Ukrainian Fashion Week
All photos by: Mariana Stebeneva
Wearing: Purple leopard look and grey coat and suit
by: Sayya, red coat by Les Petite TLV, Stripe black & white dress Poustavit,
All bags by complet.
Last time I was in Kyiv when it was that cold was in 1991 when me and my family decided to immigrate to Israel from the Ukrainian capital after the iron curtain crumbled down. I swore that never again I will go anywhere that cold, and here, 26 years later back to my snowy birth place in February and without a single complaint! Due to the fact I was born and raised in Kiev, attending the local fashion week became a much more symbolic and sentimental event. Surrounded by incredibly talented and hard working designers and industry leaders Kyiv proved that no matter where you come from, all it takes to stand out in the fashion world is having a clear and unique vision and a good team of professionals to help you show it. Most of the shows took place in Mystetskyi Arsenal, a National Art and Culture Museum Complex with a few surprise locations such as a local wedding registry office, and a dark mysterious room full of red pillows. With that much talent and determination some of local designers are already popular outside the Ukraine, selling in the best boutiques and online stores across the globe. For example the label Poustavit who was one of the first Ukrainian designers to break into global fashion scene, take the incredible hat designer Ruslan Baginsky who’s hats are seen on every “It Girl” possible, or Ksenia schnaider’s double denim shorts on jeans that became a huge street style hit.
The designers that stood out for me this time were Ivan Frolov, a young and extremely talented designer who’s delicate, erotic, sensual collection of sheer tulle dresses captured the hearts of the crowds. The show took place in a dark room transformed into a red light lounge full of red silk pillows to add to the sexy mood. The models walked (or should I say danced) their way through while interacting with the stunned crowd while “Will you still love me tomorrow” by Amy Winehouse was playing in the background. The dresses are a perfect fit for Hollywood red carpets or for an eye catching look in a music video or performance, I am expecting to see it on a major celeb/musician really soon. It was a magical fashion moment that won’t be forgotten, and yes Ivan, we will still love you tomorrow!
Another heart warming moment of this week was at the Jean Gritsfeldt a young designer TV Host and DJ who is known for his extravagant show locations, we already saw him presenting his collections at an ice ring, in the airport and event on a train, this time he went for something more romantic and the show took place at the local wedding registry. With models walking down the isle this was a collection dedicated to love and romance, Jean’s inspiration “A friend of mine, a very flamboyant character decided to get married for the 5th time and we ended up in this location, and what can I say… I fell in love with it”. The building is an 1970’s Soviet Style building and brings out a lot of nostalgic memories. The collection was full of romantic gestures such as rose print coats and dresses, red sparkly motives, and some kinky gestures with high slits and mini skirts.
Lake Studio who are known for their feminine designs presented an alluring collection of modest silk dresses, graciously cut suits and floral hand printed pieces. The entire collection is on my wish list!
Flow The Label introduced us to their version of Country Style, by presenting a collection with muted earthy colors, oversized suits and checkered dresses with straw ropes. The location resembled a lovely fashionable version of a farm, with hay on the ground, wooden chairs popping out of tree brunches. I was looking out for rabbits and chickens but I guess they worn’t invited to the show.
Other Designers that stood out were Rybalko for their unique skills of working with leather, Roussin by Sophia Rousinovich for her young and fun approach and her collection of 90’s inspired looks. Jatual Paris for their playful and easy to wear pieces, Poustavit for mixing prints and patters in such an organic and cool way and Gunia Project for such a creative way to present their beautiful printed folk silk scarves.
Ukrainian fashion and the local women who consume it are elegant, feminine, well put together, the women love a good tailoring and would never compromise style for comfort, you won’t find a Ukrainian woman in something less than stunning, the snow won’t stop her from wearing a fitted dress or high heels, she will never leave the house without lipstick or with chipped nails. A lot to be learned from the local women on how to carry yourself as an elegant lady who just loves and lives FASHION.