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Russia, also officially known as the Russian Federation is a country in Eurasia.  Yes, Eurasia is the combined continental landmass of Europe and Asia.  So, Russia gets to embrace European & Asian fashion and style (as well as influences from other parts of the world).  Russia is the largest country in the world by surface area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area.

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History of Soviet fashion:

Fashion in the Soviet Union largely followed general trends of the Western world. However, the state‚€™s socialist ideology consistently moderated and influenced these trends. In addition, shortages of consumer goods meant that the general public did not have ready access to pre-made fashion.  The New Economic Policy‚€™s authorization of private business allowed Western fashion to enter the Soviet Union. However, Bolshevik ideology opposed Western fashion consumption as an intrinsically capitalist practice. Western fashion emphasized both economic status and gender differences under a system that sought to deemphasize both.  In the early 1920s, Party-sanctioned magazines like Rabotnitsa ("The Working Woman") and Krest‚€™yanka ("The Peasant Woman") offered discourse on fashion. Covers displayed women in plain work clothes, yet the magazines often contained advertisements for private companies selling stylish attire.  By 1927, however, the magazines‚€™ message was consistent: women should be judged on their capability for work, not their appearance. Fashion, as a beauty aid, was therefore bourgeois and detrimental to socialist society.

Khrushchev Era (1950s-1960s) The Khrushchev Thaw brought a greater representation of Western fashion to domestic media. Journalists were sent abroad to report on the latest international fashion trends.  However, state-owned fashion institutions and magazines moderated these trends for Soviet audiences. Fashion "crazes" were rejected in favor of classic, long-running styles.  In addition, moderation and modesty were stressed.

Brezhnev Era (1970s-1980s) By the end of the 1960s, Soviet fashion institutions, like the centralized fashion bureau ODMO (All-Union House of Prototypes), were embracing increasingly novel Western trends.  At the same time, there was still a need to establish distinctively Soviet fashions. "Space fashion," for example, fit directly into state ideology by glorifying a triumph of Soviet science.

Gorbachev Era (1980s) Under perestroika, varied fashion became acceptable. In 1987, Gorbachev allowed a Russian edition of Burda Fashion magazine to be produced and distributed.[34] The next year, Zhurnal Mod began a new run as the first "proper" fashion magazine in the Soviet Union. In content, it was virtually indistinguishable from a Western fashion magazine, although ODMO provided all the styles.

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, fifteen independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan; as the largest, most populous, and most economically developed republic, the Russian SFSR reconstituted itself as the Russian Federation and is recognized as the continuing legal personality and sole successor state of the Soviet Union.

Times have obviously changed in Russia and men and women are more free to wear clothing they enjoy.  The 2010's style has been defined by a revival of austerity-era period pieces, hipster and alternative fashions, 1980s-inspired neon colors, and from 2012 onwards, unisex early 1990s style elements influenced by grunge and skater fashions.  We look forward to seeing more great fashion brands, and designers emerge from Russia.

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