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Tatyana Parfionova’s Garden of Earthly Delights

Spring arrived early with a fashion show that brought out the romantic in those lucky enough to attend.

Published: February 12, 2014 (Issue # 1797)



  • Pre-Raphaelite in effect, the designer’s use of tulle elicited gasps.
    Photo: Alexander Shatsky / SPT

  • Pansies adorn one of Parfionova’s subtly risque pieces.
    Photo: Alexander Shatsky / SPT

  • Variegated tulips lend an air of mystery to one of the standout designs.
    Photo: Alexander Shatsky / SPT

With an unseasonably early thaw in progress, thoughts of spring and summer were on the minds of those gathered at the Winter Garden of the Astoria Hotel on Sunday for the presentation of beloved local fashion designer Tatyana Parfionova’s latest collection. While the temperatures outside may have been hovering near freezing, Parfionova presented an eclectic show titled “I Was Born a Gardener” that included influences of the renaissance and the 19th century in a romantic bouquet that was nonetheless resolutely modern in its attitude. Set to the strains of Okean Elzy’s “Vesna” (Spring) and the sounds of chirping birds and thunderstorms, the runway show transported those to a wonderland of color and imagination.

Related: A Night Out With Vogue

The show got underway with a bit of audience participation as various supporters stood to deliver lines of poetry in English, Russian and Italian while a trio of “gardeners” appeared and began passing out bouquets of flowers.

Emerging from between a pair of potted palm trees, the models in their china-doll makeup did their best to blend the glamour of the catwalk with the labor of love that is gardening. Adorned in luxurious jewelry from the house of Boucheron, the clothing layered Parfionova’s signature embroidered motifs on sheer silk tulle over full length skirts.

Related: Julia Voitenko’s Elegant Minimalism

Critics are already saying that this is the designer’s best collection yet. Parfionova, who opened her fashion house in 1995 and has shown her collections on the runways of Paris, Milan, New York and Beijing, is one of the few St. Petersburg designers known outside of the country.

Inspired by the approach of Valentine’s Day and the lush romanticism of the collection, The St. Petersburg Times took the opportunity to ask some of those in attendance what they thought were the most romantic spots in St. Petersburg.

“The most romantic place in St. Petersburg is the roof of our residence with a view of the Neva," said Jennes de Mol, General Consul of the Netherlands in St. Petersburg. "It is astonishingly beautiful. You have the sun, and the thrill of a very exciting place, and you are alone — which is important. You also have the most beautiful view of the town. You see the Neva but you also see the courtyards and the roofs — you see another world. You see St. Petersburg from another angle, which is very nice.”

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Monday, Jan. 26


Feeling stressed by the crisis? The Northwest Coach University at 3 Ulitsa Vostsstanaya is hosting a master class by lifecoach Tatiana Almazova. She will shed light on the coaching process, the usefulness of coaching during times of economic downturn and how coaching can improve your career and business prospects. The event starts at 7 p.m. and admission is free. Pre-register by calling 424 3700.



Discover the State Hermitage Museum's collection of English painting at a lecture by art historian Yelizaveta Renne at the Prince Galitzine Library, 46 Nab. Reki Fontanki. The event starts at 6 p.m. and the lecture will be followed by a concert of arias, songs and duets by English composer Henry Purcell. The event is free of charge.



Tuesday, Jan. 27


Celebrate the 71st anniversary of the end of the Siege of Leningrad on Palace Square with a free concert at 7 p.m. Listen to WWII-era songs and the poetry of Olga Bergholz while you peruse outdoor exhibitions dedicated to life during wartime. The event is capped off by a fireworks display at 9 p.m.



Stop by the Lexica School of Foreign Languages at 73 Ligovsky Prospekt from now until Friday for a free English lesson. The classes start at 7 p.m. and cover all levels, from Beginner to Advanced. Registration by telephone on 7641692 and a desire to improve your skills are the only prerequisites.



Wednesday, Jan. 28



Feel like becoming a publishing mogul? Stop by the Freedom anti-cafe at 7 Ulitsa Kazanskaya today at 8 p.m. where Simferopol, Crimea-based founder and chief editor of the Holst online magazine will talk about creating an internet magaine, including what stories to cover, how find an audience and build a team, where to find inspiration and how to stand out from the crowd. Admission is the normal price of the anti-café — 2 rubles per minute, which includes tea and snacks.



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