From Nina from the “Caucasian Captive” to Zinochka from the film “Ivan Vasilyevich changes his profession” — we analyze the wardrobes of the brightest heroines of Soviet cinema, who have something to learn.
Stills from the films “Moscow does not believe in tears”, “The Caucasian captive, or the New Adventures of Shurik”, “Carnival Night”
Fashion in the Soviet Union is more about “getting” than about “choosing what to buy”. It did not exist as such — there was a “light textile industry”. But the costume designers of Soviet films did the impossible. They created interesting and stylish images even during the shortage, and women, inspired by movie images, sewed themselves or ran to the studio with the words “I’m like Nadia.” We decided to recall the brightest and most stylish heroines on the screen, whom we still look at with bated breath.
Lenochka Krylova, “Carnival Night” (1956)
Lyudmila Gurchenko’s outfits in the role of Lenochka Krylova did not leave any Soviet fashionista indifferent. It is on New Year’s Eve that the heroine shows exquisite outfits. Lenochka Krylova resembles a flower — a fluffy skirt almost to the ankles, a narrow waist is an impeccable personification of the 50s. The film “Carnival Night” opened the style of Christian Dior’s New Look to Soviet citizens. And, it is worth noting, the new hourglass silhouette perfectly suited the young Lyudmila Gurchenko with her waist of 48 centimeters.
The audience applauded the feminine polka dot dress and lantern sleeves, but the greatest sensation was made by black with a vertical row of buttons and a white muff. Since women wore post-war models in the early 50s, after the premiere of the film, the girls rushed to lose weight and tighten their waists. The film also touched on the beauty sphere: women cut their hair and curled in the same way as Lenochka.
Nina, “The Caucasian Captive, or the New Adventures of Shurik” (1967)
“An athlete, a Komsomol member and just a beauty” — Nina showed simple and comfortable outfits in the frame. She won over her viewers with a smile and a twist dance, which she performed in tight capri trousers, a square-cut top and fabric sneakers. All because it seemed very challenging for the modest and chaste girls of that time.
The look of the “best girl in the USSR”, despite its simplicity, reflects the main trends of the late 60s: short haircut, arrows, dark eyebrows and a healthy blush.
Anna Sergeevna, “The Diamond Hand” (1968)
Unexpected and bold for the late 60s was the image of a luxurious blonde with long straight hair in a soft pink short robe with fur on the collar, complemented by voluminous clips. Clean lines, simplicity of cut, emphasis on legs and a good figure. Of course, she stood out from the rest of the heroines. Bold and liberated fashionistas could imitate this style of Anna Sergeevna. The girls flooded the actress with letters asking her to help find a similar model of a robe, and the most desperate went to the atelier.
In addition to the robe, Anna Sergeevna sported a snow—white pantsuit, in which you can safely go out now – another proof that fashion has returned.
Zinochka, “Ivan Vasilyevich changes his profession” (1973)
One of the most fashionable heroines of Soviet cinema can be called the wife of engineer Timofeev Zina. The screen image for the young actress Natalia Selezneva was created at that time by the aspiring fashion designer Vyacheslav Zaitsev: he dressed her in bright colors. A red shirt dress with a striped top is reminiscent of Twiggy and her mini, which were popular in the West in the 60s. And the pink midi dress with geometric white edging is inspired by the work of Pierre Cardin. And, of course, Vyacheslav Zaitsev’s dazzling creation — a snow-white pantsuit with pagoda sleeves. Soviet women also wanted to look bold and stylish. It was extremely difficult to buy such trendy things, so fashionistas came to the cinema, redrawn the styles of outfits and went to the atelier with requests to sew “like Zina’s”.
Nadia, “The Irony of fate, or With a light steam!” (1975)
A modest but stylish teacher could not help but attract the attention of Soviet women. A fitted shirt dress made of caramel crepe in the style of Yves Saint Laurent safari looked fashionable and in the spirit of the 70s. After the release of the film, fashionistas were looking for patterns to sew the same outfit.
Does everyone remember the magnificent fox hat, which has become a cult fashion element? The smoothly styled hairstyle with curled ends and makeup: pale face, gray-blue shadows, coral lipstick were made according to all the trends of the 80s.
