals. Even though her mother never really has been confronted with capitalist beliefs per se, during university her devotion for self-expression established by the time she headed to a summer camp in order to work in the community brigade. Sedakova explains that the Soviet symbols attached to the garments loose their former hierarchical connotation because they are referred to as tools which were creatively used in a playful modality. Jackets and shirts are covered with numerous party buttons from the 1980s, Russian lyrics logo patches from rock songs and archival photographs of the Sedakova family.
As one of ten finalists, Russian designer Antonina Sedakova shows that heritage can still be one of the most powerful inspirations and a voice for progress. As always in fashion the past can teach us about the world we are living in. In times where Eastern European designers shake up the industry, Antonina Sedakova is a force to be reckoned with. Starting today!
PHOTOGRAPHY Antonina Sedakova; Karita Paasonen; Hannah Hjördis Herrera; Polina Krichko
STYLING Antonina Sedakova
Models: Joni Travis Nurminen (@travis.n on Instagram); Linda Lazarov (@lindusca.jpg on Instagram)