What's kitscher than kitsch? Move over, childhood nostalgia of the emotionally stunted American hipster. If 1UP mushrooms and Clash T-shirts, why not this?
young and trendy Muscovites are in the throes of nostalgia for the staples of Soviet childhoods, relics of a time when the U.S.S.R. was at the height of superpower status. That may explain why one of the most popular fashion designers this fall is Denis Simachev, who is selling overcoats fastened with hammer-and-sickle buttons, gold jewelry minted to look like Soviet kopecks and shirts festooned with the Soviet coat of arms, complete with embroidered ears of wheat. “People in their 30s see these kinds of symbols as reminders of happy memories, like going to pioneer camp where they lived together, ate breakfast together and played sports,” said Mr. Simachev, 33, who wears his hair in a Samurai-style ponytail. He insists he is no Communist — for one thing, his overcoats sell for about $2,100 and his T-shirts for about $600. His boutique is sandwiched between Hermès and Burberry stores on a pedestrian lane, Stoleshnikov, that is one of the capital’s most expensive shopping streets.
Ah the irony, when history repeats itself as farce and capitalism's to blame.
UPDATE: Julian about nails it with the Hang the Capitalists Playset analogy: a fake gulag, though tacky, is always to be preferred to the real thing.
Problem is of course that in Russia's case today the gilded hammer and sickle is merely one shiny facet of the Putinocratic diadem. Kind of takes the shine off freedom of contract when it applies only to the entertainment sector. But that's what I keep nattering on about with this 'pink police state' stuff.