Fashionably Russian: a fairy tale editorial

Fashionably Russian: a fairy tale editorialfeatured

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  Here’s a story: a simple girl finds herself in possession of a capital, which prompts her to host lavish parties, inviting everyone who’s anyone. She plunges eagerly into a life full of dancing, expensive gifts and deceptively charming smiles. Yet in a time of hardship none of her social butterfly friends offers a helping hand. When the girl is ready to give up hope she is rescued by a fearless young man. He is not a partygoer, but has a keen and noble heart. Naturally, the girls frenemies gladly accept wedding invitations.

  Одно из моих любимых стихотворений Чуковского – классическая “дева в беде” – Муха Цокотуха. На эту съемку по сюжету произведения нас вдохновили текстуры и цвета мира насекомых. А какая сказка была Вашей любимой в детстве?

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  This could have been a Hollywood blockbuster, but in fact it is famous Russian children’s fairy tale. Some say it is political (it was even banned by the Soviet government) or that it is satire on classic poems or a textbook definition of a “damsel in distress” type of plot, yet for most Russian kids (and adults) it is just a well known story about a fly who was caught by a spider and rescued by a mosquito. 

  My friend Bella and I attempted to tell this story through a fashion editorial – and here is the result.

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 I believe fairy tales are a great source of inspiration for stylists – just look at all the exceptional fantasy editorials by Grace Coddington for Vogue. What were your favorite stories as a child? Do you think they could have a fashion interpretation?

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Idea & style Yana Pospelova, Bella Oganyan; photo Oleg Sharonov; MUA Anastasia Kobernik, Polly pro; hair Yunna Glushakova; md: Maria, Julia, Nick @Aquarelle models, Anastasia Svetlova, Mark Dementiev

Специально для

by Corney Chukovski, translation by D. Rottenberg

Buzzy-Wuzzy, Busy Fly,

Yellow belly, beady eye!

Buzzy-Wuzzy ran around,

Buzzy-Wuzzy found a pound.

Off she went to the Bazaar

And she bought a samovar:

“Come and meet me, Bugs and Roaches!

I invite you all to tea!”

Roaches gathered without number,

Emptied tumbler after tumbler.

And the bugs, too, honest hearts –

Each three cups with milk and tarts.

So it went on, hale a hearty,

Buzzy-Wuzzy’s Birthday Party!

Then a jolly flock of Fleas

Brought her boots:

“Do wear them, please!”

And no common boots were they:

With gold buckles, bright and gay.

Then to Buzzy-Wuzzy

Came kind old Granny Bee

With a jar of honey

That goes nice with tea.

“Butterfly, here’s pastry!

Darling, try some jam!

So you find it tasty?

Oh, how glad I am!”


A sly old spider

Sidled up 

And sat beside her,

Buzzy-Wuzzy set to kill

Buzzy-Wuzzy’s blood to spill.

“Help me help me, honoured guests,

Slay him, the detested pest! 

For I greeted you

And I treated you!

Don’t forsake me now

At my fatal hour!

But the Beetles and the Bugs,

Getting scared to death,

Under saucers, cups and mugs

Huddled, out of breath.

Under couches 

Crouched the Roaches,

Bugs – poor creatures –

Hid in pitchers.

Beetles huddled under beds –

No one wished to lose their heads!

No one at the party

Budges from the spot,

No one cares if Buzzy

Perishes or not!

And the Grasshoper, non-stop

Leaped across the table-top:


Out of the house,

Hid in a brambebush,

Quite as a mouse!

But the pest isn’t meaning to joke –

Bind the Fly hand and foot with a rope,

Sticks his terrible teeth in her heart,

From the wound scarlet blood-drops start!

Buzzy screams, Buzzy cries

At the top of her voice,

While the villain goes on

To suck blood and rejoice.

Suddenly with twists and turns,

A Mosquito comes;

In his hand a lantern burns;

Threatening, he hums:

“Where’s the coward? Bring him here!

His sharp talons I don’t fear.”

In a jiffy, up he flies,

Pulls his sabre out and cries:

“Now, you brute!” and at full gallop

Deals the pest a deadly wallop!

By the hand he takes the fly,

To the window leads her, spry:

“Now the villain’s dead and perished.

Now I’ve freed the one I cherished?

I’ll be happy as can be

If you come and marry me!”

Here the Beetles and the Roaches

Crawled from under couches:

“Glory, glory to Mosquito

The Victorious!”

The the Fireflies in a crowd

Lit their lamps and cheered aloud,

And it got so merry,

So jolly around!

Hey, you nimble Centipede,

Hurry down the road full-speed,

Bring along musicians –

Let us sing and dance!

The musicians come along,

Ply their drumsticks, lithe and strong.

Boom-boom-boom! – the dance begins,

With Mosquito Buzzy spins.

After Buzzy, without stop,

Stamps the Bedbug: clop-clop-clop!

Ladybirds with Butterflies,

Bugs of every sort and size!

And the Giant Beetles, too,

Daintly-dressed and well-to-do,

Waving hats and prancing,

With Gypsy-Moths go dancing.

Ta-ra-ra-ra! Gay and loud

Sang and danced the insect crowd,

On and on goes, hale and hearty,

Buzzy-Wuzzy’s Wedding Party!

She’ll be married to Mosquito –

Ugly Spider’s bold defeater!

And the Ant, and the Ant,

With his top hat aslant,

Hops and skips around his Missis,

Blows the Girl-Gnats stealthy kisses:

“Oh you naughty gnats,

Oh you saucy brats,

Cocky Cockroaches in your stetson hats!”

All the jolly swarm

Will carouse till dawn –

For today is Buzzy-Wuzzy’s

Jolly wedding-day!

About the author


Hi! I'm Yana. I'm here to inspire you to try new things in fashion, travel and in life. I'm a fashion stylist, cat lady and a food enthusiast with an endless list of travel goals. Check out my contacts to stalk me on social media and don't forget to subscribe to monthly A Handful of Stories recaps at the bottom of the page!