September 1 2014

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From Russia, With Love


Fashion is having an affair to remember with Russia. There’s the ubiquitous presence of Muscovite It girls like Elena Perminova and Miroslava Duma, Ulyana Sergeenko’s noteworthy Couture outing last week, and the rise of folksy dressing during Resort. Banana Republic is catching the Russian wave with a new holiday capsule, inspired by the upcoming Anna Karenina film starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law (based, of course, on Leo Tolstoy’s classic nineteenth-century novel). Creative director Simon Kneen went a step beyond name-checking the movie and brought in its costume designer, Jacqueline Durran, to style part of the collection.

“I was looking at all the rich fabrics we had that were a continuation from last season—the velvets, faux fur, and lace—and thought, this is feeling very Russian. So we arranged to work with Jacqueline and when she came in, it was like playing dress-up. It was a total kismet moment—which is what the book is all about, right?” Kneen told at a press preview yesterday. (For the record, he’s read it.) The result was wearable clothes of the usual BR mold that had just a touch of theatricality to them. A sharp wool military jacket was paired with a fur Cossack hat and dangling chandelier earrings, for example. Also noteworthy here were a head-to-toe winter white ensemble and cozy tartan topcoats for both the boys and the girls. Bejeweled bib necklaces, slim leather portfolios, and feather hair accessories topped it all off.

The Anna Karenina collection launches in Banana Republic stores on October 30; for more information, visit The film debuts November 9.

Photo: David X. Prutting /

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