With WOS’s foreign wholesale business dramatically curtailed by the pandemic, Andrey Artyomov felt like the walls were closing in on him, despite the still-vast confines of the Russian Federation. “I have this fear that even when the pandemic is over, border limitations will remain, in a scary throwback from my past,” said the designer, who grew up at the tail end of the Soviet era. He found himself watching Andrei Tarkovsky movies, where he found his strong-willed muse of the season — a woman who can weather the harsh Russian winters with little more than an evening dress and a purloined men’s jacket.
The look: Mannish tailoring with trompe-l’oeil effects and proportion play, slinky party looks with a ’90s undertone, and folkloric influences only if you squint.
Quote of note: “We never know how good we have it until it’s gone. This is a dream of our past life, and the choices that we never really appreciated like going to the office, greetings friends with kisses, or even going for drinks and dancing,” he rued.
Key pieces: An asymmetric coat that looked like a jacket had been half-wrapped across the front of a midi-dress; a roomy shorts suit cut from a chocolate chevron tweed; an ice blue blouson with ruched sleeves; a draped floor-length dress in an orange and fuchsia gradient with a thigh slit. Various hats, from a beret to a detached hood edged in silver pieces, as well as gloves with “Yes” and “No,” inspired by a childhood game.
Takeaway: Artyomov’s closer direct contact with the WOS customer, with the opening of the brand’s first flagship in Moscow, seems to have reinforced the easy-to-wear side without diluting the details that made pieces memorable.