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SS 2011: Press Release

‘The Soviet Riviera’ / ‘Советский Курорт’

For Spring Summer 2011 Clare Lopeman takes us on a Soviet style vacation to the Black Sea resorts of the former Soviet Union; The Crimea, Odessa, Yalta, Sochi, previously known as the ‘Soviet Riviera’.

Clare continues to be fascinated by the Russian culture that surrounds her. Inspired by vintage ‘In Tourist’ advertising campaigns to attract foreign visitors to Soviet Resorts and their imitation of French and Italian Riviera style, Clare has created her own contemporary ‘Soviet Riviera’ using vintage reference points.

After discovering it was common place for underwear to be worn for bathing in Russia, the collection starts by examining and reconstructing the details of Soviet lingerie patterns from ‘Краткая энциклопедия домашнего хозяйства 1958’ (‘Concise Encyclopedia of Housekeeping’ 1958). Having gone through a detailed process of transformation, the prints and constructions simultaneously define a healthy and defined physique through figure enhancing contours and shapes.

Further points of reference and inspiration include the grand health spas and hotels of Sochi; resembling Grecian palaces that reflect the Сталинский Ампир (Stalin Empire Style). These epic locations were the playground of the Soviet Elite. This influence can be found within the classical Grecian style drapery within the collection.

The range begins with a classic nautical palette of navy blue and optic white through to vibrant sorbet colours, which reflect the holiday resort spirit. The collection fuses digital printing technologies with Silk Jersey, Lycra Swimwear, Cotton Satin and Silk.

For her SS 2011 Lookbook Clare commissioned Russian CGI artists to recreate a 3D virtual Soviet Resort based on vintage imagery from the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Epic landscapes, grand hotels and sub tropical gardens of the Black Sea are recreated in a surreal world defining Clare’s nostalgic vision as she continues to see Russia through English eyes, bringing new perspectives and creative references in the process.

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