Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Moscow Shopping

I have recently came back from Moscow, where I did a bit of shopping for clothes -- not something I usually do while there, because the prices generally tend to be a bit high, and I usually get jewelry or souvenirs. However, this time around I happened to stumble upon a couple of store that carry designers (Russian as well as Scandinavian) not readily available in the US, at the prices I can live with. And oh! I visited Razu.Mikhina showroom (I wrote about her designs previously here.) Not to mention, I got to meet Daria herself, which was a thrill all of itself.

Daria's showroom is located in the Vinzavod -- a center for contemporary art in downtown Moscow, filled with art galleries and indie stores, and shops for art supplies and little cafes.

The place has a really great energy, and Razu Mikhina showroom fits right in. Here are some pictures of the showroom as well as the workroom upstairs, which houses fabrics and samples of seasons past:

 (Who has two thumbs, comes to the showroom full of the most colorful clothes ever, and buys the white shirt above? This guy!)


I very much enjoyed the visit, and besides above-mentioned white shirt, I also scored one of Daria's gorgeous crepe-de-chine dresses. Here it is in action on a recent vacation:

Elsewhere in downtown Moscow, I found two stores I haven't been previously aware of. One is Nomer 8 (Number 8), a lovely basement space in the very heart of downtown Moscow, near Chistye Prudy. Like many worthwhile places, it is hidden in one of many spacious yards, so you have to look for it:

Here it is!

Inside, there are racks and racks of clothes by a variety of Russian designers, most of whom are small, independent, or just starting out -- no Sergeenko or Gazinskaya here, and thankfully the prices are quite reasonable. 

Some pieces by Casa Della Luna (the fish stripe shirt and the sweatshirt below), Podolyan (I think), and Primerova:

 Of course I bought the sweatshirt. I also picked up a couple of pieces by Olga Primerova, who is probably my personal favorite discovery on this trip. Her designs are remarkable in that they combine somewhat old-fashioned romanticism (of the sort you would find in some of Sergeenko's designs) with modern practicality:

Consider this light-weight cotton blouse, made unique by organza trim along the stand-up collar. This long voluminous skirt (cotton) has pockets, and is just a perfect piece for pretty much any season:

(I got this one in black and white check, and it's amazing!)

Seriously, if you are ever in Moscow and want to check out some of the less known local designers, Nomer 8 is the place. Not to mention, it has a lovely ambiance, helpful sales staff, and a nice jewelry selection.

Finally, I wanted to mention Traffik -- located walking distance from Nomer 8, in case you're planning a big shopping excursion and want to see some of the loveliest ponds and boulevards of Moscow. 

It's a beautifully designed and well-curated two-storied space that carries men's and women's clothes by a number of smaller, non-obvious brands, mostly European. I was pleased to stumble upon a few Rodebjer pieces on sale. I do love Rodebjer aesthetic, but always balk at the full prices (and shipping costs), mostly because while the cuts are very nice, their fabrics tend toward synthetic. So I was thrilled to nab a pair of their fluid, drapey pants.

So here we are! These are the places I will be visiting every time I'm in Moscow. And if you are ever there and are a fashion addict, these are highly recommended. And if you are not and just want to pick up a few souvenirs, fun art objects or hand-made wallets, go to Vinzavod and spend an afternoon. And stop by OchevidnoeNeverojatnoe. Promise you won't regret it!