Blasblog From Moscow: Economy Cramps, But Doesn’t Cripple, Kisa
I’ve been to Moscow a few times now—about three times in as many months, in fact. With every visit I realize more and more just how important vodka is to the local culture. It’s like there are two responses to a crisis: vodka, or no vodka. At least that was how Alex Kiselev, the owner of the London-based fashion label Kisa, explained it to me on Friday night. Over lots of vodka. The night was supposed to have been Kisa’s big Russian launch: Julia Restoin-Roitfeld had done the invites, of which Kiselev, who is called Kisa by his friends, still has a thousand of in his office; Julia’s brother Vladimir had already art-directed a giant fashion show and gala dinner; Naomi Campbell was booked to open the show, as she did the Fall show in London; and all of Europe’s chicest ladies—Eugenie Niarchos, Camilla Al Fayed, Tatiana Santo Domingo, and Olympia Scarry—were in town to celebrate. However, things took a nasty turn when the Russian stock market took a tumble a few weeks ago, prompting some of the event’s backers to pull out. “It is very sad, and we were very disappointed, but this helps,” explained Kiselev, vodka in hand. “And so do my friends.” Despite the cancellation, a few pals, including Campbell, Al Fayed, and Dasha Zhukova, seen here, made good on their promise to come to Moscow for some Kisa love. And Kiselev made good on his promise to chaperone them around the city. The first stop was the restaurant Pavilion, located on a skating pond in Moscow’s center. Then, Campbell insisted that the crew, which now included some local Russian socials, plus Scarry, Niarchos, and Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci, swing by Shatush, an eatery that’s billed as Asian but somehow also incorporates scantily clad dancers on bars and hookah smoking. (Most in the group participated in one or the other.) “I love showing people around Moscow, especially these people,” laughed Kiselev, adding optimistically that the big show wasn’t canceled, but merely postponed till this time next year. “So this is more of a tease,” he said.
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