Lydia Orlova, the founder of Russian fashion journalism, talks about her work in this interview-based documentary made for the exhibition Atelier E.B: Passer-by as part of the Garage Field Research program.
Lydia Orlova is a journalist and writer. She was editor-in-chief of the magazine Zhurnal mod (Fashion Journal) (1986–1991), founder and editor-in-chief of the newspaper and magazine Moskovskii stil’ (Moscow Style) (1991–1995), and editor-in-chief of the magazine Kollektsiya-M (Fashion Collection) (1996–1997). Orlova’s career in the media began in 1970, when she began writing the column “Domestic Kaleidoscope” in the magazine Rabotnitsa (Female Worker). After Rabotnitsa, Orlova was appointed editor-in-chief of Zhurnal mod, the official journal of the Ministry of Light Industry, which was a shop window for the Soviet fashion industry. By the time Orlova had moved to Zhurnal mod, the magazine no longer reflected the spirit of the age. She decided to reorganize things. From 1988, in addition to clothing sketches and patterns developed by local designers, the magazine began publishing reports from Paris Fashion Week, articles on international fashion trends, and its own photo shoots with models of all ages. Zhurnal mod also changed its distribution scheme and became unbelievably popular, with circulation increasing to one million copies. Orlova left the magazine together with the rest of its editorial staff in 1991 and founded Moskovskii stil’, an independent newspaper about fashion. The newspaper closed after six issues, having paved the way for the eponymous magazine, which was published between 1992 and 1995. In 1996, Orlova became editor-in-chief of the free magazine Kollektsiya-M, which covered Western fashion trends and was financed by advertising.