Zhivago Collar

AKA: cossack collar, Russian collar

How to say it: Zhiva-go

Traditional Features: 



  • tall standing collar
  • side closure
  • often embroidered or decorated


…of the style: The Zhivago collar draws its inspiration from the standing collars with side closures seen on the uniforms of the Russian Cossack Soldiers. While it is thought the Cossacks date as far back as the 14th or 15th century, the Zhivago Collar was introduced and became popular in 1965 following the release of the David Lean film Doctor Zhivago which featured Cossack Soldier uniforms from the First World War and Russian Revolution.

The style was further popularised in the late 1960s by Yves Saint Laurent and his Cossacks collection. Since then the style tends to only really come up on the runway when a designer is using Russian history as a starting point for their collection. Kenzo, Ralph Lauren, Valentino and Chanel have all taken inspiration from Russian costume – and they aren’t the only ones.

The most recent evidence of Russian inspiration is Ralph Lauren’s Fall 2013 collection, however it seemed to be confined to the one designer, rather than being a full-blown trend.

…of the name: Named for the film that made the style popular – Doctor Zhivago

For more info on Zhivago Collars try Wikipedia, eHow or check out the Fairchild’s Dictionary of Fashion

21st Century Zhivago Collars

Not a staple in the fashion marketplace, the Zhivago collar pops up every couple of seasons when designers look to Mother Russia for inspiration.

Costume National Kenzo

Costume National, Kenzo

ralph lauren valentino

Ralph Lauren, Valentino


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *