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EuroFashion 2012 in Kiev

Apr 14, 12 EuroFashion 2012 in Kiev

Irina Danilevska, who heads the organizing committee of Ukranian Fashion Week, belongs to that rare breed of brave ones who change the world. They are such little left. They seemed redundant in the new accelerated century of human-half-robots; they are on the verge of extinction. Irina does not just change the world, she makes it a better and more beautiful at least within the borders of Ukraine. Thanks to Danilevska, people in the West can discover that Ukraine can be proud of not only beautiful girls but also of talented and intelligent fashion designers. The team of Ukrainian Fashion Week is doing everything they can and much, much more to create for Ukrainian designers a platform on which they could create, demonstrate and even earn money from their work. And Irina is also well versed in the rules of fashion world and therefore invites Western press to local fashion events and creates such conditions for journalists that they do not want to leave, and having left cannot wait to go back to the hospitable Kiev.

When in Paris cafe, between a cup of hot chocolate and a croissant, Irina told us about her bold plans to combine fashion and finals of the European Football Championship to be held in June in Kiev, we did not believe it. Simply because the time left for organization of such event was about a couple of months. It was not to mention an incredible mix of football and fashion art that seems to be as compatible as a “Swan Lake” and a spaceflight. The idea was to bring in Kiev sixteen designers-representatives – or more precisely “fashion ambassadors” of the participating countries of the European football championship finals in Kiev. To organize the sixteen defiles in two days immediately following the Ukrainian Fashion Week, united under the general auspices of the EuroFashion. In the middle of haute couture week in Paris Danilevskaya was looking for a designer from France who would accept such an adventure…
Two months later in Kiev, watching the show rehearsals on the first day of EuroFashion, I felt myself being a part of a dream that came true. Irina did impossible! Ukraine, Spain, Sweden, Ireland, Portugal, Croatia, Italy, France, Denmark, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Britain – sixteen designers from sixteen European countries in a record time prepared, brought and presented their collections in the capital of Ukraine. The genius of the organizers is primarily in the fact that they managed to combine in one fashion project aesthetically different and sometimes opposite cultures of clothing design.

The EuroFashion (http://fashionweek.ua/en/eurofashion/) was opened by a collection of a well-known Ukrainian fashion house KARAVAY. A pleasant surprise was awaiting us: the designer reinterpreted the style of the fifties, very much in vogue now, creating a bourgeois and to a certain extent reserved collection, which, perhaps, was one of the most interesting in the project. The German restraint presented in the Annette Gortz collection was expressed in a strict black and white gamma, clear-cut silhouettes and practical coat-transformers; it contrasted with the feminine, designed to seduce dresses presented by a famous Polish brand La Mania…

Photo credits: Ukrainian Fashion Week

The “unisex” collection of French designers’ duo Même t’aime, in which the sophisticated “Asian” cut was combined with western androgyny, was followed by bright defile of perfectly tailored coats and dresses of Italian Carta E Costura, in which the designers seemed to offer us a lesson of color stylistics. The collection of Portuguese fashion house Maria Gambina caught the eyes with footwear, based on ice-skating boots – an example of how a simple at a first glance idea is transformed into interesting piece of fashion art.

Massive necklaces, which details recurred in dresses of Danish Anne Sofie Madsen, combined with ethnic prints and appliqué reminded the creations of Alexander McQueen and Rick Owens. An explosion of color in the collection of Spanish Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, without a single monochrome look, created a summertime mood of the European south, while the flowing asymmetrical draped gowns of Yiannos Xenis twined the silhouettes of fashion models with his ancient Greek ancestors. It was not only the French who showed a mixed collection. They were joined by the Croatian Ivan Mandzukic, whose men’s shirts were memorized by the original origami finish, and the OLDSCHOOL brand from the Czech Republic, who had masterfully mixed styles and material in the collection. Fans of textural contrasts would certainly appreciate the work of Irish Joanne Hynes, where colorful leather is combined with chiffon, sequins and Lycra.

Photo credits: Ukrainian Fashion Week 

The designer from Sweden – Ida Sjostedt- had quite changed my idea of fashion in this country of feminists, who have won the fight for their rights long ago. Ida presented a very feminine collection, consisting mostly of shiny mini dresses with gold and silver leggings. A collection of my compatriot, Russian designer Victoria Andreyanova (which, incidentally, at the press conference admitted her Ukrainian roots), was especially liked by the French designer sitting next to me on the second day, immediately noting the “completeness” and professional talent of Victoria (among other things she teaches at the Russian textile Academy). And we could see why: in her variations on the theme of a man’s shirt and simple cotton the designer went “all the way”, clearly demonstrating how to create beautiful and stylish sundresses literally “out of nothing.”

Photo credits: Ukrainian Fashion Week

The final show of the English brand of Philip Colbert from «The Rodnik Band» made the Ukrainian public acquainted with the new for many viewers style of animated grunge – fashion models in the “Dr. Martens” shoes and colorful tights were skipping along the catwalk to a live performance of the Philip Colbert himself, capering around them with a microphone.

Taking with me back to Paris an ocean of positive emotions, interesting encounters and contacts with new talented friends, I was recalling Irina and the Organizing Committee of Ukrainian Fashion Week. The country’s fashion future seems to be in good hands.