lviv fashion week: oksana piekna

(images via lfw)

so.  i really, really do want you to know that i did have good intentions about getting through all of our ukrainian/lviv fashion week coverage on time, although these days, that seems to never go as planned. but on the other hand, though i’m often calling for new fashion schedules and variously bitching about all that nonsense, i suppose we might argue the time-delay on the collections works in our favour, since these clothes won’t yet hit the stores for some time, and we’ve a good opportunity now to catch up on them.  besides, who would want to miss out on such charming labels?

so.  with that in mind, let us now turn our attention to the young lviv-based designer oksana piekna (Оксана Пєкна) and her marvelously ladylike s/s 2013 range, which, according to the lfw site (and in case you couldn’t tell yourself) was “inspired by 50-s style,” (though i’d tend to argue for my part that it felt like more of a mashup between the fifties and sixties, like so many of those collections we’ve been seeing of late that come out as homages to the costume department of the television programme mad men, although i suppose one could here equally make a case for the british the hour, which is actually set during the late 1950’s, and which equally seems to share the flavour of the sharply tailored dress, sculpted peplums, prim lacy driving gloves, and smart little pocketbooks).

but i’m meandering, so let me try to pull myself back on to topic. in a similar (if slightly lengthier, though unfortunately, we usually have to make do with a few scant words on the subject, when it comes to lfw) analysis, the site lviv beauty noted that (trans.) “designer Oksana Piekna was inspired by the spirit of the 50s. [the collection] is filled with dresses, adjoining silhouettes, suits and dresses, and suits complemented with removable structural parts and Basques.”  so, in other words, we saw a lot of smart, geometric pieces, that often had asymmetrical elements, jackets, sashes, wraps, or the like, that could be lifted right out in order to provide something of a different look.  and that was one of the most impressive things about ms. piekna’s work—that it felt quite versatile, even as it was a short show.

another strength was the colour palette, which hovered around what could be described as easter-y pastels, though that would probably scare some away, and i wouldn’t want to do the designer an injustice.  so i suppose i’ll simply list them as: mint green, a variety of pale grays and taupes and beiges, lilac, cream, and stony-soft cadet blue, with some sort of slightly brushed-looking watercolour-y (or perhaps the fabric one might use for their ottoman, or, if they wanted a major jolt, wallpaper)-style florals as contrast fabrics, and of course, the aforementioned lace gloves to give an extra dose of the ladylike.  and even though this might have suggested a show that was on the too sweet side, surprisingly (and perhaps thanks to those rigourous cuts), never felt so. 

anyway, though i do want to give ms. piekna props for including at least a couple of different styles of silhouette—both wider, a-line full skirts and pencil-shapes, on the other hand, if there was anything i felt was lacking in the range, i’d still tend to say variety. to be sure, she included one more evening-esque, floor-sweeping dress at the end of the show, but i simply felt there wasn’t enough of a mixup; perhaps a pair of trousers, a capri pant, or even some cardigans or little jackets would have been enough, but given that it was a relatively short show, i was surprised to see a couple of exits looking remarkably alike. in the end, i don’t want that to suggest i didn’t think ms. piekna’s work very promising indeed, or to say that i didn’t like basically every exit i saw for its own merits, but merely use those more as suggestion points for where she ought to focus and hone her skill a bit, perhaps, next season.

lisbon fashion week: os burgueses

(images via portugal confidential)

because most of the designers showcasing at lisbon fashion week are still quite new to us, i’m not really comfortable yet making any kind of grand pronouncements when it comes to aesthetic or anything like that, yet all the same, i think we can begin to note some similarities, yes? and so, for the house of os burgueses’ s/s 2013 range, i’d say i did see some things that reminded me of their work during the f/w 2012 season, thanks to feminine silhouettes that emphasized the natural waistline, and skirts that fully kicked out into a wide, flared shape, yet all the same, they like to combine modern elements with the retro homages.

and so.  designers eleutério and mia’s (that’s all they go by) latest collection was, as they explained to the blog daily moda lisboa, inspired by (trans.) “(t)he armor of D. Sebastião I, and the futurism industrial and photographic work of Kim Høltermand,” and added that “we suggest a look that is futuristic, geometric, vs fair., fluid and neon.”  and indeed, much like last season’s work, i’d argue that there was a fifties-sixties influence underlying the whole of the collection, which was evident from the pompadour-style hair of the models to the full-skirted, sculpted skirt suits and (usually mini)dresses with their nipped-in waists that echoed that which we’d seen for the fall. 

alors.  according to the website portugal confidential, the palette was cast in shades of “(f)lourescent green, flourescent orange, gray earth, dirty white, [and] black,” the former of which i’d argue gave the range the modernist cast their heavy utilization of zippers did for fall.  and they worked with materials like faux fur, cotton twill, lycra spandex, jersey mesh, and cotton taffeta, which, too, methinks, gave the collection a very tech-heavy appearance, which became almost activesportswear-y at times, mostly thanks to these textiles and colours, as well as a few jogging-suit-esque looks (as above) that occasionally crashed through the lineup of dresses.

