At Kiev Fashion Week, a new guard of up-and-coming fashion designers are making traditional Ukrainian aesthetics feel fresh and modern. Here, a guide to those up-and-coming talents.
For Spring 2017, Lilia Litkovskaya was inspired by the contrasting archetypes of Marie-Antoinette and a strong warrior woman, and paired masculine tailoring with floral jacquards. Pleated details and voluminous proportions exemplify the designer’s nod to historical references. Since launching her label in 2009, Litkovskaya has grown quickly, and is now stocked in stores like Helen Marlen in Kiev and Opening Ceremony in New York.
The fashion designer, who was recently shortlisted for the LVMH Prize, showcased a prom-inspired collection at Ukranian Fashion Week's "One Day Project. The pieces, which include a cherry-red velvet puffed-sleeve number and floral knits that nestle in Ukraine’s traditional motifs, were worn by unconventional models sourced from the diversity-driven agency titled Cat B. Belinskiy's friend Masha Reva, who recently created prints for New York-based fashion designer Rachel Comey, drew on the models at the presentation.
A favorite of the musician, Peaches, RCR Khomenko is an avant-garde label founded by the namesake designer Yasia Khomenko. Known for her continuous theme of “upcycling”, the designer repurposed men’s shirting and bed sheets into baby-doll silhouettes and off-kilter shirt dressing with candy stripes. For Spring 2017, the designer staged her presentation in a Soviet shopping center, and had the feeling of performance art.
Fashion designer Ksenia Schnaider reinterprets classic denim silhouettes including shorts, skirts, and pants by adding traditional cross-stitch embroidery in a modern take on Vyshyvanka national dress. Her iconic silhouette is a baggy jean at the thigh with a skinny leg and exposed knees made from vintage denim and paired with embroidered thin-knit henleys. “My main goal was to create such clothing pieces that you would want to live in without taking them off," Schnaider explains.
FLOW the Label
For Spring 2017, FLOW the Label's designers, sisters Viktoria Balaniuk and Veronika Vez, spoke to the convergence of conflicting women’s roles, from the traditional housewife to the working activist, by mixing aspects of traditional Ukrainian clothing--embroidery, ruffled aprons and Volant dresses--with trench coats and shirting to represent the emancipated modern woman. The duo found inspiration in several unlikely places for the collection, including the 1975 film “Stepford Wives,” Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture, and early paintings by the French impressionist Eugene Boudin.
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