Alena Akhmadullina certainly has a strange relationship with animals. She clearly finds them charming, peppering them onto her collections through animated imagery and fairytale-like embellishments. But at the same time, she also uses their skins to make her suits, coats, dresses, and accessories. In a time when most fashion companies are veering away from using real animals and are going for more sustainable alternatives, Akhmadullina remains headstrong in using what she deems to be the ‘authentic’ materials. It’s part of her label’s dedication to old-school glamour, which was defiantly present in her Fall 2019 Collection. Here, each look touched upon particular decades in the 20th century. A fur coat nipped at the waist and worn with crisp trousers reminded one of the 1970s. A floaty blue and white polka-dotted dress with a pussycat bow, on the other hand, harkened back to the 1940s. While a fit-to-flare denim button-up dress was clearly influenced by the 1950s. Akhmadullina loves going back to these times she deems as more elegant, as most designers often do. But it’s her use of real animal skin that makes these looks too much in the past and less in the present. Surely her leather separates and fur coats would have been just as beautiful if no animals were harmed to make them!
Photo: Courtesy of Alena Akhmadullina