Russian Ethnic and More

An outfit inspired by ethnic apparel from the Russian North; $460.
An outfit inspired by ethnic apparel from the Russian North; $460. Courtesy of Svetlana Romanova

What: Russian style gifts, clothing and accessories, interpreted by Svetlana Romanova, who has done extensive research. Her versions of traditional Russian looks of the 19th and 20th centuries include sarafans (trapeze-shaped dresses), shirts, sashes and more. Prices range from $40 to $500, depending on the amount of handwork required.

Who: Romanova has strong ties to the country in which she was born. Forever fascinated by the tradition, folklore and history, she has spent hours looking at books, Internet sites and more. Her creations are what she believes her ancestors would have worn, though she also makes custom pieces.

How: Romanova says she is enchanted by the traditions of the Russian North – the speech, songs and costumes. She also seeks out photos of original items posted online by ethnographers studying the culture of her country. She sews, crochets, beads, embroiders and weaves, constructing purses, sweaters, skirts, and crocheted or knitted tops.

Her customer: “I would say my customer is a person who is not a slave to what they are told is the fashion of the month, someone who is not afraid to wear what is beautiful – even if no one else would wear it.”

Growing pains and remaining humble: “My first attempts in making traditional costumes were full of errors,” she says. “It took me a few years to grow a general understanding of what the tradition should look like, and still the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know and what a diverse treasure the Russian tradition is.”

Favorite piece: “I love all my creations. But when I wear my blue sarafan from Middle Russia, my husband says he feels like a king.”

Where to find it: