Fashion designer Ulyana Sergeenko unveils new Spring collection in Paris

Russian fashion designer and style icon Ulyana Sergeenko unveiled her Spring couture collection at Paris’s Le Bristol Hotel this week. Known for using specific eras of history and traditional dress as inspiration for her collections, Sergeenko’s newest line takes Georgia and Armenia as points of departure, creating clothes which wouldn’t be out of place on the set of a film from Georgian film director Sergei Parajanov.      

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Exhibition on resisting state ideology to open in Moscow

Yuri Albert, In My Work I’ve Hit a Crisis…, (1983). Albert is one of the artists to feature in the exhibition

An upcoming exhibition exploring art’s role in resisting state ideology will open next month in Moscow, featuring the works of over 60 artists from countries across central and eastern Europe. Grammar of Freedom/Five Lessons: Works from the Arteast 2000+ Collection presents art ranging from the 1960s to the present day, and is organised around five open-ended “lessons” on art’s role in the search for freedom. 

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Duma backs bill to return ads to pay TV channels with majority Russian content

A bill lifting the ban on advertising on pay TV in Russia has been passed, allowing commercials to be screened on paid television whose content is at least 75% backed by Russian investors. 

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Polish Oscar submission Ida slammed as “anti-Polish” by nationalists

Poland’s foreign language Oscar entry Ida by director Pawel Pawlikowski has become the centre of controversy after the Polish Anti-Defamation League (RDI), an organisation devoted to defending the reputation of Poland, has slammed the film as being “anti-Polish” for its depiction of the country’s involvement in the Holocaust. 

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Walk of Shame label collaborates with Opening Ceremony for emoji-inspired sweater line

Andrey Artyomov, the designer behind Moscow-based fashion brand Walk of Shame, has collaborated with Opening Ceremony to resurrect his “Emoji Sweaters”, a line of emoji-inspired jumpers launched in 2013. 

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Controversial “anti-profanity” law to be reversed, Medvedev orders

Still from Motherland, dir. Pyotr Buslov (2015)

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has ordered Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky to prepare a bill to reverse the law enacted last May which banned the use of profanity in the arts. This followed an appeal from noted members of Russia’s film community, including Fedor Bondarchuk and Nikita Mikhalkov, in which they urged the Prime Minister to “give the go ahead to amend the existing legislation, providing the possibility of issuing distribution certificates with the label 18+ for films which, in order to realise the artistic design if the film, may contain profanity”. 

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Culture Ministry reverses ban on films “threatening national unity”

Still from Under electric skies, dir. Alexei German Junior (2015)

Russia’s Ministry of Culture has reversed its plans to prevent films that “discredit national culture and threaten national unity” from obtaining distribution licences, a spokesperson from the ministry announced on Monday. 

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Hungarian pianist designs new “human” grand piano

Hungarian pianist Gergely Bogányi has unveiled a new grand piano designed with sweeping curves that form one continuous body and stand. The new instrument, “based upon the movements and flows of classical music”, features over 18,000 parts and has been designed primarily “to produce the highest possible sound quality”, according to Bogányi. 

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Gosha Rubchinskiy snaps photoshoot for new ASOS lookbook

The Russian conceptual fashion designer and photographer Gosha Rubchinskiy has teamed up with British online fashion and beauty store ASOS for a photoshoot of the online shop’s spring/summer 2015 menswear lookbook. The designer, known for his streetwear influences, was involved in the casting, location, styling and creative direction, resulting in a photoshoot that bore his distinctly urban look.       

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Russian photographers among the British Journal of Photography’s “Ones to watch”

Three Russian photographers are among the 25 “Ones to watch” listed by the British Journal of Photography. Olga Matveeva, Danila Tkachenko and Kirill Savchenkov were selected by the Journal team out of the 300 names of young photographers nominated by over 80 international photography experts, who put forward names of those who “are on the verge of something big”. 

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