Moscow’s vintage fashion Klondikes

Being fashion-conscious sometimes requires taking a look back. So why not pick the best from the past and add a vintage garment to your wardrobe? RT explores Moscow’s selection of clothes from the bygone era.

­Fashionista’s paradise

The love of vintage clothing recently arrived in Moscow from the West in the suitcases of local fashion lovers.

‘Freak Frak’ is one of Moscow’s first vintage stores, where thousands of garments of various eras and styles are mixed here in a tiny basement of a regular apartment block.

With elegant jumpsuits and blouses from the 1980s, vests and hats from the 1960s, the place is a modern fashionista’s paradise.

You will not get lost as a team of stylish assistants will help you out with mixing and matching.

The store also caters for film and theater production crews as well as lovers of themed parties.

Prices for garments range from several hundred to several thousand roubles.

Ask the owner if you are after something truly unique. She will show you the store’s top items – from an industrial-design dress by Andre Courreges to a silk Valentino blouse.

“We bring clothes from the West, mostly from London and Los Angeles, there are also items from the south of France,” Irina Getmanova, owner of ‘Freak Frak’, told RT. “Our prices match those in Europe and sometimes are even lower. For example, leather jackets from the seventies are not appreciated here, but in the West they remain a vintage fetish.”

­Jewelry delight

Another place where old things get a new life is ‘Vintage Plus’, a two-minute walk from Kitai-Gorod metro station.

Apart from clothes, it has the largest range of vintage accessories with bags, gloves, sunglasses, retro-hats and other ladies’ delights. Gentlemen will be happy with the choice of ties of all shapes and sizes, coats, shirts and cuff links.

The shop’s collection mostly features items brought from Europe and the US. In addition, as ‘Vintage Plus’ started out as a vintage jewelry store, it still boasts an impressive collection.

No wonder its owners call it a dream shop.

It sells things every Soviet woman would dream about, but could not get hold of. What they did have, they often did not manage to preserve for posterity.

­Soviet vintage

The USSR lacked a culture of taking care of things. Clothes were worn out and there were no washing machines or detergents. So, even the few items that were not thrown away are now in terrible condition.

There is, however, one place that will suit you if you are a fan of Soviet-era relics, ‘Roza Azora’ near the Arbat. In fact, the building is home to two well-known vintage boutiques and an art gallery in between.

Brocade is known for its selection of classy vintage dresses and accessories from the beginning of the 20th century till the early 1970s.

“When we started the collection, we were sure that interest in vintage clothes would be just as strong here,” Tatyana Kachalova, co-owner of ‘Brocade’, told RT. “But this wasn’t the case. Very few women are ready to wear such clothes. That’s why we’ve started focusing on accessories, primarily American costume jewelry.”

This jewelry has nothing to do with what you would buy in a department store. Such brooches and earrings were designed by the likes of Hattie Carnegie and could make even your diamonds look less brilliant.

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