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Vyacheslav Zaitsev. Always in trend

 

Slava Zaitsev’s name was first heard of in the 60’s. The “Overtake and over strip America!” motto, popular in the USSR back then, obliged very much.

Overtaking had to be done in all areas. In sufferance, officials gave their approval and fashion came to the USSR. And with it, the inconvenient man called Slava Zaitsev. He wasn’t even thirty yet, deeply believed in communism and was a free man. Free to choose color, cut, cloth — free in his creativity. The novice designer seemed dangerous. Some were afraid that he would do a “Nureyev’s jump” and stay abroad.

Now he’s 75. As incredibly popular as he is, “The Red Dior” could have left the country forever dozens of times. However, he surprised the authorities and turned out to be a passionate patriot. He outfitted both common people and stars in the USSR and in Russia. His works are in private collections at home and abroad. Simple acquaintance with him can often grow into friendship.

Even now, the first Russian couturier is at his work every day — as youthful as before. We can see Tamara Gverdtsitely in a dress of his creation; see him administer an exam to his pupils at the Fashion Academy. He can walk us through his unique gallery, keeping hundreds of exquisite works of artistic design — all created by him and his assistants. We can visit Zaitsev’s home — looking more like an office — where his dearest people live.

He often feels very lonely, despite being “all in friends and business” nowadays. He told us of his last New Year’s Eve: he was completely alone at home, called his security, poured fresh juice, congratulated them, and… went to bed at nine.

Slava Zaitsev often visits his hometown of Ivanovo. He is always drawn there. Everything reminds him of his happy, although hungry, childhood. He told us of remote and beautiful years in Ivanovo’s Museum of Chintz, beside the picture of his mother and father. Then he led us to a puppet, his double. Its face is deeply sad. He said that the artist guessed right, saw his heart.

The famous designer is disturbed by a quarrel with his son. The eternal generation gap added even more loneliness to his life. The rising star of Russian fashion didn’t see his son very often, his ex-wife was against it. It became yet another wound he tried to cure with his art. Meanwhile, Yegor lived his own life. We have a unique 15-year-old record of Yegor standing beside his bike and telling about the picture of Marusya, his daughter. He drew her on the gas tank of his bike.

Vyacheslav only speaks of his son in superlatives, tries to mend their relationship. He isn’t always successful. Yegor doesn’t visit his country house for years. Nevertheless, the famous couturier says with confidence that his direct heirs and the closest people are his son Yegor and granddaughter Marusya!

Cast: Joseph Kobzon, Galina Volchek, Vladimir Zeldin,Valentin Yudashkin, Tamara Gverdtsitely, Alexander Schirwindt, Andrei Makarevich, Alexander Vasilyev, Evelina Khromchenko, Lyoka Mironova, Tatyana Mikhalkova, Marusya Zaitseva, Vyacheslav Zaitsev’s granddaughter.