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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Guide to the Stars




It was a Russian-style Halloween: A girl with her face painted in green and red stripes handed me a tomato in front of the trendy club Jazz Cafe, where I had been invited to celebrate Halloween by my former classmate, Fyodor Pavlov. I was instructed to squeeze the tomato in honor of the Night of All Saints. While many clubs in Moscow celebrated the holiday with typical American costume parties, Pavlov, 22, the director of a fashion agency, invited prominent Muscovites to take part in a colorful performance of "Tristan and Isolde," a medieval love story.


The avant-garde performance starred the likes of MTV host Tutta Larsen, post-modernist poet Dmitry Prigov and off-beat television personality Dmitry Dibrov. All the dresses were made by Fedya's own company, Face Fashion, which, though relatively new, has made a name for itself in Russia's fashion world because of its owner; he is still in college, but is already a TV personality and writer for fashion magazines.


The son of prominent novelist Lyudmila Petrushevskaya, Pavlov was considered a prodigy at our university. He often skipped classes to go to fashion shows, which he attended with the most sought-after coeds.


Although I always hated kids with well-to-do parents, whom we called "majors," I had a different feeling toward Fedya. He was a gifted writer and wanted to make his own money, while most of his peers wasted the days playing soccer in the streets. At school he had his own opinion about everything, even concerning such crap as Halloween - which he was able to turn into an exciting and joyful performance.


The Halloween party was just what I needed to lift my spirits after I heard some unpleasant news last week about my favorite pop icon, Filipp Kirkorov. Kirkorov elicited some angry remarks from Armenians when he performed his hit version of the popular Turkish song "Shikidem" during a recent concert.


The object of their anger was not the song, but a T-shirt emblazoned with the Turkish flag, which Kirkorov wore at the concert. Many Armenians consider the flag a symbol of the Turkish massacres, which led to the deaths of thousands of their countrymen.


Kirkorov, it turns out, is part Armenian. His grandfather was an Armenian jeweler who helped lead the anti-Turkish partisan movement. Kirkorov is also half-Bulgarian, and Bulgaria suffered 350 years of Turkish rule. Perhaps Kirkorov is too eager to forget the past. Personally, I forgive Kirkorov, who once told me that he is "the last bridge of Bulgarian-Russian friendship."


But watch out, Filya, this bridge might soon collapse.