The story behind Son Trava, the emerging designer label you should keep your eyes on

Small town girls

Text: Jolene Khor

Designers Victoria Kapriz and Anastasia Stryukovskaya find inspiration in the bohemian dacha culture of Russia

"You'll be a fashion designer."

Those five simple words were ingrained in the mind of one Victoria Kapriz before she could comprehend what they meant, much less the weight behind the precognition. "You'll be a fashion designer," her mother said when she realised her daughter, who decades later now make up half the brain that is Russian label Son Trava, was holding a pencil before she could clutch onto a spoon. With it, Kapriz drew on every surface she came across — books, walls, furniture — making the banal objects around her part of her masterpiece. In kindergarten, she accrued her first customers, for whom she made cut-out dolls from scratch, with interchangeable little dresses, tops and skirts, natch.

On the other hand, the finesse of Anastasia Stryukovskaya, the other founder of Son Trava, is through inspired acquisition. Her childhood was coloured by Italian and French comedies. Due to the economic isolation in post-USSR collapse Russia, the media she consumed from the television was Stryukovskaya's aperture into a life of luxury, one she was then only invited to be a spectator of. And while the fate of Russia was on the rocks, its older population, specifically women who lived in the Russian countryside like Kapriz and Stryukovskaya and — with whom they spent endless carefree days away far off cities, from whom they learned sewing and pattern-making — retained savoir faire from their own lineage of mothers and grandmothers.

Appropriate then, that the low-key Russian village respite, a rite of passage known as the dacha culture, lives on in Kapriz and Stryukovskaya's Son Trava. Its name bears significance to the bucolic custom too: Son Trava is a flower popular in Russian fairytales, which grows at the first sign of winter. It translates to "sleep grass". The designers' commitment to leisurewear makes sense then; with it, the long gone era of dry summer evenings on the terrace, long walks along the Black Sea, hot coffee on hilltops and gypsy song and dance echo on. Son Trava takes on the classic pyjamas worn both female and male figures in dacha-hood this spring/summer 2017, the collection dominated by silk pyjama separates, lush robes, flouncy dresses and roomy wraps. Deconstructed silk corsetry and "the morning after" shirting add a welcome dose of sexy in the delectably dreamy, puritan affair.

Shop Son Trava online.


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