Wednesday, 14 December 2011

From Russia ... with Nascha's

A few weeks ago, Anna aka Mangoblüte posted on Russian Style. What is it, that makes Russian women so recognisable? Every culture has its distinctive embodiment of style. (WARNING. Generalisations ahead!) Like Japanese women's faces never shine, US women wear foundation, Austrian neglect their hair and Russians behave in a "loud" manner. Ok, so far, so shallow. This is very, very thin ice. English is not my first language, I really do hope, you can sense the genuine curiosity in this posting, not to be mistaken with ill will.
Tonight, during a shop opening event, there was a lot of Russian Style around. I am not sure, if Style does the appearance justice. Because in my eyes, the typical Russian style would be just "all too much". You buy a phantastic mascara but you would apply one layer after the other and in the end, you got a cakey cheap looking make up. And then there is the love for long, blond hair as seen in the picture above. Showing cleavage where the pants already show the pantyline all to well. In the end, it's all too much. They are friendly, behaving well, but their over-done-styling .... I am curious, what drives them?
In case you have some shallow views on us Austrians, I would love to hear what it is that distinguishes the appearance of Austrian woman from other women.
I wonder if some of the older women tonight had their nip and tuck done in Vienna? (not seen in the photos) If so, I do NOT recommend plastic surgery 'Made in Vienna', under NO circumstances, because it looks bad. Do you ever find yourself staring at an incredible trout-pout when you see one in real life? Ever since my mother told me, those mouths are not meant to look good, but simply to stimulate men's phantasies. The shape is the perfect shape to lick and suck a ... YiKES!

The event proved how small Vienna is. Or should I say the Russian community? Anna (mentioned above) is from Russia. Not long ago she had posted a portrait photo of a friend of her's. He is a LV sales assistant. Where ever luxury is on the plan, Russian sales assistants are a must when it comes to luxury goods. This can make feel not at home in Vienna, when you enter a store and everyone around you speaks Russian and people greet each other in Russian. Guess who visited the Party tonight. Yes, it was that guy. Not that I know he is Russian of course. Phew, today I am proving profound shallowness.
Time to calm down. In case you did not flee this arrogant blog by now.
Many call the design kitsch, I call it irony.
Denis, the interior designer, not Russian and content with the result.
I am sure, these bottles of Champagne will not make it til dawn.
I guess the food on sale is not exactly in the price range of students (the place is close to the main university). Too bad, they were not on the guest list tonight.

Please, don't take my words badly. As the label says ... tonight is time for shallowness.

Good night!

Those, who don't care too much about other people's reception, quite often have all the fun!


  1. When I look at these women they remind me very much of how women in the Balkans like to dress. While Slovenes are known for supreme conservatism, Bosnians and Serbians crave glitter, exposed skin and anything with a label most of the time fake, because it seems absurd to them to pay so much money for an original.Croatian women are known for their innate sense of style and glamour in the true sense of the word: impeccable tailoring, a bit fashion forward and always demure.

  2. Your words mirror my thoughts, only that you find a much finer way to express them. Thank you!

  3. Different cultures have different tastes. Take a look at Chinese websites, for example. Couldn't be more different than those in the US. Aesthetics are so culturally bound.

  4. Paula!!! I've been trying to comment on your blog for months and months and have never been allowed goes...again.


  5. I really enjoyed this post about cultural diversity regarding our clothes and what we see as "good" or "bad" taste. I do not mean to insult any beautiful Russian women when I say that they often appear to dress in a way that would be considered "tarty" by others. Many gorgeous asian girls wear quite cutesy Hello Kitty type clothes - and love the designer labels too! In my home city of Melbourne Australia we love to wear black and to dress quite conservatively. In winter we love knee high boots and dresses close to the knee. In summer though - flip flop thongs and long floaty dresses. Who can say what is wrong or right - we love all the differences.

  6. I agree with LPC...

    Coffeeaddict: I have noticed that when going to Belgrade. I haven't met Croats that match your description, though.

