I love when I stumble across images or stories which can be connected to something else. When I first saw Moncler Gamme Rouge fall/winter 2009 collection, the name of Anastasija Nikolaevna Romanova, the mysterious and tragic story of her family, the end of the Romanov dynasty and Tori Amos’ Yes, Anastasia (from the album Under the Pink) all came to my mind.
You must admit the collection, designed by Giambattista Valli, are so peculiar and precious, so inspired to Russian culture and history (not only the names given to each style, but also the decorations, materials, colours), that it is impossible not to think of the sources he drew inspiration from. Though disappointed by his spring/summer 2010 collection (Prada-ish fringes and animalier prints??? He could have done more than this), I still believe Valli is one of the most interesting Italian designers of his generation, and the Gamme Rouge collections he has designed so far  widely demonstrate this.
One of the features of Gamme Rouge collections are the striking colours and materials used. I mean: all the collections are made of duvet jackets and coats, but the ways in which Valli turns these in works of art are simply stunning. I would never ever wear fur, but you must admit the touch of fur in the Ielena jacket is like the icing on the cake. The butter beige silk, the rhinestone decoration on the front and the cone shape of the jacket do the rest.
Should I ever go to a Snowflake Ball, I would surely wear this Lena vest. The silvery taupe colour of the satin is lovely and so is the tiered stole around the shoulders.
Is there anything more luxurious than a fur-lined silk sleeping bag? I don’t like going camping, but I would sleep anywhere, should I have something like Czarina in my luggage.
Most of the items in this collections have features in common, especially the egg shape and the wide collar. It’s funny to see how the model’s mouth is sometimes hidden under the collar of the coat she’s wearing. It’s the case of Anouska, a beautiful coat with ruffled sleeves and black bows accenting the waist-line. The collar of Nadja, a black fur jacket, is even wider.
Tasha and Sasha are dramatic styles, both made of black satin: the first is a long jacket with a gorgeous rhinestone decoration on the puller of the zip fastener, and the second is a sleeveless vest with an astrakhan fur insert on the front. These jackets are accessorized by gorgeous black opera gloves in crocodile-effect leather.
Tereza is based on the same shape of Anouska – here the bows accent the ruffled cuffs – and Svetlana first presents a theme that will be found in other coats – the egg shape, the shawl collar, the gathering at the central waist-line. Doesn’t Svetlana looks extremely cozy and warm?
Tanya is one of the most classic pieces of the whole collection, because it reminds of traditional trench coats – see the collar and the belt – but padded. Tatyana, on the other hand, has the same collar as Lena, but the shape is different, balloon-like.
Polina and Helena perfectly conform with the rest of the collection, but with a twist: the silk of the first jacket is printed with a chinchilla-like effect , while the coated silk of the second has a singular brocade-scale effect. They are both lovely, but I prefer pieces made of simple silk.
Natalia is the mauve and long version of Sasha, while Oksana is the mauve version of Tatyana, with a simple collar.
Raissa is a very peculiar piece: the silk is printed to achieve a fur-like effect, but real fur is applied at the cuffs; the shape is kept simple, to emphasize the fur and the printed silk. Sophia‘s collar is amazing, so similar to an embroidered pleated ribbon; I also love the pleats at the waist.
Olga takes the main features of Raissa but in a different order: here most of the jacket is made of fur, and only a small section of fur-like silk is visible. I don’t know why but there’s something in the juxtaposition of materials that doesn’t convince me much.
The shape of Kristina is reminiscent of the infamous Yves Saint Laurent Cocoon wedding dress, and the scale-like gold satin, with those black appliques as decorations, bring the Fabergé Imperial eggs to my mind.
Just a thought about the model’s hairstyle and make-up: I like the fact that she always poses in front of the same white wall, because this gives consistency to the lookbook, but I don’t like her crinkled and puffy hairstyle. I hate when she wears concealer on her lips, but I love the contrast between her fair skin and the red hot lipstick she has in some pictures.
The Russian Sasha Pivovarova is the protagonist of the collection’s campaign, shot by Steven Meisel. She poses in front of a grey wall, a neutral colour which strangely emphasizes the model and the jacket she’s wearing. In the first shot she wears Tamara, a champagne-coloured satin jacket with a double-headed eagle (symbol of the Romanovs) embroidery on the front.
In the second shot she wears Dasha, which has the same shape as Lena, but is made of chinchilla-effect printed silk.
In the third shot of the campaign, Sasha is wearing the Anouska coat, with the crocodile-effect long gloves and a gorgeous rhinestone bracelet. Sasha is very serene and beautiful in these pictures: her natural beauty is emphasized by a little make-up and a rhinestone tiara, put on her blonde hair, which looks even lighter, thanks to a bit of powdering.
My style is very casual, so you will never find pieces like these in my closet. This doesn’t mean I like most of the collection and I wouldn’t mind wearing Dasha or Tatyana, if I had the chance to. Which one is your favourite coat?
 The fall/winter 2008 collection was inspired to Versailles.