Christian Dior’s first time in Moscow: See how soviet women reacted
07 April, 2015
During 1959, the Soviet Union officially allowed fashion shows, and stopped persecuting people in trendy clothes. That decision created a preferable atmosphere and allowed Madame Suzanne Lulling, who was the Head of Dior Salon at the time to organize a fashion show in Moscow. The show took place in the House of Culture "Wings of the Soviets", decorated in the French tri-colors. There were 11,000 invitations for "défilé" which were sent only to the higher members of the Communist party
and to Soviet elite.
As a part of the show, to allow commoners to have a look at the models in their beautiful outfits, the organizers arranged a walk through the center of Moscow. They visited Red Square, local markets, adjacent streets, and went to an area that was the center of Soviet fashion, a spots you had to visit while in Moscow. 3 out of 12 models took part in the walk, and Mr. Howard Sochurek (official photographer of the whole Dior event) was with them, ready to record all the amazing moments of the clashing cultures and fashions.

As Svetlana Smetanina of 'Moscow News Weekly' informed: "After the Dior fashion show, 'Pravda Daily' wrote that some of the styles were too open and short; therefore, they would not look good on women who are stout and short in stature. It was evidently taken for granted that the majority of Soviet women were stout and not tall. One of the Soviet magazines of those days described narrow skirts and spike-heeled shoes as: "Bourgeois fashion makers come up with such styles that a woman has difficulty walking and must wrap herself around her man."

Djurdja Bartlett, fashion historian and researcher with the London College of Fashion, has a non-standard explanation for the Soviet system's strong aversion to European fashion. According to him, the shifting fashion trends unwittingly personified the times; it posed a threat to the system, which valued stability above all.