From Russia With Style

Michael James O'Brien

Olympic Gold Rhythmic Gymnast: Alina Kabaeva

After moving to Moscow from her homeland of Uzbekistan, Russian coaches dismissed Kabaeva at the age of 12 (they told her she was too old and too chubby to succeed). Kabaeva went on to win two Olympic medals, including the All-Around gold at the 2004 Athens Games with a score of 108.4.

Photographed on the Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge

Michael Kors fox hat ($2,000); 3.1 Phillip Lim blouse ($400), dress ($600), and belt ($250).

Actor: Konstantin Kryukov

Kryukov's big break came in 2005, when he played a young soldier in 9th Company, a film about the bloody Soviet-Afghan war. He has since become one of Russia's hottest rising stars. Off the set, Kryukov can be found at nightspots like Dyagilev Project and Bar 7, usually sporting Kiton or Gucci.

Photographed at the Gorky Museum

Gucci suit with fur collar ($4,050) and sweater ($880); Dolce & Gabbana gloves ($230).

CEO, Gum Trading House: Teymuraz Guguberidze

The brains behind Moscow's largest department store, situated along the entire east side of Red Square, this self-described "business suit with a human face" understands the growing desire for luxury in Russia's capital. "Style here has evolved in recent years with less sparkles and fake diamonds."

Photographed on the second floor of GUM Trading House

Etro suit ($1,400), shirt ($320), tie ($125), and pocket square ($90)

Fashion Executive: Svetlana Maniovich

"My style is sometimes elegant, sometimes trash, but always sexy," says Maniovich, the shrewd businesswoman behind a collection of designer boutiques, among them the Metropol Hotel's Luisa Beccaria and DSquared2 shops.

Photographed in the lobby of the Savoy Hotel

Michael Kors mink tunic ($11,000); Graff diamond earrings (price upon request); her own Cartier ring and Breguet watch.

Critic and Journalist: Artemy Troitsky

Troitsky wears many hats—rock critic, music promoter, journalist. His book Back in the USSR: The True Story of Rock in Russia, published in 1998, is still the definitive text on rock and roll's influence on the collapse of communism in the former Soviet Union.

Photographed at the writer's apartment

Calvin Klein Collection sweater ($1,170)

Designer: Alena Akhmadullina

"I choose clothes that exclude sexual motivations," says the designer, who is rarely seen in anything but a menswear-inspired pantsuit. Her latest collection included a silk dress with a trompe l'oeil Soviet uniform painted on the front and a leather military bomber printed with Cyrillic letters. The message? for motherland!

Photographed at the designer's showroom

On Alena (far left): Alena­akhmadullina suit ($2,000) and shirt ($600); her own Cartier watch. On model Anna Petuhova: Alenaakhmadullina dress ($3,300); Louis Vuitton Catharina patent-leather pumps ($700).

Editor in chief, Vogue Russia: Aliona Doletskaya

The chicest of the chic, Doletskaya launched the Russian edition of the famous fashion glossy in 1997. "Style has evolved drastically in Moscow," she says knowingly, "from faithful one-brand-equals-one-look to a sophisticated mix of fashion and jewelry brands."

Photographed at Casual restaurant

Hermès cape ($5,100) and shirt ($1,750); Valextra Carla crocodile bag ($19,700); her own Loree Rodkin ring.

Manager, Ralph Lauren: Sergey Mogilevich

Don't let the immaculate Purple Label suit and slicked-back hair fool you. As gatekeeper to the first American luxury fashion store in Russia, Mogilevich says, "Ralph Lauren brings a unique, sophisticated elegance to the Moscow scene."

Photographed at the Ralph Lauren store

Ralph Lauren Purple Label suit ($3,300), shirt ($350), tie ($165), and leather shoes ($550); his own vintage Omega watch.

Pop Singer: Ilya Lagutenko

In 1985 a local Communist party chief declared Lagutenko's group, Mumiy Troll, the most socially dangerous band in the world (it probably didn't help that the first album was done entirely in English). Today lead singer Lagutenko is idolized for his whispery voice and "rock-a-pop" music.

Photographed at Respublika bookstore

Alessandro Dell'Acqua shirt ($375) and tie ($125); Bottega Veneta vest ($780); Dior Homme jeans ($315); Converse Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers ($40).

Musician: Zhanna Aguzarova

Former lead singer of the eighties retro rock band Bravo and one of Russia's first female rock vocalists (think a Soviet Debbie Harry), Aguzarova personified the emerging underground music scene pre-perestroika. Often claiming to be born on Mars, she says she once derived her otherworldly style from deconstructed black-market finds. Now it's more avant-garde designs by the likes of Yohji Yamamoto, but you can still catch her gluing rhinestones to her eyelids.

Photographed in front of the Bolshoi Theatre

Chado Ralph Rucci for Pologeorgis goat fur coat (price upon request)