The Uncanny Creations of Andrey Moss.
Russian independent designer Andrey Moss creates accessories developed through a distinctive anatomical approach inspired by women, art, religion and sexuality. Specialising in hand crafted luxury shoemaking, Moss explores the dark side of culture and employs a deft process of fabric analysis and personally sourced materials to create something entirely unique with each order.
Moss describes his creative process as a birth, an entity literally separated from the Self upon completion. This generated the commanding title, “Creative Collaborator with the Devil,” now the abbreviated “CCWD” to remove, in Moss’s words, “excess theatrical gloom.” In his youth, the designer was inspired by the work of German nihilists and French materialists, a rejection of the classic Russian literature thrust upon him. The concepts have similarities; broadly speaking, materialism holds the belief that matter is nature’s fundamental substance, and all things, including mental states, are the result of material interaction. Though Nihilism preaches Nothingness, the thread of mortality that runs through the philosophy acknowledges death and decay, an organic process which has imbued Moss’ collections since the label’s inception in 2013.
Notably, the designer has stated that the female body is his main inspiration, his studies often taking place in hospitals and morgues. “I’m talking about details, about how the skin looks and how it changes with age,” Moss told The Unconventional. “I’m not afraid of old age and I use different techniques to disfigure the classical silhouette, and I do not resort to decorating, because the word beauty is absent in my manifesto.”
Indeed, Moss’s creations are a departure from any major fashion brand on the market right now, rejecting beauty in the mainstream sense for something much more primal — a kind of second skin. Leathers are personally sourced from one of the oldest tanneries in Russia, hand-washed and painted with Italian oils to produce the pruned texture of a withering body. Chemicals and fabrics are also gathered from Italy, and shoe accessories are sourced from Spain. Though shoemaking is the specialism, Moss also offers accessories including handbags, gloves and collars, and creates tailored clothing on request.
It is no surprise that metal’s reigning goddess Chelsea Wolfe and the illustrious Zola Jesus are fans. In the video for the 2019 single Be All Things, shot my photographer Nona Limmen, Wolfe haunts the Icelandic landscape in a billowing, black dress of Victoriana ruffles, specially created by Moss for the musician. The designer’s ecological vision is the ideal companion for Wolfe’s album Birth of Violence, a self-proclaimed embrace of the Divine Feminine and Pagan philosophy.
A thread of ecofeminism can be gleaned from Moss’s work, along with the reclamation of the “monstrous feminine” — historical constructions of woman as the grotesque “Other.” In his 2019 collection, Moss’s photographs depict an imposing, eldritch subject rooted in an untamed forest. The immediate connotation is “witch” — a figure dressed in black, sable hair obscuring the face, the figure feminine, the height oddly vertiginous. The featured leather “Vampire” gloves extend the fingers to unusual proportions; the “Witch” leather bag and “Voodoo Doll” keychain recall elements of the occult, the incorporation of human hair reminiscent of folk magic. In a rising taxonomy of everything “witch,” Moss’s creations speak to those harnessing a spiritual means of expressing feminist ambition. That is not to say his work is regular — the artisan’s output is anything but.
Moss’s designs may seem macabre, but his exquisite relation of texture to form produces a beauty all its own. Through his creations, Moss reclaims damning constructions of woman to produce carefully crafted pieces that empower in the process. They are redolent of centuries past, yet their exceptional style makes them distinctly modern, his high quality, sustainable accessories minimal enough for regular wear and singular enough for statement. Indeed, there is only one Andrey Moss.
Andrey Moss’s items are made to order from the CCWDMOSS website.