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New Borders: HSE Art and Design School Students Participate in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia

New Borders: HSE Art and Design School Students Participate in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia

© Daniil Prokofyev/ HSE University

On April 23, HSE University students of Fashion presented their show, HARD 009: NEW BORDERS, at the spring session of MBFW Russia. Read about the participants’ experience, see what their supervisors had to say, and admire a photo series of the most memorable moments of the fashion event in HSE News Service’s coverage below.

How has the world changed recently? What has happened to its borders and inclusivity? How do young people react to the changing environment? Answers to these questions and more were reflected in a collective fashion show, HARD 009: NEW BORDERS, which was created by students of Fashion from the HSE Art and Design School.

HARD is a team project by HSE Art and Design School students, a brand and a creative laboratory of young designers, where they can express their vision of current fashion and demonstrate it in a professional way.

For Alyona Radetskaya, participation in a ‘grown-up’ fashion show means a larger scale and bigger responsibility: in study projects, students work independently, but here they work in a team and have to distribute tasks.

‘That’s why the high responsibility before the event is supplemented by responsibility before each other. This is our first time working in this kind of format, and we have really liked the preparation process,’ Alyona says. ‘How did I interpret the topic of new borders? My idea focused on our massive immersion in digital space and social media where the borders of personality become blurred. It is difficult to understand who you really are: your personality or your online image, your “internet alter ego”.’

Ksenia Galkina calls the show organization a ‘kind of fifth exam period’ for the year, but all in all, she believes, this is an amazing experience. Being in charge of the music, the style, and the model casting — it was the students’ first time having to solve so many organizational problems. ‘In my collection, I approached the NEW BORDERS topic from the perspective of a room, four walls — the so-called human borders,’ explains Ksenia. ‘My project is about the merging of the human with their surrounding space and interior due to their being in one place for an extended period of time.’

Maria Korovkina describes her project idea as ‘border destruction in the endless opportunities of how to wear one piece’. She explains: ‘You can button a big skirt from bottom to top or leave it split to the thigh; you can put it on top like a poncho or tie it around your neck; you can wear your trench on backwards, wear only half of the trench, unbutton it in the front, on the back, or everywhere. And your gender won’t make any difference.’ The student also admitted: she had dreamt about participating in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia even before she entered university!

The students’ supervisors emphasize that participating in big fashion shows is an important learning experience for future fashion industry professionals. ‘The HSE Art and Design School provides its students with an opportunity to get a real experience participating in or organizing a show,’ said Bakhtier Kavrakov, artist, stylist, illustrator and Gran Prix winner at EuroUfaAsia 2005. ‘After participating in shows, the students look at their projects from a completely different perspective. They clearly understand the difference between clothes for a corner shop or store and for the catwalk.’

Ekaterina Sycheva, clothing designer at Rusmoda, co-founder of SESTRA brand, author of stage outfits for Zemfira and Renata Litvinova, added that the students had done a huge amount of work under a tough deadline and achieved a bright and sharp result. ‘I believe we managed to find an inversive form to present the idea of new borders: from new borders of the body and understanding gender, to literally new borders of clothing ensembles,’ the supervisor concluded.

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