Mercedes-Benz Russian Fashion Week: Expats SS20

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EXPATS (est. in 2019) is one-of-a-kind global fashion collective of Russian and American designers with a mission to build a creative bridge, between the two nations and their distinct cultures, through the language of fashion.

Founded by Stephan Rabimov – an award-winning US fashion publisher and editor – EXPATS collective also includes

  • San Francisco (USA) based fashion designer Vasily Vein – famous for his striking red-carpet looks adored by many American socialites; and
  • Vyborg (Russia) based Liliana Bahor and Ella Shadrunova – together they run a successful made-to-measure fashion salon that has outfitted, among the many, the Russian Army, leading politicians, and celebrities.

25 distinct looks were premiered last week during  Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia, the largest fashion week in Eastern Europe.  Each half of the collection this season was designed and produced in the USA and Russia respectively.




EXPATS is synonymous with the notion of fashion diplomacy:

Respecting craftsmanship traditions as well as cultural legacies of each country, EXPATS seeks to create one-of-kind garments that inform and inspire a deeper creative connection between the two nations.

The location of the show – inside Moscow’s historic Manege Hall next to the Kremlin and the Bolshoi Theater – carries a special significance as

EXPATS collection was inspired by three centuries of Russian history:

-The Polenitsa – mythical Russian women-warriors,

-The House of Romanovs, with its dramatic story, and 

-The October Revolution;

Hundreds of years apart, these historic moments all share one symbolic color -Russian Red – which is the main leitmotif of EXPATS debut collection.

Embodying powerful Russian women of the past and present, the S/S 2020 collection featured bespoke military suits embellished with Russian royal house symbols, demi-couture gowns that evoked Polenitsa’s kolchuga dresses, and ready-to-wear separates made of eco-friendly Japanese-made Ultrafabrics© leather and other innovative materials, produced using low waste methods.

This season EXPATS collaborated with VOID – a Russian footwear start-up company – that uses 3D technology to craft bespoke pairs of EXPATSxVOID lightweight concept boots.

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