Verochka and Lyudmila Prokofievna, “Office Romance” (1977)
We all remember the transformation of Lyudmila Prokofievna “before/ after” from “mymra” into an elegant mystery woman. Initially, she was dressed in a strict suit corresponding to the dress code with a high-waisted skirt of brown color and a blouse of a complementary blue shade. Lyudmila Prokofievna approached the choice of clothes with intelligence and rationality. Imagine if she supplemented her existing image with an interesting blouse with additional drapery, jewelry, interesting hairstyle and makeup, then her outfit would sparkle with new colors.
But the two “after” outfits remain the most iconic. The first dress is a midi length model in a blue and white check with large buttons and a large geometric collar. The second is a romantic floor—length dress with an interesting print. The originality of this model is given by a stand-up collar and a V-neck. After the film, the actress received many letters and questions: “Where can I find dresses and their patterns?”
Do not forget about the stylish Vera, who has always followed fashion trends. Just look at the harmonious combinations of things: even then she used the techniques of layering, wearing a spacious shirt with embroidery and ruffles over a lace turtleneck. As a bottom, she used flared trousers: in combination with a relaxed top, an original hippie-style ensemble is obtained. In the frame, she also appears in trendy boots that have returned to fashion again. Or in one of the scenes at the table, we can observe Vera in a lace turtleneck in combination with a sundress. Now we can safely complement the sundress with a basic T—shirt and sneakers – what is not a modern image?
Katerina and Lyudmila, “Moscow does not believe in tears” (1979)
Lyudmila is a charming, confident adventurer. We all remember a fragment from the film where the shift at the bakery ends, and Lyudmila comes out in a black-and-white striped silhouette dress that resembles the famous Dior New Look. Since fabrics with a print popular in the 1950s were no longer on sale at the end of the 1970s, the ingenuity of the artist Zhanna Melkonyan came into play — she unpacked mattresses, and craftsmen sewed dresses from tie fabric. In addition, in the 50s, a cage and translucent blouses were popular. At first they were made of natural and artificial silk, but then they began to be sewn from nylon. In the late 1970s, it was almost impossible to get nylon fabric, so they sewed outfits from school uniform collars.
After the filming of the film, the blue dress with a bolero, a white collar and a belt became iconic, but not everyone noticed that it participated in two scenes of the film at once. The first is a date with Seryozha, and the second is the wedding of Antonina and Nikolai. Only here the white belt was replaced with a red one and a handkerchief was added to match it. And a cream midi-length dress with bright red accents in the form of earrings, sandals and a belt that emphasizes the figure of Irina Muravyeva?
In the second series of the film, all attention turns to the smart, diligent girl Katerina. The style remains the same restrained, without a hint of frivolity: clothes, shoes, accessories — everything speaks about the status of the director of the combine. A business tweed three-piece suit immediately describes Katerina’s position and the fact that she has achieved a lot in 20 years. But the problem was that only men’s trousers were sewn from tweed. To create a full-fledged costume, it took ten such pairs.
Katerina is not just a boring manager, but an interesting and stylish woman. She wears accent red shoes and a bag, and one of the heroine’s favorite outfits is a yellow raincoat combined with a safari dress, to which she adds a stylish silk scarf. The safari style was popularized in the late 1960s by Yves Saint Laurent, so at that time it was a real fad. A black midi coat perfectly fitting the figure, Katerina combines with ankle boots with a small heel and a red bag.
Katya Kuznetsova, “Courier” (1986)
Katya is a student of Moscow State University, a professor’s daughter and a typical representative of the golden youth. She is an intelligent, charming girl. Moreover, the change in her style is easy to trace, depending on the inner state of the heroine.
At the beginning of the film, we see Katya as natural and simple as possible — in a branded adidas suit. The special chic of the image is that she wears it as home clothes. This is a sign that in the 80s the sports brand items demonstrated the exorbitant well-being of its owner and at that time were a symbol of elegance.
On a date with Ivan, Katya appears in a contrasting red and black image on heels. A sweatshirt with an inscription, jogger trousers narrowed to the bottom, black sandals with high heels and a shoulder bag — an ensemble in the spirit of the time. Women tried to make themselves known loudly, and of course, this was reflected in the fashion of the 1980s.
After a while — a calm and cozy image. Katya accepts an apology from Ivan in light jeans, sneakers and a loose-fitting sweater with a boat neck. And there is no doubt that fashion trends are cyclical, and we definitely have something to learn from the icons of the XX century.
A practicing stylist-image maker. Runs an educational blog about style, fashion and self-love.