Moscow’s Creative Scene Joins Forces For WOW!

Cover by Maria Zaytseva. Runway images by Olympia Orlova-Vilberg and Daria Orlova.

Moscow is without a doubt the hottest place right now where things are happening. On December 8 Moscow’s State Museum of Architecture transformed in to a realm of fantasy, where colours, geometry and dynamic forms told the story of clothes, transformation and the architecture of the human body and the cosmos. An interdisciplinary project curated by Roman Ermakov, the event included a fashion show and an exhibition formed by twelve artists and designers, each showing a different approach to body, transformation and space.

Runway Venera Kazarova
Runway Aquaaerobika by Sasha Frolova

How are we influencing the space around us with what we wear? Is there a connection between architecture and fashion? The main theme of WOW was clothing, which isn’t viewed as a consumer product, but as  a vehicle of transformation and an independent work of art. The exhibition included everything from objects, video art, high-tech and sculptural fashion, to poetry and music.

Highlight of the evening was the fashion show, which made references to the art parades of Nick Cave and the performances of renowned Russian artist Andrey Bartenev (who was also among guests) and aimed to show the architectural designs within a continuous flow of movement, light and sound. Models paraded down the runway that went from room to room, packed with various press and fashion and art lovers of all sorts. Each artist made an individual statement with highly imaginative costumes, masks, armours and inflatable gear, before an enthusiastic audience. Everything was taken cared of in detail; from the classical venue, artistic direction, to styling and the beautiful architectural design chairs of the audience. There was a breath of old school Parisian cool. The event could have easily been mistaken for an evening at Paris Fashion Week, both in professionalism, turnout and atmosphere.

Runway Venera Kazarova
Runway Lisa Shahno

WOW’s success and independency relies on the story and the faces behind the initiative. It was only mid October when Roman Ermakov pitched the idea to friends, from where life was blown in to the project and things took off quickly. While many young artists around the world are finding difficulties to realise initiatives to due to a lack of funding and subsidies, WOW is the product of twelve friends and their trusted network. Everyone, from the professional makeup artists to the models, all volunteered to make the event happen. This shows the creativity and strength of an artistic network, what it can achieve when it comes together and Moscow’s enthusiasm and willingness for fresh art projects.

Runway Roman Ermakov
Runway Varenye Organizm

At the same time, I recall a memory of an evening walk in Maastricht during Fashionclash this summer, where I asked Roman how he saw the future and what he was planning to do next. He told me that he dreamt of bringing all the creative minds of Moscow together in one platform, in pursuit of free and creative discovery. He did it. It is tremendously inspiring to see a friend achieve his dreams.

As for the future of WOW!, although there were no prior thoughts on a second edition, many new artists have said to want to join in and now the idea is blooming to make the event a regular happening.

WOW! Participants: Veronica Ponomareva (KRASSOTADRESS) – Eugenia Barkova – Julia Ten – Lisa Shahno – Yulia Makarova (Turbo_Yulia)- “varenye Organizm” – Masha Kechaeva – Dimitri Shabalin  – Kirill Mintsev – Venera Kazarova – Roman Ermakov – Sasha Frolova (AQUAAEROBIKA).