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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cake and Couture at Winter Bazaar

Courtesy Of Nika Schmalz
The Italians plan to offer Gucci garments marked down 50 percent or more. Dolce & Gabbana, too. From Spain, there'll be Lladro figurines cheaper than in the company's posh Moscow boutique.

Argentina will be selling luxurious furs at cutthroat prices if past years are anything to go by, while the United States will take a prosaic approach and proffer chocolate chips and other hard-to-find items.

These and more than 70 other countries are booked to participate in the annual International Women's Club of Moscow Winter Bazaar on Dec. 2. Profits from the sale of national specialities and holiday treats go to charities in Russia.

"Wives of people who represent not-very-friendly countries are working together for this goal," said the IWC PR coordinator, Tanya Granger. "And wives of competing businessmen are putting aside their differences and dedicating themselves to something bigger and greater."

Representatives from Indonesia are to bring batik and other textiles, as well as satay snacks costing up to $20 a serving. Irish IWC members want to set up a miniature pub stocked with Guinness beer, and have imported clothing from Dunnes Stores, a popular outlet in Ireland. The most expensive items shouldn't be more than $50.

"Everyone in Ireland buys something from Dunnes," said Carmen Casey, the wife of the Irish ambassador. "Irish designers are very hot everywhere in Europe," she added.

Italy is also stocking its favorite Christmas cake, panettone, while Spain is flying over Faustino wine, olive oil, pineapples, peaches and pears.

Italy's designer clothes usually cause a frenzy, and this year, like last, the country will be given a separate room.

The bazaar "is a bit of a nightmare -- it's hard to move around because there are so many people," opined one British expat, who asked to remain anonymous.

If the crowds prove too much, punters can take in performances from a Mexican folk band, a Ukrainian singer, dancers from an Irish-dancing school and some from Indonesia, due this week to perform for the Indonesian president.


Courtesy of Nika Schmalz
Trips to Jordan's Dead Sea coast, Dublin and a weekend getaway to South Africa are up for grabs on the raffle, tickets for which cost 100 rubles.

Despite the international harmony that the IWC says prevails at the event, a few notables don't wish to join in.

Israel won't be there, although that's most likely because the event falls on the Jewish Sabbath, Howkins said.

North Korea will not be taking part. Neither will Iran. Syria also hasn't replied to letters the group sent.

"We tried calling them, we tried sending invitations," said Howkins of the latter three. She suggested that if members of the IWC team had been able to communicate with the embassies in Korean, Farsi or Arabic, they might have drawn them into the fold.

IWC Winter Bazaar, Dec. 2, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Radisson SAS Slavyanskaya Hotel, 2 Ploshchad Yevropy, M. Kievskaya. 100 rubles.