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St. Petersburg’s most stylish politicians


Traditionally, January and February are the months when officials make their conclusions about the past year. Our reporter Mariya Marchenko drew some of her own.


She has analyzed the looks and styles of statesmen and attempted to figure out informal rules of their dress code. 

Mariya Marchenko, reporter: “Blue or gray business suite, classical shirt – this is a typical dress code of state officials. It seems conservative and plain. But the officials taste and character comes up in accessories he wears: shoes, cuff-links and, most certainly, in a tie. 

Chairman of the finance committee Eduard Batanov boasts the most extravagant ties. He opens our chart of the most stylish St. Petersburg politicians. Pink, grey with blue stripes, violet with flowers – this accessory is always vivid with him. 

Vladimir Bukhinnik, artist, designer, fashion historian: “This suggests his braveness and determination. In any case, red is the color of a leader. If a man is of, as we say it now, a corpulent build, ties must not be thin. Accessories must correspond with one’s proportions. It would look great on a large man”

Eduard Batanov’s worthy competitor is vice-governor Vladimir Lavlentsev – with his nonetheless interesting collection of silk accessories. This 33-year-old Muscovite runs the whole of St. Petersburg’s communal utilities department. He’s one of the few to appear in informal jeans and jerseys at work. But stylists are enjoying his business suits, ideally fit for his slim build. 

Vladimir Bukhinnik, artist, designer, fashion historian: “It says that his suit is more expensive, as well as creating an effect that stitches are handmade. They’re accurate and here we can see the cloth bending prettily, which suggests the handiwork of a professional tailor. These stitches also suggest handwork. Professional tailors make their wide stitches within 5 millimeters from one another”  

He may be responsible for construction, but wherever he appears – let that be the construction site of “Zenit-Arena” or an opening of a new kindergarten – he displays exquisite taste. Opening our top-3 is vice-governor Marat Oganesyan. 

Vladimir Bukhinnik, artist, designer, fashion historian: “Stylish shoes, called Broggi, with perforations. A very good coat, a classic British trench coat with shoulder loops”

Elton John would have probably been envious of such collection of eyeglasses: aviators, horn-rimmed and metallic-rimmed. Vice-governor on economic development Sergey Vyazalov is 2nd in our chart. Not only this statesman controls incomes and deficits of the budget, but also keeps up to date with fashion trends. Cashmere coat and checkered scarf – its as if he’s on the front page of a fashion magazine. 

Vladimir Bukhinnik, artist, designer, fashion historian: “If a man pays so much attention to accessories, that means he’s an attentive politician, who knows the weight of details. Such a minor detail as the size of his eyeglasses suggests he’s open to experimenting”

She’s equally professional in caring about the city’s image and about her own looks. Head of the city’s investment committee Irina Babyuk deservedly tops the chart of St. Petersburg’s most stylish politicians. 

Irina Babyuk, chairman of investment committee: “I think I have a good taste in clothes”

Fur coat with high heels, silk shirts and double-breasted jackets. Irina Babyuk is equally elegant at the Economic Forum and in the dirty streets of the Aprashka. 

Vladimir Bukhinnik, artist, designer, fashion historian:  “She’s a wonderful woman, Irina Babyuk. Superb fashion taste for a politician. Very trendy and worthy of a European parliament” 

Generally, those at the Smolniy demonstrate conservatism in their clothing styles. Big-size jackets and gold cuff-links have disappeared, it seems. Politicians have mastered the skill of wearing classy business suits. And are still showing individualism within this style’s boundaries.