See How the Past Creates the Present at This Month’s Must-visit Exhibitions

It is often claimed that the present is the outcome of the past. Here is a selection of current exhibitions to help you draw your own conclusions about this statement.

Big City Style: Crinoline; Blazer; Sweatshirt

State Historical Museum exhibition complex

Open until February 12.

This exhibition is dedicated to the history of women's fashion in Russia from the mid-19th century up to the present day. It shows how urban fashion began to develop after the emancipation reform in 1861, which western and Asian trends influenced it, and how it changed through the generations but remained distinctive.

Visitors to the exhibition are invited to view lavish dresses from the era of corsets and crinolines, the spectacular gowns of early 20th century fashionistas, samples of post-revolutionary fashion, the glitz of the 1930s and 1950s, as well as 21st-century urban women's fashions.

There are six thematic zones in the exhibition (Station, Business Street, Beauty Shop, Showcase, Theatre Station, Park), each of which features outfits and jewellery from different years. Even though most of the items are related to Moscow, these women's looks can be found in any big city in Russia.

This is the first time that outfits by famous Soviet fashion designers such as Tamara Fidel and Alla Levashova have been exhibited. Contemporary Russian designers are represented both by well-known brands (Igor Chapurin, Alyona Akhmadullina, Victoria Andreeyanova, Svetlana Tegin) and brilliant young designers and brands (Roma Uvarov, Anton Lisin, Daniel Antsiferov, Outlaw, Sasha Gapanovich, House of Leo, Gate 31, Monochrom, Laroom, 12 Storeez).

Tickets can be bought online. (website in Russian)

Address: 2/3 Red Square

Opening hours: 10 am – 5 pm daily; closed on Tuesdays.

Tickets: 500–800 RUB, students 300–400RUB

History of Russian Design. Selected Works

New Tretyakov Gallery

Open until November 27.

Which Soviet design elements didn’t stand the test of time? Which are still in use today, or have become the basis for modern designs? This large-scale exhibition on the history of national design over the last hundred years has the answers to these questions and more.

In four sections—avant-garde, art deco and the Stalinist ‘empire’ style, post-war and contemporary design—parallels are drawn between mass-produced items and the creations of individual designers. For example, a replica of an avant-garde minimalist kitchen from the Narkomfin Building is contrasted with simple wooden stools.

This exhibition is the last in a series on Russian design in the 20th century, so if you haven't visited the previous two exhibitions, it is highly recommended to catch this one.

Address: 10 Krymsky Val

Opening hours: Tue, Wed, Sun 10 am – 6 pm;Thu, Fri and Sat 10 am – 9 pm; closed on Mondays
NB: last entry one hour before closing time

Tickets: 400 RUB, students 250RUB

Foundation for the Future

Polytechnic Museum

Open until October 30.

The Foundation for the Future exhibition offers a unique opportunity to visit the Open Collection at the Polytechnic Museum and take a journey into a universe of scientific discovery.

With the support of the Russian Science Foundation, visitors can learn about current discoveries being made in Russia and find out more about the ambitious achievements of the past that made today’s discoveries possible.

The collection contains over 217,000 items. Several of the museum's collections are directly linked to the history of scientific research—these include ‘Laboratory Equipment’, ‘Geophysical Instruments’, ‘Power Sources’, ‘Electrical Machines’, ‘Models of Steam Machines’, ‘Engines’ and several others.

Please note that visits are only possible in guided groups. Tickets can be booked through the exhibition website (in Russian) or by emailing the museum at

Address: 42 Volgogradsky Prospekt, bld. 5

Opening hours: Time slots for guided visits: Tue, Thu, Sat, and Sun 3 pm, 5 pm.

Tickets: 400 RUB, students at Russian universities 200 RUB

Text by Irina Zavyalova, first-year master's student at the School of Foreign Languages, intern at the HSE University English website team