There are hundreds of thousands of Russian people living in London and like the rest of the millions who live there, they blend in to the crowd and carry the label of being a Londoner.
However, there are succinct Russian influences across various parts of the Big Smoke and a culture that manifests itself for those who know what to look for. This is particularly prevalent throughout the various types of fashion that you’ll see in London, as Russians tend to have their own style that is absolutely idiosyncratic from anything else you’ll see in the city.
For those who are in the know with different countries regarding their clothing culture, you’ll notice that there’s a fair amount of Russian designers that are coming into their own as each London Fashion Week passes.
Cultural events tend to be particularly important for Russians who have lived in London for a long time, as a way for them to remember and celebrate their culture. It’s also a good way to bring the wider culture together and make them feel connected to their native roots.
According to 20 Bedford Way, it can be hard to find out about Russian cultural events in London, apart from large classical performances at places like the Barbican. But, if you look a little deepers there are a lot of smaller events that showcase some of the best Russian culture and fashion in the city.
This art gallery is a representation of modern art and has a large focus on 20th century Paris and the artists who came out of this movement.
However, it also states that it is dedicated to Russian artists Marie Vassilieff, who was a Russian Empire painter. She moved to Paris in her early twenties and became a massive part of the artistic community on the left bank of the city in Montparnasse.
The gallery also specialises in Russian non-conformist artists, such as Vladimir Yankilevsky, Boris Sveshnikov and Dmitry Krasnopevtcev, among others.
To find out which events are on and when, keep an eye on the Aktis website, as the exhibitions fluctuate often. You’ll find the gallery in St. James and it’s just two minutes from Buckingham Palace.
M by Montcalm Shoreditch London Tech City hotel is just 25 minutes from the gallery and you can get there by taking the Northern line for five minutes from Old Street to London Bridge, then swap to the Jubilee line and take it for seven minutes to Green Park station.
The Calvert 22 Foundation aims to support and share the contemporary culture of eastern Europe, particularly Russia. It aims to show off the regions in this area of Europe and promote and understanding of the culture that it creates.
A programme of exhibitions, talks and screenings constitutes the work produced by this not-for-profit organisation. The business partners with many local venues and institutions to put on excellent shows that are enjoyed by Londoners and people from all over the world.
An upcoming event on 25th August is When The Earth Seems To Be Light, which will be screened in the House of Vans. It forms part of the Power and Exhibition programme – which lasts until the end of December – by Calvert 22 and is a poetic documentary about modern youth in post-Soviet Georgia.
To get from the M by Montcalm Shoreditch London Tech City hotel to the House of Vans to see this inspiring documentary, take the Northern line from Old Street Tube Station for nine minutes to Elephant and Castle – it’s just two minutes’ walk from there.
Russian fashion in London
Although London Fashion Week has finished for another year, you can still find a lot of Russian fashion throughout the city.
Some Russian fashion designers who are starting to become a large part of the London scene include Lesia Paramonova with her label LES. She has only broken out onto the scene over the past couple of years but she has a fascinating use of prints, colour and narrative, which has seen her gather a loyal group of dedicated fans. You’ll find fashionista bloggers writing enthusiastically about her on a weekly basis.
A trainee from Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander Terekhov struck out on his own several years ago and is well known for designing red carpet dresses for Russian celebrities. He favours city chic with classic glamour, so this fashion is accessible to most, hence it’s popularity.
There are many others to choose from that are appearing each year, but if you want to have a browse through them the best place to look is Harrods. Largely, this is because this famous department store has the biggest range of designer labels in the city. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in there, you can also try Harvey Nichols, which is in the same area of Knightsbridge.
However, if you care to browse the boutiques of east London, M by Montcalm Shoreditch Tech City is just a stone’s throw away from some great markets, such as Brick Lane.