The Russian capital has launched an Haute Couture Week. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Russian Culture Minister Mikhail Shvydkoi said that the fact that Moscow was playing host to the Haute Couture Week for the 8th time proved that "there are people in Russia who need haute couture, and this means that life is getting better." The de-Luxe-class pret-a-porte collection, A Mid-Winter Night's Dream, by the Furs Fashion House Nijole opened the first day of the Week. Well-known Russian couturier Valentin Yudashkin designed the collection. The Paris Fashion House Pierre Balman, which is taking part in the Moscow Haute Couture Week for the fourth time, also came up with its haute-couture collection.