Rest houses, holiday hotels, famous Soviet sanatoriums, the 70s, 80s and even the Perestroika 90s are the starting points of a new Red September collection that wants to celebrate the flavour of the holidays and the zest for life of a time far and near.
From swimming pools to beaches, from the buildings themselves to the impressive showers where women and men used to make special water procedures dedicated to Soviet workers, creative director Olga Vasyukova found a jolt of inspiration to create a collection that is relaxed and contemporary, with the usual attention to small details and to the brand DNA along with the Perestroika age.
The strongest reference throughout this collection is the motto of “vacation euphoria”. Through the pieces, a link is drawn to the classical dachas where usually people go for days of holiday relaxation, to practice sports, and to find peace far from the cities.
Additionally, postcards were common in Russia from the Soviet era until the Perestroika years — cards with slogans like “We’re living our best life!”, “So many emotions!”, “Can’t wait to see you again!” When phones were uncommon, postcards that often included photos and letters were the best way to communicate with lovers, to tell stories of the holidays, to know what friends were doing.
Olga twisted this memorabilia into prints, creating a sort of guiding thread of the entire collection. As well as other inspiring prints, an old black and white picture of a big holiday house in the countryside becomes a leitmotif.
Along with postcards, Olga found inspiration in stamps. In Moscow, Olga found a passionate and secretive collector of stamps. She had the opportunity to choose some unique stamps from this collection of hidden treasures, and so she did — opting for stamps celebrating the summer of the Olympics in the Soviet Union and specifically developed for the Games in 1980. The work on the colours and the prints was meticulously crafted, allowing Olga to obtain the result the designer wanted.
To create this collection, Red September sought to find the core of what makes vacations synonymous with rest and fun, along with the attire that populates them, such as hats, caps, bandanas and foulard. In a vintage market, Olga saw peculiar Soviet silk scarfs from the 90s Perestroika era. Utilising them, she worked on the concept and colours to create a patchwork print of embellished modern bandanas for Babushkas.
Another aspect that inspired Olga was a different sort of method of relaxation — beer. During the summer, lying on a deckchair and drinking a cold beer is a ubiquitous joy. Embracing this, she contrasted the experience of drinking a beer on a hot summer day to taking time for oneself at a sanatorium. Wellness and beers may not seem to get along, but Olga loves contrasts: contrasts give authenticity and power to her collections.
With the SS22, Red September finally launches its accessories line. All pieces are produced with semi-precious materials, from the chains to the earrings to the covers for AirPods. Olga preferred silver and laser glass as materials whilst the inspiration for the individual pieces came from the clothes: the laces of the hoodies, the denim tags, all the fabrics.
By embracing all of these aspects, Red September creates harmony in a chaotic work of construction and deconstruction, of beauty and trendsetting that are the trademark of a modern brand that winks insolently at Perestroika. It’s a brand with its own context and its eyes on the future.
photography. Yan Yugay
fashion. Svetlana Tanakina
model. Alina, Jackline + Misha @ NIK Model Mamagement
hair + make up. Valerie Vitko
set design. AA Cooperation, Alexandra Budarina + Alexey Leontyev
photography assistant. Pavel Vedenkin
fashion assistant. Kate Yushko
hair + make up assistant. Nastya Tenderova
production. Alexey Lordanov @ NOB Agency