  7. Lisa, right, websites reveal a lot! To me US-websites already seem strange ... Or Italian websites from cultural archives - lots of animated flash! :-)

    Tracy, I have NO clue, what changed. I did not change a thing. Very akward. Sorry for the trouble. :-/

    Kate, the more I get to "know" women from Australia by reading their blogs (I did not find a lot of men who blog, yet), the more I fall for the overall generous approach towards life. I really like it a lot! Talking of Japanese cutesy: im Japan, a student may approach the teacher and say "your tie is cute (kawaii)" and it would not be considered offensive. You can see professors with mascot-toys tied to their briefcase. There is fashion and then there is architecture. Russian churches often are pretentious, lots of gold, colours, huge onion domes towers. We love to look at them. At the same time, I like those modest wooden churches you would find in the country side in Austria. Where do all those differences emerge from? Ok, I already see myself studying some cultural studies when being retired.

    Marcela, I would enjoy hearing what you'd notice when going to Vienna. :-)

  8. Here's another sweeping generalisation: Polish people are so serious, hardly ever joke around and are very proper in their dress sense.


  9. Paula, I really enjoy your sense of humor.

    Ana's comment surprised me, so much style diversity in such a small geographic area.

    I would love to share some "shallow" comments on style in Austria. We took pictures last December -- I will post a street style shot we took when I post again, hopefully New Year's Day. The style struck me as conservative in Linz, much more variety in Vienna but still conservative, classic. I was shamed :). A month later I started my personal Style Quest.

  10. Tracy, now that you say it - right! My godmother's daughter in law is polish and I see her when I read your generalisation. :-o

    Susan, I am glad you enjoy it. It's about micro-systems which stand in relation whith each other. To us here in Vienna, the ladies from Linz dress much fancier than we do when going out. And in Vienna you can notice differences even between the various districts! Of course it has to do with income. Colourful cashmere sweaters lay on the shoulders of the wealthy men. Above all we consider the Italians being classy, not us! :-) And those Italien men with their colourful cashmere sweaters, gorgeous!

  11. If I had to chose I'd rather like the colorful Balkans or Russians or UK - even if they sometimes appear a bit too much on the tacky side - than this bland boring (Not Nicely Classic) look of Germans/Austrians/Swiss.
    Right in the middle of being Classic in terms of style with undoubtful taste are the French and Italians.
    However when you are abroad you can spot a group of Germans/Swiss/Austrians quite easily (eg Airports) as they appear to have messy hair, women usually tied, bland tailoring, bland shoes (always flats), bland colors and bland expressions. If that's classic conservatism. I'd rather take a bit of tacky bombshell and tone it down.

  12. Hi Anonymous!

    yes to the hair, yes to the flats, yest to the tailoring, yes to the colours.
    I would not even call this classic conservatism but neglect. Heels can be exhausting, a good hairstyle costs time and money (either every other day in the bathroom or every few weeks at the salon). So many like to neglect those un-necessities.
    There is a female blogger in Vienna who chose the classic style for her, at young age:
    The difference probably is: she does wear heels and her coats can even be very colourful. :-)

    There is actually another style which I do fancy - those of elderly U.S. ladies, wearing pastels, broches and make up.

    One word about the Germans: there are many Germanies: Bavaria is a whole different world compared to Schleswig-Holstein. Jil Sander comes from Hamburg, her style is very classic but never bland. In my imagination, women in Hamburg dress nicely. I will see soon, since I go there in May.

    When I visited a city in the province and went to a Party (abroad from Vienna) for the first time, I noticed how the women dressed up much more than women in the city of Vienna do (for theatre-visits, party-invitations etc).

    And then there is another aspect - the one of living a visible/unvisible life: as soon as I put on my green coat and boots with heels, I turn many men's heads. When I was young I did not want this. Maybe Austrians like to watch others (in glossy magazines) but don't want to be looked/stared at, while others seek attention and value it as success.

    Thank you for commenting, as you can see, I like to exchange thoughts on this topic with others!

  13. Oh, my gosh - I feel so bad for replying this late: You're such a sweetheart, thanks for mentioning me. :-) I agree with you regarding the russian way to dress and also think that Italian and French ladies "got it down". :-) I sometimes even consider myself "too boring", but prefer to be well dressed and occasionally also do better than just well, as opposed to dressing "weirdly creative" or follow all the trends appraised in the magazines. sending hugs from one classic lover to another - xox, Macs