Much inspiration expected from Mammoth Festival

National Beauty School hosts competition for designers, as part of 12th Festival of Avant-Garde Fashion

By Vika Presnova

The forum’s guests were astonished at least three times. During the Festival, it became clear that the latest looks for men are somewhat lacking in masculinity; in fact, many of male models had legs just as beautiful as the girls! In addition, their movements were quite feminine. Meanwhile, festival guest Vladimir Chekasin — a jazz musician — considerably enhanced the status of the event with his wonderful performance during the two-hour show. One member of the InZhest Plastic Theatre shockingly burst into flames, as if from a firework spark, obliging her to disappear promptly behind the curtains. It was rather like being in Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland! Certainly, the performance of avant-garde art can burn your fingers.

Speaking personally, I’d love for designers to be more relaxed in their ideas, applying non-standard approaches and pure fantasy. They still seem to be inspired by what already exists in magazines. Additionally, the method of making hats from melted discs needs improvement. Many are inspired by the theme of the cosmos, with fantastic winged creatures moving sadly among the audience. High-heeled boots also seem to reign supreme; they may not be suitable for walking to the shops, but they look great on the catwalk. Designers also continue to draw on Soviet motifs, with pioneer ties and forage caps evident at almost every festival.

A single leader was chosen from the 10-15 finalists: Gomel’s Yevgeny Ivanchik. He received the heavy Grand Prix mammoth figurine, being acknowledged the undisputable winner of the avant-garde fashion contest. Yevgeny, from Gomel’s Crystal Nymph Centre of Fashion and Beauty, has previously shown his talent at the Fashion Mill Festival. His ‘Good Morning, My Emperor’ collection sold out and his fans rave about his hats made from sofa cushions and brushes.

Mr. Ivanchik brought his ‘Crisis Production’ collection to Mammoth, explaining, “The theme came to me by chance, as the crisis and rising food prices were becoming the most topical issues. I’ve been inspired by buckwheat, butter and sugar, with my designs based on food and money associations — such as sunflower seeds and printed banknotes. Fashion can draw inspiration from anything.”

Yevgeny came on stage wearing a triumphal t-shirt of his own design to receive his award from prominent designer Ivan Aiplatov. The latter noted, “Mammoth remains a developing game for young designers. The Festival has a history of disappearing, then being organised again, which is not to its benefit; it may need to contact western design schools. If our Mammoth dies, our designers will lack a venue for demonstrating their mastery, with no goals for the future.”

Designer Natalia Potkina was a jury member for the third year in a row. She shares Ivan’s fears regarding the future of this previously wonderful holiday of avant-garde fashion, saying, “Sadly, few believe in this Festival. However, this competition inspires me. After it ends, I always feel inspired to create something fascinating.”

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