Dark kingdom: how Artur Lomakin went from Moscow’s suburbs to global fashion’s avant-garde


We were caught in a snowstorm and could hardly see the big snowflakes covering my eyelashes, nose and mouth. But Lomakin, the founder of underground fashion house Forget Me Not, is hard to miss. He was wearing a black child cap, a long black coat - one of his own - carrying two boxes of milk.

The city of chertanovo, where lomakin lives, is one of Moscow’s largest suburbs. You won’t walk alone after dark. He lives with his mother and brother in many of the same concrete apartment buildings. Once in, we would go to his room, an elaborate exhibition of his own design. This is intentional minimalism. In addition to the board and the tripod on both ends of a homemade table, it contains only a candle, a rock, a speaker, a plant, and a series of carefully chosen forget-me-not clothing: two black t-shirts with beige stripes on the back, the back has a jacket, there are several iconic jump line, with a thick wool woven. All of these are examples of Lomakin’s original aesthetic and preference for geometric shapes and strong fabrics. “I like texture,” he says. “All kinds of wool, camel felt, mohair and thick cotton.”

Lomakin has black hair, dark brown eyes, sharp cheekbones and a prominent nose. He was shy and soft-spoken, but his intensity was obvious. Later that day, at a family gathering between us, he showed a more exuberant side. I heard stories about broken tables and broken glass, and rumors that he was banned from several Moscow clubs. When he left, he leaned over and said softly, “I stole a bottle of rum.” He disappeared under the same thick coat it, with the last whisper, “I’m sorry”, like Lomakin, forget me not appeared in Russia in recent years a few concepts of fashion brands are admired for its authenticity and texture.

In the past decade, Moscow has seen a small group of conceptual fashion designers arrive. The design duo Donis Poupis, behind Nina Neretina and Nina Donis, is widely seen as a pioneer in this scene. They started their own brand in 2000 and became the world’s 150 most important designers three years later. Gosha Rubchinskiy is an artist, photographer and self-taught designer. His skateboard scene style of fashion in Moscow and the reshaping of the sportswear has to ensure that he is the darling of the news international youth culture, and won the “street market in London, a retail store by Commes desGarcons founder Rei Kawakubo idea of support.

In Russia, the fashion industry is both green and volatile, a feat that is no small feat. Russia lacks the infrastructure and investment to support emerging designers. Young brands show very little production facilities and opportunities. The lack of assistance coupled with the demand for the fashion industry, including two collections a year, means that dozens of fashion designers end up behind. Small DIY brands have barely seen it. Still, Lomakin remains optimistic. He said: “I am increasingly interested in the development of small independent brands, as well as news and buyers’ interest in local fashion activities. A conceptualized career in Russia is a commitment, to say the least. Four years ago, the brand was popular in the fashion world, but sometimes it was considered a labor of love. “It gave me a small profit,” he said. “It could be just a matter of time and patience.”

Before becoming a fashion designer, Lomakin was originally a stylist. His first project was a small capsule collection for Mesto, a former fashion retail center in central Moscow. In collaboration with one of his regular collaborators, Polina P, an androgynous artist and fashion designer Lomakin, split and rebuilt a pile of vintage clothing to create a Frankensteinesque series. Most importantly, he used leather and chunky knitwear, a combination he knew well. With this set, like everyone else, it was intuitive to guide him in design. “I don’t have the name of the collection. “I thought about what I wanted to wear and what I couldn’t find anywhere else,” he said. “I don’t have any direct inspiration, a movie or a decade. It’s just an image. “For his 2014 winter collection, everything he imagined was” collars and big lapels “. “But,” he added, “all these words are secondary.”