FASHION FROM THE BLACK SEA
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Cyrille Gassiline

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Cyrille Gassiline Fall/Winter 2012-13 ODYSSEY
 
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I was fascinated by leather as a child, and I grew up in a family of craftspeople. My great-grandfather was a cabinet-maker and the right-hand man of C. R. Ashbee1; my grandmother was a silversmith and a very good needle woman. I spent weekends and holidays with her making things, but at some point leather became my passion. At first I just made bags and belts, but an opportunity came to work with a shoemaker and I realized that shoes for me are the greatest expression of what leather can do. The construction of the shoe is about leather and the construction technique; that became the fascination for me. I worked with that shoemaker for 15 years. As he was involved in orthopedic shoemaking, that was a good place to learn, because you learn that there is not one way to make a pair of shoes – you have to be versatile.


When you need something cool to wear every day, Moscow-based label I Am never disappoints. Structured without being too stiff, feminine but not revealing, balanced between funky and classic – that’s what their new fall-winter collection feels like. Double bonus points for the trendy jewel tone palette, and those snake-textured knits are an absolute must-have!


The much-talked about beauty of Russian women gained its fashion momentum at the turn of the 21st century. The early 2000s saw the rise of top models like Natalia Vodianova, Natasha Poly, Olga Sherer and Sasha Pivovarova working in high fashion and commercial worlds, mixing runway shows with top-notch editorials and adverts. For all their success, they were, however, not the first Russian models to establish international careers of such calibre. If anything, Sorokko, Semanova and Pantushenkova got there first.


With fashion photography on the rise globally, bursting with waves of studio and street-style photographers, it is at times easy to lose track of those talents, who are shaping the industry or are the most promising newcomers today. Russian and Ukrainian photographers do not yet possess the same widely acknowledged reputation as Mario Testino or Steven Meisel. but they are carving their own paths and building portfolios with unique aesthetics that will surely distinguish them in the future.

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