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The Experience of Freedom. Creating a Fashion Collection Based on Research of Visual Codes of Sexuality in Russian Post-Soviet Culture

Student: Irina Stefanova

Supervisor: Tatiana Rivchun

Faculty: Faculty of Communications, Media, and Design

Educational Programme: Fashion (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2021

Fashion is a constantly evolving system which reacts to all changes in a society. The 90s brought a new meaning of clothing culture in Russia. The Soviet idea of morality was destroyed and replaced by the idea of freedom. Sex and sexuality issues became more visible and no longer restricted and silenced. The aim of the project is to make an actual statement through a fashion collection based on results of visual research that includes the following aspects: how sexuality was expressed through clothing and what were the main visual codes of sexuality in Post-Soviet time. The major methods of the project are inductive reasoning, content analysis and comparison. Recordings of TV-shows, musical videos, photos of show-business new faces and sex symbols and all other images related to the 90s in Russia were analyzed to reveal distinctive features of how people expressed the feeling of freedom. Then it was necessary to compare the situation in the 90s and in present time to reveal what has changed and which processes were the reason for changes. The results are a series of 15 sketches and seven embodied sets of clothes. The project consists of a visual research, problem and concept statement, photos of the process of designing garments and prints for the fashion collection and a photo session with produced clothes.

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