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Once upon a time in Moscow...

Legend has it that Moscow was founded by a Prince. An appropriate beginning for a city whose splendor and love affair with luxury survived many waves of invaders, political revolutions and the strict limitations of the Soviet era. Nowadays futuristic skyscrapers, lavish shopping malls, chic restaurants and innumerable boutiques, are as much part of Moscow?s cityscape as the dazzling Red Square.

Legend has it  that Moscow was founded by a Prince. An appropriate beginning for a city whose splendor and love affair with luxury survived many waves of invaders, political revolutions and the strict limitations of the Soviet era. Nowadays futuristic skyscrapers, lavish shopping malls, chic restaurants and innumerable boutiques, are as much part of Moscow?s cityscape as the dazzling Red Square.

 

 

 

Once the residence of weavers, providing table cloths for the Royal Court , Stoleshnikov Pereulok is Moscow?s main luxury street. Next to the boutiques of international luxury brands, ranging from Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton to Piaget, Van Cleef and Arpels and Cartier, the street is also home to Shop & Bar Denis Simachev (12/2 Stoleshnikov Pereulok), the flagship store (and bar and nightclub) of intentionally provocative Moscow born designer, Denis Simachev. With his shirts with slogans like ?Oil is our everything?, and T-shirts with prints of Putin framed in embroidered flowers, the designer adds a fresh and quirky note to Stoleshnikov Pereulok?s dignified appearance.

 

Stoleshnikov Pereulok lays between 2 other luxury streets, Bolshaya Dmitrovka, with Haute Horlogerie L-Atelier Parmigiani (13/8 Bolshaya Dmitrovka), and Petrovka, with its large glass-roofed gallery Petrovsky Passage (10 Petrovka) featuring Bally, ETRO, Kenzo, I Pinco Pallino and also Articoli Shop, a club like area with broad arm chairs and sofas, where shoppers can enjoy a cup of coffee from L?Altro Bosco Caffee, while shop assistants present a wide range of exquisite cosmetics and perfumery lines by the likes of Annick Goutal, Histoires de Parfums, L?Artisan Parfumeur and Amouage, to name a few. Worth a visit in Petrovsky Passage is the store of Sardinian fashion designer Antonio Marras. All store furniture, the large chandeliers, large wooden doors, and other unique decor elements were hand selected from Moscow antique shops or Italian flea markets, mirroring the theme of ?reminiscence? a key point of Marras? poetic designs.

 

 

Also located on Petrovka is TSUM (2 Petrovka). With an offer of more than 1000 brands, including Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and rising Russian designer Vika Gazinskaya - the luxury department store still manages to offer its visitors an intimate and personal shopping experience. TSUM?s VIP shopping area, servicies wealthy clientele with style advice and champagne.. Amidst the splendor TSUM offers also many spots to unwind.Caf? Tsum for a coffee, a serving of traditional Russian snacks and ?bliny? (pancakes) at the ?Bliny Bar?, decorated in the style of the Russian Tsar's ancient palace, or enjoy the ?coolness? of the Ice Vodka Kauffman Bar, Moscow?s only ice bar.

 

 

 

Across from TSUM and adjacent to the city's only Bentley, Ferrari and Maserati garage, lays Tretyakovsky Passage. A cobble-stoned luxury goods strip, home to Armani, Gucci, Prada, Tom Ford Women. Hidden in the basement of Tretyakovsky Passage lays Lounge Bar Tommy D (1 Tretyakovsky Passage), named after charismatic Scottish brewer and intellectual Thomas Dewar. Following Dewar?s legacy of wit and wisdom, literary evenings are organized in the bar, where actor Filippenko reads excerpts from the works of the writer Dovlatov. Chefs from around the world give culinary presentations. Cocktails like ?Whiskey Sour? are made with 12-18 year old Dewars, poking gentle fun at the stereotype that expensive whiskey is above the frivolous cocktail.

 

Dominating the Eastern side of Red Square is GUM (3 Red Square). Moscow's most iconic shopping mall. During the Soviet Union the top floor was home to Section 100, a secret clothing store open only to the highest echelons of the party. Nowadays the architecturally stunning hallways present a wide variety of stores ranging from ZARA, Pinko and Monsoon to exclusive international designer labels, and Russian designer Valentin Yudashkin, whose innovative works of haute couture have been on display at the Louvre and the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. A complete overview of Valentin Yudaskin?s collections can be found at Fashion House Valentin Yudashkin (19 Kutuzovsky prospect). GUM?s elaborate, marble food hall Gastronom No. 1, is open 24 hours and offers something for everyone. From ten-ruble boxes of Indian tea in retro Soviet packaging, to a 9750 rubles exclusive three-tin set of Premier?s tea. From tubs of caviar and cranberries dusted with sugar to Soviet cakes such as Leningradsky and Praga.

 

 

 

 

TSVETNOY Central Market (15, building 2, Tsvetnoy boulevard) has opened its doors to give expression to its credo: ?Just be yourself?. An urban synergy of fashion and art, style and self-expression is created through an international mixture of new generation designers, denim couture and edgy designer labels. The 5th floor of Tsvetnoy Central Market invites shoppers to a culinary journey around the world. The food hall, being part farmers bazaar, part gastronomic supermarket, part eco restaurant offers Honey from Altai, chicken from Krasnodar, ham from Spain, chocolate from England, tea from China, pasta from Italy, pickles from Russia. End your journey at TSVETNOY?s Antresol restaurant where cooks can turn your groceries into a wonderful meal.

 

 

 

Still when it comes to food shopping, there is nothing comparable to grocery store Eliseevskiy (14, Tverskaya Ulitsa). In operation since 1890, the Empire-style interior with its large mirrors, gold moldings on the ceiling, crystal chandeliers, and mahogany furnishings, is reminiscent of a palace. The Eliseevskiy bakery sells freshly-baked and delicious breads, pies, cakes, and exclusive handmade chocolates.

 

 

 

With such an abundance in luxury, there is still space for the many independent art galleries fitting to Moscow?s burgeoning contemporary art scene. Moscow?s former industrial sites are blossoming into creative centers of art and design. Tucked behind the rusting Kurskiy Train Station, lays former winery Winzavod (4th Syromyatnicheskiy per 1, Bldg. 6), now the location to visit a series of art galleries, artist studio?s, an art supply store, stylish art cafe Tsurtsum (4th Syromyatnichesky per., 1, Bldg 6, WinZavod) and the concept store of Cara & Co. (4th Syromyatnicheskiy per 1, Bldg. 6, WinZavod) with Belgian and Australian fashion designers, art, high-tech, food and music.