ALEXANDRE PLOKHOV: PIOUS PURITY OF MONKS
Designer Alexandre Plokhov took a unique, non-secular approach to his 2013 summer/ fall collection.
The look was inspired by the Xaavier Zimbardo’s book The Monks of Dust, a story about a sect of Russian Orthodox monks living in Greece. Consequently, the presentation had a very stern and somber feel to it, perfect for a Sunday showing.
“Having always been attracted to the ideas of devotion and discipline, I was intrigued to learn more about these men,” Plokhov explains. “One item that struck me was the existence of two distinct groups of clergy in this Church; the Parochial, who wear exclusively white and can marry; and the Monastic, who wear exclusively black and dedicate themselves to a higher calling.”
The monochromatic theme was translated in the design, with models draped in all black leading the way before others dressed in white walked the runway. There was a certain darkness to the show that gave the wardrobe a markedly fall mood. Long trench coats draped over black on black made everyone in attendance sense the influence of an oncoming winter, as the line was far colder than most.
“The concise choice of fabrics further reflects an economy of purpose, including pure linen, homespun cotton, and vegetable-dyed leather,” Plokhov continues. “Similarly, I chose to include footwear with a primitive feel made entirely out of Crosta—a split of leather before it’s shaved and smoothed, leaving it’s surface rough and uneven.”
It was a very coherent and comprehensive show, both holy and Rasputin, with a stunning self-imposed bleakness that would’ve caught Dostoevsky’s eye.