Not to be confused with Ukraine Fashion Week, Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days is dubbed by locals “the hipster fashion week” – and rightfully so. The three-day event coincided with a formidable snowstorm that coated the city in 40 million tons of powdery mess, but the shows took place nevertheless – and that, with a new, braver-than-ever energy. Here is a first batch of the designer from the first day of the shows that we immediately jotted down our “must-follow” list, for their intelligent, quirky and critical portrayal of society via garment.
The young man mixed 90s sportswear and architectural constructivism – in short, the street-at-large. Neo-tracksuits were paired with windbreakers and new balance trainers; the delightful “Ali G chic” was fused with geometrical patterns, ample shapes and electrifying colour contrasts. The result offered an Antwerpian take on vintage street style. “This is about comfort and history,” said the designer after his show.
Using PVC and plastic as her pièce-de-resistance, the designer crafted shell-like structures that enveloped the body. At times spiked wings protruded out of the shoulders; at others a sweet Christmas tree cloaked the frail silhouettes. Veller added another layer of meaning to her clothes by painting trompe l’oeil impressions of wooden interiors and tablecloth, so typical of the Soviet era ¬– childhood nostalgia without a doubt.
The designer chose to modernize classical cuts ¬– namely 40s dresses with a soft A-line skirt and a marked high waist – by creating dresses out of lurex-embroided silk. Her glittery and indulgently glossy collection came with a controlled sense of tongue-in-cheek: strict, high necklines and mid-calf cuts seem suddenly ready to disco. Despite austerity, it’s always timed to dance, the collection seemed to suggest, with a whisper.