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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yulia Savelyeva's Naked City




Playboy magazine marked the fifth year of Russian publication with two big events on the same night. At the opening of the Playboy Photo exhibit, Artyom Troitsky, the founding editor, welcomed guests arm-in-arm with ? Marilyn Monroe. This Marilyn was simply a Russian twin of the Hollywood star, but in her golden decolette dress she was just as much of a sex bomb.


It was more of a minefield in the exhibit. Russian photographers had carefully selected the best of five years of work and American colleagues the best of 30 years f while visiting celebrities carefully selected the best of their wardrobes, in which ladies definitely came first.


Pop-divas Irina Saltykova and Alyona Sviridova both made very transparent choices while model Natalya Gorbei was so seductively dressed that for some it was more interesting to look at her in the flesh rather than in the photos. Masha Tsigal, a young designer, added a sado-masochistic theme, wielding a whip.


After the exhibit, the crowd headed to the the Park Club on the embankment of the Moscow River, led there by an open-roofed limousine of Playboy Bunnies. A striptease show awaited with girls dancing on the stage, tables and the roof of the bar. Matters overheated. Two Bunnies (perhaps warmed by Chivas Regal whiskey) locked in an enthusiastic kiss, while the other Bunnies fed each other grapes, and next it was mutiny: The Bunnies ignored orders from their "master" f Playboy editor Maxim Maslakov f to dance for the public.


The public, meanwhile, followed the Bunnies' example. Lyolya Turubara, host of the Dyen za Dnyom television show on TV6, passionately kissed her boyfriend, while Zhanna, one of the four soloists from the all-girl pop group Blyestyaschiye, did her own "dirty dancing" with an unidentified man. Only a grandiose fireworks display checked the rising euphoria. The letters P-L-A-Y-B-O-Y burned overhead so intensely that the party disappeared under the smoke. After the smog cleared, huge holiday cakes appeared on the scene. A scene of collective cake-eating that would have satisfied even the Rolling Stones crowned the evening.


Those Moscow party-goers not celebrating with Playboy occupied another Moscow River embankment at Sadovnicheskaya Naberezhnaya, where a tent awning ushered the opening of the new cafe La Luna. Thanks to Belinda Carlile's song, everybody knows La Luna means "the moon". Including the the cafe's owner, who created a moon-theme menu and tried to overshadow the moon itself with a moon balloon.