Just as Copenhagen Fashion Week took place last week – at the other side of Europe there was Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days. Kiev has been doing remarkably well during the last couple of years in establishing itself as a fashion city and is quite a case study in how to enter the fashion scene of global importance among very strong players. Many things have to be in place, but at the end of the day, it comes down to the talent, and in this case; the Kiev fashion designers.
I would like to start by saying that most shows in Kiev are organized in a slightly different manner than in the main fashion capitals. Most of them take place at the same venue for many reasons (both practical and financial), which is actually quite convenient, as you do not have to go by car all the time and spend extra time in traffic. However, the truth is that every show or presentation that takes place in a unique location, offers a possibility for the designer to create his own world in a very special way. This setting is of main importance to the show, and it’s something that guests truly look forward to experience and be pleasantly surprised by. Three of the four shows that I was very excited about, took place at special venues. In chronological order:
Ksenia and Anton Schnaider, the creative duo behind the brand, are well-known for their innovative approach to fashion (from invitations to apps). This time they did something different for their presentation by building a pop-up supermarket for the purpose of showing their new collection and announce the launch of the online store. At the presentation, there were basic t-shirts with statements like “100% T-Shirt”, “100% Basic”, “100% Nothing”, demi-denim jeans, which are already an Instagram sensation, as well as sweaters, quilted sweatshirts and a couple of dresses. Everything in clean colours; white, grey, red and orange. No prints this time, which was something new to the camouflage couple! Ksenia and Anton pointed out that they wanted to create such pieces, that would stay relevant not only right now, but also in the years to come. A fun gimmick was that next to the rails of clothes, the designers put water, coconut milk, toothpaste, sunflower seeds and car liquid that were all printed with “100%” – the exact same items that were also used for the invitation for the fashion show. If you’re interested, you can find out more about Ksenia and Anton and their work on technology in fashion here.
Next one on the schedule was a show by RCR Khomenko. Yasya Khomenko is special because, on one hand, you always know that she will use vintage fabrics and create extraordinary prints, but, on the other, you have no idea, what story she will be telling now. This time Yasya decided to involve mythology and Gods, at the same time using quite a few casual looks. As a result, the collection was full of wearable, yet outstanding, pieces with fun prints. You should also find out more about her “Eye project” here.
A huge advantage of a fashion week like MBKFD is that you don’t only get to see local designers, but also some foreigners. This season one of them was a Georgian designer Anouki Areshidze. The most outstanding parts of the collections were the cut of the pieces – conceptual and complex; and the choice of colours – grey, pastel blue and peach, as well as some glitter and shimmering materials. There were also various sweaters and knitted dresses, which are a must for cold times and also exciting to pull of, when the weather allows it. The styling was also another very strong feature with skirts of both heavy and light fabrics worn on top of shirt dresses creating an interesting result. As if this wasn’t rich enough in itself, there was also a skilled research of materials creating contrasting effects to the plain shirt fabrics. All-in-all a well-balanced and strong collection mixing many different elements.
Last one of the day, but not the least: Marianna has been around the fashion scene for just a couple of seasons, but her work was strong right away. You can see that this girl is not afraid of making a statement using vivid colours, a funny combination of street style garments and striking details. Amazing! Moreover, there is always an interesting story too. This season Marianna invited her guests to a cafe over-looking Kiev, where her team built a cosy apartment of a French girl with a broken heart. Just like always, there were quite a few incredibly successful looks and a number of accessories, which we will definitely be able to spot on street style photos.
So why do these collections matter in the enormous pool of fashion designers that are already out there? They matter, because having a choice from a quirky place, in terms of fashion, like with the Kiev fashion designers is exciting to people, who want something extraordinary. It’s the way of buying into dressing by upcoming, independent designers, while choosing something less ordinary and in perhaps that sense – unique. It’s the perfect epitome of the globalized world, we live in, where people and collections blend, and it’s exactly in this mixing that magic happens and fashion of the future is created.
For full collections, go to Vogue Runway.