Continued from here.
The aftermarth of Soviet fashion was devastating. And a few year ago the First state TV-channel of Russia introduced a new reality show called “Modniy Prigovor” (Fashion Verdict). Protagonists are common women who cannot dress well - such a simple skill for a woman, yet, imagine, many out there to be totally clueless and not of their own choice. In the beginning the show was presided by the reknown fashion designer Vyacheslav Zaytsev - a real darling, if you ask me, and a great pleasure to listen to: tactful, positive, good-willed, without a trace of snobbishness about him. And the parade of Russian fashion began.
We saw a string of women with a whole bag of issues linked to the ‘Sovlegprom’ culture. Their hostile environment had harmed them - with the best of intentions, as usual. Yet, blaming the immediate environment would be wrong. Fashion in the USSR - and not only - was a propaganda tool. Actually, fashion IS a propaganda tool, used effectively by wheeler-dealers who don't even create clothes. But back to the fashion in the USSR and Russian fashion. It was the inofficial political line - in my mind - to impose the boring Soviet fashion on simple Soviet women thus creating divisions you can use to manipulate people. Older folks truly believed they were building a new society. Younger generations saw different. What older folks failed to realize was was that you could not build anything while half of the society ‘made believe’ – I mean the elite and nomenklatura, in the first place.
The Fashion Verdict show went quite far, actually. It was declared and stressed that girls and women had the right to spend money on nice clothes – almost a heresy for the ‘sovlegrom’-minded who view women as a sort of useful accessory in household and at work. Actually, sovlegprom mentality bears similarities to patriarchal culture that suppresses women and to that end uses clothes, too. The ugly truths that the Fashion Verdict disclosed were, probably, a bit too much. The show has gradually changed its conceptions. Now they rarely feature women with issues linked to sovok* culture, having switched to those who just do not feel the need to dress up. Zaytsev has also long since left the show along with another adorable assistant host - a great pity, in my opinion.
* sovok – a vague concept letting in everything associated with the simple life of Soiet people en masse including Soviets fashions and Soviet fashion industry.