September 23, 2011
Couture Fashion Week NY: Evgenia Luzhina-Salazar (Russia/USA)
I don't know about the others, but as far as the countries represented at the fashion shows come, I always route for the ones that are closer to my heart - the ones from Russia, USA and France...Yes, I have a soft side for those countries because of the time I spent living there...So, here you go, you know my soft side now, so don't use it against me, because I do appreciate the works of the designers from all other countries as well.
So, wow to the collection I'm gonna talk about here! Bare with me. In my opinion, this à la Russe collection from Evgenia Luzhina-Salazar (who is a Russian designer with many years of theatrical costume design work in her belt) was a true standout show @ Couture Fashion Week this season.
She did fantastic work not only with the headdresses inspired by 'kokoshnik', a traditional Russian woman's headdress, but with the overall collection...
I tried to document this show well, as if it's always harder to convey the beauty of handwork in photos, because no matter how good the camera is, it's impossible to translate seeing a collection 'live' into a photo...Are you seeing what I'm seeing?
For those, who grew up NOT in Russia, the best example of a 'kokoshnik' that you might have seen, would be something that the servants wore in the American interpretation of "War and Peace" (1956). Although, that's was a drastic oversight by the costume designers' team of the movie - kokoshniks were no longer worn by the Russians in the times when "War and Peace" events took place - [do not get me even started on it]...Still, that's as close as an 'outsider' would have gotten to portraying a 'kokoshnik' outside Russia.
But there is another [American] example of a 'kokoshnik'.
The kokoshnik has been worn along with the serafan dress for centuries, and is now most often seen in Russian folk costumes. One of the costumes worn by the character of Princess Padmé Amidala in the Star Wars saga - [the "Gold Travel Costume"], was based on the Russian national costume with the kokoshnik.
Either way, I said it once and I'll say it again - I really enjoyed Evgenia's collection - and I've already personally expressed it to her and her husband-manager...(Come back to read an interview with her...)
Since she immigrated to USA a decade ago, she's been creating costumes for The Heliotrope Theater, The Hallam Theater of Prince George’s Community College, Classika-Synetic Theater, The Stanislavsky Theater Production Studio, Open Theater, Silk Road Dance Company, The Prince George’s Children Theater, and the Teen Performance Ensemble.