Last month I travelled to Ukraine to explore Eastern European fashion (you can check my adventures in this article). I was invited by the organisers of Dnepr Fashion Weekend to attend their local fashion event and to run a masterclass for the emerging Ukrainian designers who are looking to grow internationally and explore London fashion market.
My two-day stay was full of surprises and cultural clashes in Eastern Europe, but I was also pleasantly surprised by some very nice new designer and product discoveries. Organised by a beautiful person El’mira Polyayeva, the CEO of PS Studio Fashion Consulting Group, the main fashion organisation in Dnepr, the event exceeded my expectations. I must mention that one of the best discoveries – an amazing event location. The fourth season of Dnepr Fashion Weekend took place in the Museum and Institute of Aeronautics. Fashion and Sputnik? Yes, please! Emerging European fashion scene is sometimes ahead the established fashion weeks.
These are my top picks from Dnepr Fashion Weekend.
Established – AYSINA
My absolute favourite womenswear, footwear and accessories designer brand by Julina Aysina. I met with the team at Dnepr Fashion Weekend, and I couldn’t resist trying on their beautifully made high-end items. It’s hard to see their immaculate handwork and fine designs in the local celebrity-filled Social media accounts, but the real products I saw – astonishing!The white jacket – my ultimate ‘it’ item.
If I could remove the fur from their collections, it would be my go-to designer. On the other hand, more than half of the designers would use fur for their AW collections in (cold) places like Ukraine.
Aspiring – SAYYA
I’m gutted to have missed the catwalk show, but I had a chance to meet the designer Luba Makarenko and see the collection. Sayya was one of the most sophisticated aspiring designer brands on the schedule. Femininity with a cheeky youthful twist. This designer brand seems to be a favourite of the organiser, and I don’t see a reason why they shouldn’t be.
Emerging – Volyn by Taras Volyn
Taras Volyn is one young inspiring designer from Kharkov, Ukraine. An alternative mind and soul. Formal shoes and Adidas sports suit – that’s him. 90’s is his statement. I had a pleasure to exchange some basic Russian-English vocabulary and even managed to discuss some creative ideas (and that is not the best selfie, I know).
A womenswear designer is the one to watch in the emerging scene of the rich Ukrainian fashion talent pool.
Something else – Nobel’s Code
Hand-embroidered booklike clutches. Nobel’s Code was not a part of the catwalk, but their small stand took my breath away. Super fancy clutches that looks like (mostly Classic Russian) literature books is something I haven’t seen before. I was later enlightened by my Russian colleague that there are quite a few similar brands in Russia and Ukraine of different quality. No matter who came first, I was truly impressed; I’d choose ‘War and Peace’. So classy.