Vika Gazinskaya

May 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Vika Gazinskaya has a small fear of tattoos, but that didn’t stop her from positioning them throughout her Fall collection. They appear as vintage emblems, with both “Vika” and “Viktory” on scrolls wrapping around hearts or held up by multicolored swallows. Last week, the Russian designer learned she’s among the finalists for the generous LVMH Prize (which will be awarded for the first time in May), so the motif could prove self-fulfilling. But in any case, she staggered them judiciously enough—here on a gray felt baseball cap, there as a trompe l’oeil effect on a stretch bodysuit—that they didn’t steal attention from the collection’s other strong elements. Strongest of all: the almond-shaped shoulder cutouts that transformed a high-necked sweatshirt or blouse into a vaguely 1950s look. Think Roman Holiday redux. Gazinskaya extended this sensibility to a soft-washed wool dress and pleated tapered pants. Then she pushed it from nostalgic to new with an oversize, ruffled gingham placket tunic dress and a bell-shaped shearling vest hand-painted an ombré surf green.

The tattooed “Vika” lettering, by the way, has one additional meaning: a nod to the influential Russian rock artist Viktor Tsoi, who died in 1990 at the age of 28. Gazinskaya said she kept returning to his Soviet poetry on love and death. Such overarching themes were barely obvious in her nuanced collection—although the shimmery, champagne-hued tattoo dress did signal a certain desire to lay everything bare. It conveyed the sophisticating of an ingenue.
—Amy Verner
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Vika Gazinskaya

October 19, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Though you might think it to see the scribbled clouds and raindrops all over her new collection, Vika Gazinskaya was emphatically not having a depressive episode when she designed her clothes for Spring ’13. Rather, the Moscow-based Gazinskaya explained, she found herself traveling quite a bit this past year, and the sketched skies are a record of the things she saw from airplane windows.


Gazinskaya is one of the most interesting designers to come out of Russia, emerging with a fully formed aesthetic when she debuted her label five years ago. Her clothes are sculpturally ladylike and a little silly; she brings a certain naïveté to bear on her collections, but they shouldn’t be mistaken for naive. There’s a ton of design sophistication undergirding her signature doodle prints, which this season have developed into doodle jacquards. She also has a taste for surreal exaggeration. Plenty of hard thought about patternmaking went into the creation of the giant ruffle running along the collar and sleeve of a cloud jacquard cocktail dress, for instance. Likewise, a flounced shift with a storybook landscape patchworked across it revealed elaborate construction: The flounce was asymmetric and the patchworking built the garment as opposed to being appliqu&#233d on top of it.

But Gazinskaya also has it in her to be straightforwardly appealing. This season, she’s got a surefire hit on her hands in the form of her tweed bell dresses, which came in a strapless white and a black tank version. Likewise, a simple gray shift with two oversized ruffles—one at the waist and one at the hem—mixed cuteness and elegance in just the right proportion. You could imagine the iconic, Breakfast at Tiffany’s-era Audrey Hepburn in that dress—and, actually, it wasn’t too hard to imagine her wearing Gazinskaya’s cloud turtleneck and wavy raindrop skirt, either. Humor and chic can sometimes go hand in hand.
—Maya Singer
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