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Tatyana Parfionovas 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 designers use of tulle elicited gasps.
    Photo: Alexander Shatsky / SPT

  • Pansies adorn one of Parfionovas 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 Parfionovas 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 Elzys 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 Parfionovas signature embroidered motifs on sheer silk tulle over full length skirts.

Related: Julia Voitenkos Elegant Minimalism

Critics are already saying that this is the designers 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 Valentines 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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Times Talk

ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Apr. 18


Teachers and students alike shouldnt miss the opportunity to establish lasting contacts with Russian and foreign institutions during the 21st Education and Career Fair at LenExpo, beginning today and finishing tomorrow. Learn more about education in Russia and connect with your fellow scholars.


The Tromso International Film Festival, Norways largest, brings a short festival to St. Petersburg for one day only during Scandinavian Oddities, starting at 7 p.m. today at Rodina Cinema Center. Tickets for the event are 100 rubles ($2.80).


Sunday, Apr. 20


Celebrate Easter at Pavlovsk during the Easter Fair that begins today and continues through next Sunday. Visitors will have the chance to paint Easter eggs and children can take part in games as well as help decorate a tree in honor of Christianitys holiest day.


Today is one of the final days to see the exhibit Cacti Children of the Sun at the Peter the Great Botanical Garden. Starting Apr. 17, budding botanists will marvel at the variety and beauty of the deserts most iconic plant.


Monday, Apr. 21


Improve your grasp of Neruda, Bolano and Marquez at TrueDAs Beginners Spanish Lesson this evening at their location on the Petrograd Side. An experienced teacher will be on hand to help all attendees better understand the intricacies of the language and improve their accent.


Tuesday, Apr. 22


SPIBAs Breakfast with the Director event series continues as the association welcomes Andrei Barannikov, general director of SPN Communications, to the Anna Pavlova Hall of the Angleterre Hotel this morning at 9 a.m. Attendees must confirm their participation by Apr. 21.


The AmCham Environment, Health and Safety Committee Meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. this morning in the their St. Petersburg office.