Tag: stilyagi

Styling with Stilyaga

Shortly after the second World War and into the early 1960’s in the Soviet Union there was a sort of social counter culture revolution. With exposure to western culture, especially American culture from the second World War, many men and women took a liking to it especially to jazz music. The name for the men … Continue reading Styling with Stilyaga

Vasily Aksyonov and the stilyagi movement

In the 40’s and 50’s and unexpected love of American culture blossomed in the Soviet Union. These young people were called “stilyagi.” The stilyagi were identified by their love of Western fashion and music. In Leningrad (and eventually Moscow) the stilyagi wore narrow trousers and long, unusually colored (by Soviet standards) jackets. They also wore …

Continue reading Vasily Aksyonov and the stilyagi movement

Before the West was Cool: Soviet Hipsters in the 1950s

I first discovered the stilyagi of the fifties when I saw a movie on Kanopy called Hipsters (2008). Set in 1955 Moscow, the film follows a Komsomol member who falls in love with one these stilyagi. A term for nonconformist, Western-oriented youths, the word stilyagi carried a highly negative connotation in Soviet society. Bonus: Listen to a song about hipsters (written by hipsters) while…