Probably it has something to do with the political revolution that swept aside the Soviet Union. But even that historic upheaval doesn't fully account for the current fascination with things Russian, particularly with art objects from the czarist era.
Whatever the reason, Americans are now snatching up all sorts of Russian-inspired creations, from grand-scale exact copies of furniture in St. Petersburg's Hermitage museum, to decorative fabrics based on documentary Russian designs. Some of these items are so rococo that they look like accessories for a royalist counterrevolution. But others, less embellished, are quite charming and better suited to contemporary tastes.
Much of what is categorized as Russian or Slavic design actually has its roots in the arts of Persia and other Asian cultures. Small lattice-like patterns, for example, and intricate leaf and floral forms are reminiscent of arabesque detailing. Today's adaptations of Russian styles also feature bright colors taken from nature, including the sorts of blues, greens and yellows that have not been in fashion in this country for more than a decade.