For the past four or so days I have been asked the same question by local magazines, on-line editors, TV and radio stations: “What do you think of Ukrainian Fashion? Does it have an international future?” And as the days passed my answer became an increasingly more resolute YES. I never expected to see anything great in Kiev but what I discovered is a country with talented people who all have a vision and are perfectly capable to execute it on a high level. Designers like Poustovit, Litkovskaya, Bevza and Kamenskakononova staged concise, strong shows with a coherent, international message. I could have been in Berlin or even New York – from the casting to the music to the styling, they each created beautiful shows worth watching.
My favorite designs came from Poustovit, Anouki Bicholla and a young girl I found at the Eco Chic party with five sample sweaters, Masha Reva. Obviously all three stood out to me personally because of their use of color and/or prints, whereas most other Ukrainian designers LOVE black. I would almost call their vibe Belgian, and slightly avant-garde and minimal. They don’t seem to care for sexy, even though the common street image suggests the complete opposite: girls in short skirts, knee-high boots and tight sweaters sashay around town on Louboutins with triple platforms in broad daylight! This disconnect is quite funny and sometimes shocking, especially when watching the crowd during shows. To me it’s clear that these young designers are looking across the border for customers, not in local malls. And with the trends for Spring/Summer taking a minimal leap, it’s just a matter of time before the market welcomes Ukrainian designers!
Draw string silk dress, Japanese fabric pants and blazer by Poustovit (SS13); Botanical print sweatshirt by Masha Reva for Syndicate; Pink men’s cardigan by Maison Kitsune; Red pumps by Casadei; flower head band, head scarf and matroshka pin from the market by Saint Michael’s Cathedral.
Photos by Anna Nekrasova.
Many thanks to Ukraine Fashion Week for bringing me to this amazing city and allowing me to discover all this talent! And to Yuri at Elexir Spa at the Fairmont Hotel for braiding my hair, “like Yulia Tymoshenko”. SPASIBA!