Russian Couture Designer Goes Modernist: Valentin Yudashkin

In the 1990’s when the doors opened and the world finally looked into the world of fashionable Russia, a rare world of mostly European brands was worn by the society there at that period.  Mr. Valentin Yudashkin also took the stage and became one of the countries most famous ‘home grown’ couture designers. His evening gowns made him famous. They were covered in glimmering beads and fit for a Russian princess,  often very sexy and very decidedly in the style of the 1990s.

But things have changed at the HOUSE OF YUDASHKIN. The collection I saw this past week was not only elegant and beautifully constructed, but it featured something I had not seen before:  Inspiration by a Russian artist.  Kazimir Malevich, who in art circles is considered the father of what we know today as “Modernism” or “Suprematism” in which geometric shapes are the main feature of the work, and reductionist concepts of light, color, shape and air space are key features.  The fact that his work “pre-dates” Mondrian and Kandinsky is major news in the art world.

What does this forgotten Russian artist have to do with this collection? Everything:  the inspiration for this collection and its use of color, construction, shape, and tone may have brought this house of fashion into the 21st century and easily able to compete with its European counterparts.  I saw a collection that was equal to a Nine Ricci, or Alex Mabile, or any other French based fashion house because its roots were both couture in form and quality and yet also Russian with its use of Modernism.  What I saw was nothing short of a Russian fashion house joining the world, bringing its unique vision and culture to the table.  Gorgeous gowns, trench coats, well designed summer rompers, slacks and tops as well as the required “evening” ensemble perfect for CANNES, or NICE in luxurious and practical fabrics mixed with a new collection of bags, sunglasses, shows and other accessories to highlight and add pops of color.  I am very excited about the future of this fashion house and where it will go from here.

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