What credit crunch? On Wednesday, after a workday when Russian stocks nose-dived and trading was temporarily halted, guests at the opening of designer Igor Chapurin’s new Moscow boutique and bar were anything but glum.
Russia’s glitterati, including Polina Deripaska, the It-girl and wife of an oligarch, and Alyona Doletskaya, the editor of Russian Vogue, grazed off trays of oysters as a singer from London, Luciana Caporaso, performed on an impromptu stage. And attendees puffed on cigarettes proffered by model-like waitresses (Moscow may look ever more Western, but that doesn’t extend to smoking bans.)
On the topic of the financial crisis that has derailed Russia’s oil-fuelled boom and, according to rumor, imperiled the fortune of more than one top oligarch, some guests were blasé.
“I’ve converted all my money to euros,” joked Masha Malinovskaya, a television presenter and former politician.
Others said they’ve put their faith in the wisdom of Russia’s leaders. “[Prime Minister Vladimir] Putin will take control of the situation,” reassured the singer Zara, outfitted by Jasmine Di Milo.
Also in attendance at the party was a spokesman for the acclaimed Denis Simachev, the first Moscow designer to open a club. The spokesman, Vadim Chernyshev, assured that he hadn’t been sent to scope out the competition.
“We have different clientele. Ours is crazier, freer.”
Chapurin seemed serenely happy with the boutique, his fourth.
“Simachev and I represent the mood of Russian society at this point in history,” he said, referring to the rampant materialism that has swept Moscow. “Russia is modern like anywhere else, it has a new face.”
He added he isn’t too worried about the crisis, either. Russians have been through worse.