Evgenia Tarasova

Social media and fashion consumption in Russia, 2002-2012

London College of Fashion

Consumption and social change in the post-Soviet middle class.

Russian models and designers are spotted on podiums in famous fashion capitals such as Paris, London, Milan and New York City. Luxurious boutiques of ‘over-priced’ iconic fashion brands are opening one after another at an incredibly fast pace, and consumption of expensive clothing is booming. Being 'in style' is a must now. Where does all this come from in Russia - the country being kept behind the 'iron curtain' for most of the 20th century?

Unpacking fashion consumption in such a diversified and complex society as Russia is very much an emotional activity. This presentation is focusing on the historical aspects of the project: providing details on what meaning is attached to fashion objects after the fall of the Soviet republic, describing the role of middle class in the post-Soviet society, discussing hierarchies of access to fashion items and drawing on connotations of 'chic' and 'super' – two adjectives that are used extensively when it comes to post-Soviet Russian consumers.

Finally, by examining the way consumers exercise and evaluate their choice and what meaning new commodities have in this rapidly changing society, the presentation aims to provide a clear overview on how the modest post-Soviet consumer has turned into a new Russian one, spending a fortune on fashion items.

Supervisors

Dr Djurdja Bartlett

Anthony Kent