Year of Creation: 2011
Alexandre Plokhov launched his eponymous clothing label in 2011 after many years of working for other fashion brands. He was born in 1967, in the former Soviet Union, in a town called Naro-Forminsk which lies 40 miles (70 kilometres) south of Moscow. After working in the USSR/Russia for the earlier part of his life, Plokhov moved to the US in the 1990s where he completed an apprenticeship with a tailor in Chicago. It was after this, he landed his first fashion related role at Marc Jacobs working as a tailor.
Plokhov moved around within Marc Jacobs becoming a pattern maker and getting more involved with the design process. After saving up from the eighteen months he spent at Marc Jacobs, he left to launch a label called Cloak with fellow New York based designer Robert Geller. The label ran from 1999 – 2007, with Plokhov winning the 2005 CFDA Swarovski Perry Ellis Award and 2004 CFDA Vogue Fashion Foundation Fund Award for his work.
In 2007, after Cloak shut down Plokhov left Marc Jacobs to work for Gianni Versace in Milan as head designer. He stayed with Versace until 2011, when he launched his first collection for his own independent line in AW11.
- Fashion and the design industry is not the only area that Plokhov has worked in – gaining experience in careers as diverse as language interpenetration and missile defence troops.
- Plokhov comes from a fashion related family background: his mother is a fashion designer and his sister, a textile designer.
Alexandre Plokhov ,the label, has drawn inspiration from a variety of eclectic media sources (see GQ’s 10 Essentials article for more on this concept). For example, the Spring/Summer 2013 Acolyte collection was based loosely around a photography book outlining the clothing worn by nineteenth century Russian Orthadox monks living in Greece. Splitting the collection to mirror the two sides of the monastery – those that dressed in white and those in black. Traditional Eastern European clothing is also referenced outside of this collection.
A constant theme that Plokhov has never steered far away from is the influence of heavy metal and other related genres of metal music. Plokhov titled his AW12 collection “a stylistic fan letter” as a tribute to musicians Glenn Danzig (Misfits, Danzig) and Andrew Eldritch (Sisters of Mercy). This is apparent across not only in his more recent collections but also many Cloak collections. Electronic and modern classical have also featured in Plokhov’s videos and inspirational references with Matthew Dear and Steve Reich mentioned.
Plokhov doesn’t always focus on one key media inspiration and has moved away from this idea recently. As an example the AW13 collection was based on the idea of paradox or opposites, hence the name Antipode. The thought behind the collection was that if two opposites were combined, they would create balance.
Plokhov’s own label and Cloak before it are both known for their use of generous amounts of fabrics – usually in a black, grey and white colour palette hung to create a draped effect. His label has developed its own idiosyncratic style because of this but he does like to work outside of this, stating that an experimental ‘cold shoulder’ jacket he made for AW11 with a cut out arm was one of his favourite garments when he looks back, retrospectively (see the Style Forum interview below).
Alexandre Plokov, the brand, does include a small side women’s collection but it is highly limited and hard to find online. The women’s line is made from the same materials and follows the same stylisation as the men’s line as Plokov remains primarily a men’s fashion designer.
- AW11 & Pictures
- SS12 & Pictures, Interview/Backstage
- AW12 “Eldritch” & Pictures
- SS13 “Acolyte” & Pictures
- AW13 “Antipode” & Pictures
- SS14 “Terra Damnata” & Pictures
- 2013 Interview: Chasseur Magazine speak to Plokhov about his personal aesthetic, background and tailoring.
- Style Forum member Teger interviews Plokhov about his past collections, Cloak and Eastern European influences.
- 2012: Riot of Perfume interviews Plokhov about his musical inspirations, women’s design and rejection of the ‘goth’ label he so often is branded with.
- Ladies & Gents conduct a brief interview with Plokhov about designing and producing a collection
- Dazed Digital interview from 2011 about industrial themes, Versace and Cloak.
- Style Zeitgeist user lowrey speaks to Plokhov in 2011 about menswear and the demise of Cloak.
- Depesha speak to Plokhov about his identity, personal life and Russian style.