Russia Wrapped around La Mode’s Finger

The writer Strakhov takes a creative approach to revealing the faults of Russia’s fashion system in the 18th century by creating literature in the epistolary form centered around his heroine: La Mode. La Mode was a fictional character created to personify the emerging consumerism in Russian society. Russians were loosing the meaning attributed and spiritual value to their clothing and seeking to replicate the styles of the West. He chose the epistolary form in order to reveal the direct control the social hierarchy had on the fashion scene. Within Strakhov’s writing, he would personify traditional clothing of Russian culture and have them write letters to La Mode to reveal their fading popularity.The clothing of the past would write or submit petitions to La Mode and plead their appearance/popularity at court back. The Russian society was driven by acquiring items and showing them off. The clothing eventually became so important that instead of the human wearing the clothes, the clothes wore the human. The clothes became much more important than the individual, overshadowing them. Strakhov means to express the absurdity of this trend and importance clothing has, in embodying all the ill-qualities into one single being.