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Have you ever imagined what Russia would be like if we only knew it through the world wide web? A land of giant concrete ruins and endless tower blocks, with guys doing the Slav squat in an Adidas tracksuit on every corner? Driving in a blazing car, with a bear waving to us with an AK-47 in its hands? Or rather a melancholic land where we can endlessly fry eggs in the strawberry enamel pots, while we listen to the crackling radio?

The online mind is many times ruthless when it comes to story-telling. At the same time, it’s the internet that allows stereotypes to become the cathartic language of self-discovery with some added humor. Our article presents Instagram face filters. For Eastern European creatives, this new form of art does not only serve as a means allowing us to see how we would look with more freckles or cat ears, but also as a channel to steer post-Soviet aesthetics towards a bit surreal, but in any case informative and funny direction. It’s time to get inspired!

Witness from Fryazino

The „Witness from Fryazino” is a meme that became popular on the Russian web in the early 2000s. The photo was made in a small town in the region of Moscow, after a wedding, where one of the best men wore a black leather jacket and a white Adidas tracksuit. After it became an online sensation, “the witness from Fryazino” was added to numerous historical scenes and works of art, including the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Yalta Conference and the Last Supper, amongst others. Thanks to augmented reality, we can also welcome this festive look in Bambi Eszpresszó, in Budapest!

Russian classic

This cozy interior with the Persian rug hanged on the wall both as a form of decoration and a DIY soundproofing and the matching armchair might be familiar for many. Take a seat and enjoy the Russian Hotel California on your phone!


Khinkali is the most Georgian food in the world: similar to ravioli in its concept, it is a kind of dumpling with meat filling, eaten with lots of ground black pepper. If you try this filter, you can sprinkle them from your eyes with every blink.

Flying gopnik

This piece of Baroque post-Soviet romanticism embraces several cultural references: Adidas jogger, nonstop flower shops, with a light shining through the Russian night and of course the fancy Persian rug. The result is a gopnik in love, doing the Slav squat flying around with a bouquet of flowers in his hands, with a divine Russian chanson in the background.

Uber driver

Unfortunately they are rarely seen nowadays, but not so long ago, these gems formed an indispensable part of the parking lots of panel housing estates. If nothing came to your mind about Russian identity before, this Lada decorated with an Adidas sticker resting on a snowy road can be your next best guess!

Babushka Boi

A$AP Rocky is quite fond of Russian culture, and by incorporating the babushka style into streetwear, he set a trend that has never been set before. Try it on with robust black square shades!

Concrete jungle

The reinforced concrete buildings can be found in every state of the former Eastern bloc, so this “Khrushchyovka” filter has every right to be the closing item in our selection. Move your phone around a bit to explore the retro playground going hand in hand with panel blocks.

Inspiration: Calvert Journal

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