Sun Babe. Bevza SS22

The Bevza staples: a slinky, ab-revealing dress; a white slip; and a muted color palette. For spring-summer 2022, Svitlana Bevza emphasizes her label’s classics. Bevza was inspired by her own archives as well as the ocean. The latter allowed her to experiment with seashell bra tops, sailor scarves and hats, and wavelike seams adding texture to the body of dresses. The distinctly nautical details were charming. There’s also the sustainability factor: the boxy necklines of some pieces were meant to resemble plastic shopping bags, for instance, and several of the square patchwork dresses were made from scraps of fabrics in Bevza’s studio. Those frocks were quite appealing: they moved gorgeously when worn and had a subtle complexity that revealed itself the closer you got to the garments. This collection is for all the sun, sea and sand babes out there, ready to spend their time at the beach all day, all night.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

The Power of Heritage. Bevza AW21

The clash of 90s minimalism with her Ukrainian heritage is Svitlana Bevza‘s signature style at her New York-based brand. “Due to the separation of the pandemic, it’s important for us to show something very Ukranian historically,” the designer told Vogue. Her main inspiration was Olga of Kyiv, who ruled in the 10th century and is known for her revenge on the people who killed her husband. The knit balaclavas, one of which opened the show, were inspired by Olga’s iconography, but for the 21st century they were paired with matching blazers and knee-high leather boots. Bevza also incorporated the image of the spikelet, a symbol of good harvest and an optimistic year. Last season the label introduced spikelet earrings; this time, subtle, grain-like shapes appeared in the boots, caped dresses, denim skirts, and in the chunky fringe adorning some of the knits. With mustard and slate blue livening up the typical Bevza color palette, the sophisticated and soft silhouettes spoke to life at home. As Bevza said, “It will last for a while that people are at home with no parties, but we have to feel and see ourselves beautiful in the mirror.” That’s the smart take-away coming from most designers we’ve seen so far this season.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Modern Goddess. Bevza SS21

The one good thing about this season’s cropped New York Fashion Week is that the small brands that show here for years, but stay always under the radar due to overcrowded schedule, get the spotlight they deserve. Svitlana Bevza’s designs may be minimal, but there’s deep meaning and history behind their simplicity. In her previous Bevza collections, she’s often referenced her Ukrainian heritage, specifically the country’s powerful women. This season, she created a narrative around her study of Trypillia, an ancient pagan civilization that cherished women. Harvest symbols also played a role in pieces like a delicately braided knit top and a silk dress with pleating at the bodice mimicking a “tree of life.” Paying homage to the Trypillia women, Bevza designed sharply tailored, corseted dresses, and a tunic with visible stitching outlining the female figure. Those pieces were soft and sensual but still strong, especially a hand-knit ivory coat. The earthily hued, subtly textured garments were accessorized by ceramic jewelry modeled on the statues of the Trypillia people. In the absence of a show, the designer created a film that further emphasized her aesthetic and passion for sharing her Ukrainian history. This collection is an example of how fashion can tell a story and educate us on the world.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.