London’s Victoria & Albert Museum will partner with the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and Vogue Russia to collectively develop and curate a major exhibition focused on Russia, it was announced today.

The exhibition will engage with the rich cultural history of Russia, and trace its influence on 20th century and contemporary western fashion, designers like Paul Poiret and Jean Paul Gaultier. Key periods and styles in Russian history, including Russian folk culture, court and imperial costume, the post-revolution avant-garde, Perestroika and post-Soviet punk will be represented across fashion, film, fine art, photography, and costume. This will be an opportunity to see Russian and Russian-inspired objects from the collections of the London and Moscow museums, as well as The Vogue Archive and international loans.

“Russia has never itself been a power in world fashion, but it has often had the power to influence world fashion. This is because of the truly gigantic scale of the country itself, its dramatic history, and the endless variety of its ethnographic and cultural landscape,” explains President of Conde Nast Russia, Anita Gigovskaya.   

The show is expected to open at the V&A in 2020, and will follow a number of successful exhibitions at the London museum relating to Russia including the Russian Avant-Garde Theatre: War Revolution and Design 1913-1931 (2014), Treasures of the Royal Courts: Tudors, Stuarts and the Russian Tsars (2013), and Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes (2010).

Director of the V&A, Martin Roth, hopes the collaboration will go beyond the organisation of the exhibition: “This exciting partnership will see the museum embark on a new era of working with Russia and initiate the process of not just cultural exchange but co-creating cultural content. Russia is a fascinating country of contrasts, but it remains shrouded in mystery. This co-curation presents a wonderful opportunity to work with our Russian partners to promote a greater understanding of Russia's much and diverse cultural history,” says Roth. 

Following the V&A, the exhibition will be presented at The State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow in spring 2021.   

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