Shappos saw lots of chapeau at Chapeau

October 09 2012

Moscow’s largest hat exhibition, Chapeau, opened for the 8th year despite a month of unbearably hot weather with temperatures approaching 40°C!!! Not the best climate to think about winter hats, really!

Chapeau is staged in Gostiny Dvor, with its high glass ceiling, sweeping staircase and elegant first floor gallery of shops and restaurants. The far end of the exhibition hall includes a sunken ‘stage’ area that can seat up to 400 people- everything was done on a superbly organised and grand scale. This year the show presented more than 320 companies from Russia, CIS, Europe, America and Canada- the majority of them showing fur hats, for men andwomen in modern, classic and traditional Russian styles. Traditional felt is widely worn in Russia and was shown here both for the older woman and for a new younger customer, nowadays demanding modern trilbys and plenty of colour.

Most exhibitors were from Russia and the neighbouring states, others were agents of leading European brands, such as Marini Silvano, showing for the first time, Loman, the knitwear specialist from Poland, and one company from Iceland.

Buyers arrived from all parts of the Russian Federation as well as from Latvia, Georgia, Ukraine, Poland and Finland, to buy direct from the exhibitors (cash and carry) or to order for the winter season. A full programme of catwalk shows, demonstrations and competitions kept the visitors up to date with latest trends and collections. We also noticed Panamas, selling here for the very first time. With the hot weather and a growing interest in men’s fashion they might soon become the “it” hat here in Moscow!

The grand opening ceremony, on Wednesday, lived up to all expectations, as writers, film stars, music celebrities and TV personalities took to the stage. Slava Zaitsev, Russia’s most distinguished couturier, praised the high standard of work and craftsmanship and they all ‘cut the red ribbon’ and opened the show. Slava then presented part of his winter couture collection, with some exquisite pieces.

Day Two (yes, we were as exhausted as you think we were!) saw the competition of headwear manufacturers, followed by the student contests. In the afternoon,  a special collection was shown on the main runway, presenting a new collaboration between designer, Violetta Litvinova, and the manufacturer, Damsky Shik.

Day Three saw a number of collections of fur hats and daywear presented, plus those of larger companies showing their latest winter styles.

On the final day, Saturday, to a full audience, winners were announced and presented with prizes from each competition and this was followed by the grand finale.

It was a trip well worth it, but we are now very glad to be home and absorbing all the amazing headwear, colours, materials and people!