ukrainian fashion week: elena burenina

(images via ufw)

elena burenina has gone in for both commercial and conceptual shows in her day, from pretty streetwear basics to carrots in test tubes for her s/s 2011 show.  however, for the f/w 2011 season she has been pulled back into the realm of the wearable, channeling what looked like a mix of  nina ricci romanticism and the louis vuitton s/s 2007 show, the dreaminess sometimes tempered by urbane references. 

titling her collection “nomad”, the range is described by luuk magazine as “‘Who am I? Who am I in reality? Do I believe myself? Is it strange, crazy to seek for oneself?’ – answers to these philosophical questions the designer tried to find in her new fall-winter collection. Her theme: a nomad, seeking for a meaning, longing for a change, able to remove the blinders from the eyes, is reflected in luxurious fabrics, artificially aged to give them the look of clothes of a traveller striding through the rain, sun and wind.”  

the clothes had a sweetness, but the layering and edgy details (furry boots, fingerless gloves, dreadlock-like hair extensions) spoke of a girl who had seen her share of grittiness as well.  this ‘good’ girl had perhaps met a performer in a traveling band, and let love and excitement whisk her away from the placid but mudane childhood spent in a white house under an oak tree with regular churchgoin’ parents, along the way acquiring a worldly savviness that comes with life on the road, but with it heartache, starvation, and more than a few unpleasant situations that made her wonder whether spending the long summer afternoons weaving daisy chains and dreaming were really as bad as she and her sisters had once imagined. 

unfinished hems and exposed seams were often featured to reinforce notions of hard times, with fabrics including wool, faux fur, leather, denim, and felt, while knitwear also came heavily into play.  as the girl meandered, her clothes darkened as well, and the show’s palette was largely somber—charcoal, rust, beige, olive, and muddy shades, although they were worn lightly, managing to emit a sense of enthusiasm and hope, and making for one of the most interesting narratives to emerge from this ufw. 

(see a catwalk video here)

updated: with new images

belgrade fashion week: ines janković

(images via bfw)

according to the serbian blog divine world of fashion, designer ines janković, who presented on the third day of bfw, is new to the scene, though her f/w 2011 show represented one of the more successful collections. 

i was unfortunately not able to find any more information on the designer, who showed highly glamorous, geometrically sculptured and draped pieces in jeweled and neutral tones (magenta, cobalt, gold, gray, coffee, black) that were often heavily accessorized and evoking more than a little of donatella’s versace.

some of the looks were a little heavily done—particularly the mis-matched suit number, which reeked of the tom ford-late nineties steam-room sexuality and thus felt a little overbearing in these days of more demure victoriana. ditto that for the wide lapel-ed leather coat paired with the two-tone chained necklaces and worn as a dress.  feels a little hot in here, no? 

however, she achieved a more resounding success with the monochromatic dresses which were the focus of the collection; interesting because of their origami-like folds and a little like roland mouret (or, in the bottom image’s case, herve leger), but still simple enough to team with considerable bling. 

still, these are doubtless for the very sensual girl—most items were suctioned on and when they were draped, there was considerable slit action going, with other pieces working in a high hemline, or something else to show this girl has time to work on her body in plenty as she does money to spend on dressing it.  nothing wrong with that, nor is there the confident image ms. janković’s girls presented.  but one might want to avoid these pieces for around the office. 

(see the final walk-through video here)

ukrainian fashion week: valeri shafigulina

(images via ufw)

valeri shafigulina (who is also referred to as lera shafigulina on ufw’s site, just to give one a sense of how difficult this translation thing can be) was part of the “fresh fashion” segment at ukrainian fashion week’s fall 2011 collections. 

unfortunately, i wasn’t able to find a single bit of information on her (please let me know if you know anything), but her rather brief show was filled with voluminous skirts and dresses paired with short, structured jackets in what felt like a modernist revisit of old world dressing. 

while the fascinators and some of the skirts’ drape and flow was positively captivating, it was difficult to see the commercial appeal, and not the least because most events aren’t formal enough to wear such pieces (many of the looks added considerable volume to the girls’ figures—something i doubt many are lookin’ to do).  thus, it was a pleasant journey aesthetically, but still felt very much weighed down by a student’s hand. 

ukrainian fashion week: v o z i a n o v

(images via ufw)

helmed by fedor vozianov, the v o z i a n o v f/w 2011 collection (titled “sha sha”) at ukrainian fashion week seemed to channel a japanese aesthetic, with a certain schoolgirlishness present that felt not unlike an early limi feu show. 

“Abstract illusion of some brighter, cleaner world,” was the way the designer described the show to luuk magazine, which was framed mainly in drab shades of gray and black.  the occasional touches of orange, pink, and white jumped out in polka dots and trim (or an even larger piece), lending an almost incidental softness and femininity to the range.

mr. vozianov launched his namesake line in 1999, and currently also designs toys (who wouldn’t like to see some of those), describing the label as “avant garde”, and notes that they “impl(y) an intention to new visual ‘space+sense+technique’ solutions.”  hmm. 

he also goes on to remark, “The clothes are considered by v o z i a n o vas a part of the whole visual environment, objects of ideas and senses and realization of aspirations, and not just a commercial product. Yet it does not exclude a commercial component of our activity.” (makes me want to shove that in the face of the girl who snobbily turned her back on me at a party when i said i studied fashion.  ahem.)

a review on ukrainian fashion week daily observed that much of the collection was derived from traditional regional garments, and perhaps this is what lead to the sense of timeless beauty. though there were certainly quirky details, the designer is such an exceptional tailor that they worked in quietly, adding a subtle and intelligent interest as opposed to some outlandish bid for all the attention in the room.  

another point which thoroughly impressed me was in the designer’s ability to reference youth without becoming overly reverential, or straying from that which is appropriate for adult women to don (and i’m looking a miuccia prada right now with all her grade schoolers); see the above picture if you need emphasis on this point—indicative of girlishness, but easily styled away from that, with no direct uniform motifs. 

no, in the end the show was a triumph of the highest sort—completely wearable, with the kind of classic shades and shapes that could keep the pieces going forever, through the years, as many of them are appropriate for the various stages in a women’s aging process, yet all the while retaining an elusive, artisan quality that keep them distinctly distinct from those sophisticated brands that sometimes lack an impish edge—oscar de la renta, carolina herrera, pringle of scotland.  the fall v o z i a n o v show best explains why the lesser well-known fashion weeks—ukraine in particular—are important.  how many might miss one of their favourite collections of the season simply because they didn’t look?  i’ve found one here. 

(watch the catwalk video here)