Long, beautiful dresses and headscarves are all the rage in Russia
In Russia, conservative fashion is becoming increasingly popular. Stores selling long modest dresses are popping up on the busiest streets of Moscow to accommodate women, especially Russian Christians, who want to look both modest and beautiful.
Clearly, the national return to traditional values that Russia has experienced is beginning to shape the culture of the people, not through force, but through instinct.
Some, of course, argue that religion shouldn't affect such worldly things.
Here’s what famous priest Russian Priest Andrey Tkachev has to say on the question:
In a nutshell, his argument goes something like this: Fashion, like culture, can either aid or abet the human. If you don't make that choice, the choice will be made for you (transcript provided below)
In Russia, chain stores selling things tailored to a Christian fashion quickly gain customers. Many independent stylists, often even wives of priests, run their own clothes lines through social media, such as Instagram and Vkontakte (the Russian version of Facebook).
Their posts always speak about their desire to satisfy the Russian woman's need for models of beauty different from the modern (and rather crude), understanding of what constitutes attractiveness. These designers want women feel and look feminine and beautiful. They consciously create clothes that harmoniously match the ideal of Russian Christian woman--one who bring joy to those around her, who strives to be gentle, caring, and modest, whether in the workplace or at home.
So Russian Christian fashion: yay or nay? What do you think?
Transcript: (Translated by Ekaterina Lukmanova)
Good afternoon, dear friends.
Fashion and Orthodoxy. Can they go together and coexist?
On the one hand, there is no fashion in Orthodoxy and no Orthodoxy in fashion.
On the other hand, one can find shops specializing in christening robes and christening baby sets of different colours and designs. Next, why not to make beautiful, chaste wedding dresses?
Some dresses can be so shameful, that it's just shame on the bride for wearing it and even more shame on the groom who holds her hand and marries her.
Why not to make these beautiful clothes in specializing shops?
A sign of the current times is online shops selling conservative clothes. One can find sites and pages in social sites offering believers christening robes, wedding dresses and shawls, chaste swimsuits, suits and other clothes for the Orthodox.
Designers confess that decent clothes are on demand today. As a result, name brands and chain stores appear for believers.
One owner of such a conservative shop says that their clients are the Orthodox, church members, wives and daughters of priests, students and teachers of clerical universities.
Of course, if a monk makes a trendy long robe for himself, it will be funny and rather scandalous than fashionable.
But with laymen the situation is different.
Why not introduce a shawl covering a woman’s head into fashion?
Girls are so all beautiful with a covered head, without make up. They do make a difference from those who try to show off.
A dress can be beautiful and longer, a shawl can cover the shoulders and this all will make up a woman’s image from the 19th century, before the Revolution.
Why not? It’s beautiful.
Orthodoxy and fashion is an interesting topic.
Some slogans appeared recently. It’s fashionable to be healthy. Smoking isn’t fashionable.
Morning runs are fashionable. Give up pubs and night clubs, take a bike! Go to the treadmill. Take dumbbells. It’s fashionable to be healthy, handsome and square-built. Drug addicts are not fashionable! Right?
We can avoid a lot of problems introducing such slogans. The same can be done about clothes and appearance.
Jeans with holes are not fashionable! No rags and uncovered knees anymore.
Dress beautifully, and the predecessors will look at you smiling not frowning from the other world. They will see that you are Russian who is tidy and neat and handsome but without provocation and epatage.
All this punks’ stuff, shaved heads, mohawks, piercing and tattoos is a shame and ridicule. People behave like the Naked King from the fairy-tale (Russian remake of the famous fairy-tale by Andersen).
They are proud and think that what they wear is beautiful. Their mind was manipulated. They are naked and a boy dares to say “The King is naked”. Jeans with holes and tattooed body are ugly, shameful, ungodly, my dear.
Beautiful face, healthy body, neat and beautiful clothes making someone adore and observe true glory… This all is good and righteous. Some
people from Saint Petersburg are trying to introduce some elements of fashion in our church mind and try to colour our mind with elements of sound attitude to clothes and everyday behaviour.
We should have our dress code. It’s not hijab or paranja.
It is something beautiful that makes us claim that our girls are the best, our men are the strongest.
Why don’t we live up to the time when we can say this with confidence?
So, my friends, Orthodoxy is such a light that can shine everywhere and every time and bring warmth and joy into every corner of your life forcing out sins, like mold, and enthrone beauty and piety.
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