Ukraine

antonshoot2

After AW14’s fashion weeks, some people get a little bit annoyed by us, fashion blogger, journalists and designers. Why should The New York Times cover Paris fashion week, if the Malaysian aircraft is not found, Middle East is in conflict and a civil war is happening on the Ukrainian maidan? Is fashion more important than the world’s problems? Well, it’s not more important. But I think it’s also an event that should be somehow demonstrated. Although, in a smaller dose… Talking of Ukraine’s conflict, I just had a peek at Ukrainian designers- and I must admit, they are amazingly talented. They are pro-European because they want to be able to sell their clothes in European Union. They are open-minded for new routes and techniques. They create clothes that are a mix of modernity and Ukrainian traditional clothes. So, here are my favourites from the AW14’s Kiev Fashion Week:

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ANNA OCTOBER: As one of two Ukranian designers selected in amongst the shortlist for the LVMH Prize, not showing an A/W 14-5 collection wasn’t an option. October had moved to Kiev in September just when protests were beginning to simmer. As the months went on and Ukraine borders and customs were stopping imports from France and Italy, October couldn’t get her fabrics delivered, so she resorted to reusing past season fabrics, layered up with organza. Something old turned out to be just right for her smoldering dresses that evoked icons like Catherine Deneuve and Charlotte Rampling. Her fall collection is a mix of minimalism and luxurious bling-bling.

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PASKAL: Julie Paskal of label Paskal is another LVMH Prize shortlisted designer. And her AW14 collection is like a reflection of Ukraine’s situation: it’s so radiant, colourful, vibrant and warm! It feels a bit 60’s with a techno touch in it. By her rail of clothing was a charming plaque, declaring her hope that one day, Ukraine will join the EU so that she along with others can exist in their chosen fields as fashion designers. “In such tense times, we have to do everything we can do,” said Paskal. “Revolution has happened everywhere and somehow Ukraine will emerge stronger from this.”

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YASYA MINOCHKINA: Yasya Minochkina has had the benefit of being educated in courses at Central Saint Martins and Royal Academy of Fine Art in London as well as basing her brand in Moscow temporarily. She moved back to her native Kiev but along with other designers, found producing her A/W 14-5 collection difficult with the city’s roads closed and tailors and seamstresses unable to travel. There’s something akin to school uniform in her work that’s quite appealing. Kept in bottle green and navy colours, that brocade coat wouldn’t be a bad idea for next AW14 shopping…

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20140313-090852 PM.jpgMasha Reva is another artist slash designer who has multiple forms of expression. She has collaborated with Ukrainian Syndicate on a line of sweatshirts entitled “Odessa Series” It looks at the fusion of traditional Ukrainian kitsch with the desire of how Ukrainians want to look luxurious, hence the prints featuring Christine’s Auction pieces with flea market finds. The sweats look really cool, and they are unisex. And I see them hanging in Colette, hopefully…

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And these fun looks are by RCR KHOMENKO- they are a mix of street wear and modern art approach. The vibrant prints on skirts, blouses and dresses are totally opposite to all that cold atmosphere. So, this is Ukrainian fashion, and it’s great. It’s full of talents and colour… DACBE hopes that Ukraine will be again a free country after their protests and rambles. Freedom is most important.