“Short skirts rounded out very well defined busts and gave the models the look of super heroines, as the  collection stood out with skirt and jacket suits and even the dynamics of vertical stripes,” (trans.) related the portuguese site maxima, and though i’m not, like, completely getting what they’re saying here, i think i can agree that there was an almost…costume-iness in some of the little dress/suit looks, which, combined with that sculpted hair gave the appearance of a girl walking a red carpet in a very careful stated outfit, trying to present the kind of image that is at once soft and feminine and yet…not. maybe it was the choice of the colours, but it felt very bold and in-your-face. 

elsewhere (and finally), the portuguese website pnet fashion argued that (trans.) “(t)he silhouettes were elegant and versatile, with a futuristic touch, through busts were presented in well designed coats and shirts, referring to the idea of armor, contrasting with the fluidity of fabrics, with short skirts and pant  creating visual movement through structured colour contrast. The hair hairstyles, almost as if they were helmets, completed the look.” so.  i guess we can probably all agree here that the kids are going to like the collection, especially for club-going and the like, but it wasn’t an especially moving one for me, and i liked their slightly more subtle version seen last season.  but it was decent, wearable, and, most importantly, sellable, so i’m sure we’ll be seeing their work in the seasons to come, and hopefully we can see the brand grow organically from here (see additional collection images at sewing machine & lab daily).

(watch the show video here)

kazakhstan fashion week: avtandil tskvitinidze

(images via cosmopolitan)

okay, so i just want to put this out there straight away, lest there be any confusion.  we’ve seen the work of georgian designer avtandil tskvitinidze (Автандила Цквитинтдзе) showcased in both kiev (for s/s 2011) and almaty (for a/w 2012) before, so although we’ll be discussing his latest range, for the s/s 2013 season as it was presented at kazakhstan fashion week, he did apparently also showcase his wares during kiev fashion days (opt usually forgoes that event, as it’s usually repeats of that which we’ve already seen elsewhere, as is the current case), so we’ll be using information and critiques from both shows, as there usually isn’t enough from just one to cover everything we might wish to know.  okay?

right, then. although this range shared some of the darker-leaning colours with that of the fall show, on the whole, i’d say that for spring, the designer was much more grown-up and in control, with a cohesive, sophisticated, and lovely collection that i have no problem definitively declaring his best work that we’ve seen yet.  by far, too.  with regards to the designer’s inspiration, though, the critics were unfortunately vague, with the ukrainian site hochu declaring that the range was (trans.) “based on diversity. Blended bright colours underlined the feminine silhouettes, and unique details are the main characteristics of the new collection.”  um, okay.  what kind of diversity?

actually, there were quite a few times when viewing the exhibition that i thought of the work of designer roland mouret, with many of mr. tskvitinidze’s silhouettes echoing his sculpted ones (especially with the peplums) and sleek tailoring, rich colours, and minimalistic-cum-geometric forms all having a sort of kindred spirit to the frenchman’s pieces.  anyway, the kiev fashion week site reported that the designer worked with materials such as chiffon, leather, cotton, silk, and guipure lace, while the palette was fairly classic (if a little dark for spring), with deep crimson red, ivory, taupe, moody gray, sand, and black rounding out the offerings.

although that might, from the sound of it, suggest a boring collection, i’d argue that it was anything but, with the designer for the first time since i’ve known him appearing firmly and truly in command of his skills, and seeming to want to emphasize his impressive materials, tailoring, and draping skills in lieu of playing visual tricks with loud patterns, glitter, and kazoos, and some seem to prefer when they’ve not got the design chops to pull of a quietly impressive show such as this one.  and so, as cosmopolitan noted, the (trans.) “(d)resses are feminine and have loose silhouettes, with an emphasis on a narrow waist.”

the architectural dresses were the main story for the day, although mr. tskvitinidze did also venture—albeit a very little bit—into some separates, and of these, the kazakh website yvision opined that the (trans.) “(s)lacks allow freedom of movement, and in combination with coarse shoes create a feminine silhouette.” i’m not entirely sure what they’re saying about those shoes (which seemed to me rather ladylike platform black pumps), and if i’m entirely honest, i’ll admit to preferring the dresses, which seemed a little more special (and i didn’t like the—ahem—sort of boyish and slightly baggy long-sleeved shirt and lapel-ed vest that he paired one of the pairs of trousers with, but whatever, all the same, they were very decent and classic black pants (that no doubt most girls want/need in their closets).

finally, we’ll hear from the blog anobano, which i liked for its cheer (if not grammar), announcing that the range “was really fabulous mix of strong and at the same time very refined…The collection was detailed with peplums and formidable shapes. Almost each model was matched with handmade necklaces. High waist and mid size of skirts and dresses are the very best way to present your body, shapes fabulously [sic]…Contrast in colors that were focused on the waist made the silhouette of dresses more interesting and delicate. Details was minimized which is the key of good looks.  Shoes was [sic] in the style of loafers but presented it as pointed-toe heel [sic].” so i’m glad we all agree, and there’s something particularly exciting when a sort of ‘meh’ designer graduates into one of an event’s ‘must-see’ sorts, non? (see additional show images at mini kazakhstan blog)

(enjoy the collection video here)

updated: with new images