Life in Black and Grey

Everyone here wears dark colours all the time. This is another factor adding to the many reasons why I stick out as the foreigner I am, to be named and shamed in the street. As an avid supporter of colour, this wardrobe adjustment may prove difficult. Time will tell, at least it’s preparing me for the Parisian sartorial way – black on black on black, c’est chic. The choice of dark colours reflects and changes with the seasons. In spring and summer, colour is cracked out, but come those dark wintry days and nights, the Russians (or at least St Petersburgians) choose to dress in a way which allows them to disappear into their surroundings. Fantastic as it would be to advocate change by wearing my usual cheery palette, I think for now I’ll try to blend in.

I have also decided that even the way I sneeze is foreign. However, I was asked for directions in the street today, so maybe I am looking more Ruski as the days go by. I was flattered by his mistake and then blew it by saying (in Russian) “Yes, no here, no there!” to which I got a bemused look and we went our separate ways. Result!

From Russia with love.

P.S. Supper today was actually inedible.

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Hoisery Hatred

There is a disturbing penchant here for the most offensive tights ever to be produced. We all know that tights can be a tricky subject and although they appear a simple garment, can really work against us. Well, tights will never look bad again as I will now forever have imprinted in my mind an image of the favoured style in this transitional weather.

‘Granny tights’ doesn’t even begin to describe these monstrosities. It is the colour which is offensive – not skin colour but also not black, they are a disturbing beige with a tinge of grey. They are like flesh coloured tights in need of a good wash. It is as though the women want to look like they have tanned legs, but all they succeed in doing is looking as though they have a disease. If you then take these hideous tights and add to them open-toed shoes, you have the worst street style trend ever to emerge. I see this sight on about 50% of the women in the city. Kate Middleton, you would love it here (sorry, I couldn’t help myself).

From Russia with love.

Ulyana Sergeenko – La Poupée Russe

With impeccable personal style and an unapologetically elegant touch as a couture designer, Ulyana Sergeenko (Ульяна Сергеенко) is definitely worthy of her title from Russian Glamour as ‘Trendsetter of the Year’. Continue reading

Love, Want, Need – Alexandra Beneti in Jil Sander

This little beauty popped up on the Vogue website and I couldn’t help but fall swiftly in love with it. The dress is such a beautiful cut – obviously, it’s Jil Sander – and the print is just so eye-catching. Alexandra Beneti is working graphic florals, a big AW trend. The vibrancy of the colours saves the dress from being too pretty and wishy-washy. It’s everything SJP’s Valentino dress at the Met Ball could have been, but just wasn’t. A prime example of why colour is your friend.

Mankles, Mankles, Go Away, Please Don’t Say You’re Here To Stay

Mankles, they’re all around us. From the catwalk at Margaret Howell, to celebrities like Jude Law, Mankles remain firmly in the fashion spectrum. But should they? I often find that the lack of sock required for the Mankle leaves the wearer looking as though he was in a rush in the morning and forgot to get dressed properly. There is something luxurious about a proper shoe/sock combination that gives a man a gentlemanly air. With so many possible sock choices available, it leaves the Mankle seeming unimaginative and dull. Let us compare a  photo of a well dressed man flashing his Mankles with that of one sporting socks with his chic cropped, skinny trousers.

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The Russians Hit Paris

Whilst browsing the Tatler Russia site, these photos of 4 impossibly beautiful women popped up and grabbed my attention. With the exception of one, who is sporting a strange choice of accessories (more on that later), they are all impeccably dressed and enviously stylish. What’s more, their styles are all completely individual of one another. The four women are (l-r): Miroslava Duma, Ulyana Sergeenko (who showed a collection in Paris herself this week), Elena Perminova and Vika Gazinskaya. All were photographed on their way into the Jean Paul Gaultier show. Be warned, this is just a glimpse into what these girls are capable of. They have serious style and they aren’t afraid to show it.

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