ukrainian fashion week: aleksey zalevskiy

(images via ufw)

so quite honestly, i kind of have mixed feelings about this one, but then, what are you going to do? while in the past (see s/s 2011, s/s 2012, a/w 2012) i’ve acknowledged that, er, shall we say, conceptual designer aleksey zalevskiy (Алексей Залевский) has had his brilliant moments while presenting his wares at kiev’s ukrainian fashion week, but then, there too are those times i kind of get that feeling he’s just trying to be weird for the sake of it, with less actual meaning behind the images than i like to see from designers trying to push the sartorial boundaries.

right, so. for the upcoming a/w 2013 season, though i’ll certainly not deny there were some blatant moments of silliness, i’ll all the same acknowledge that there were definitely some other, decent exits from the designer, who really did appear to be trying to balance the two dueling sides of himself. but that didn’t mean he didn’t try to go, like, full-on vivienne westwood, with his models emerging along a runway strewn with what looked to be shipping boxes and their internal packing debris, the ukrainian site like arguing that (trans.) “(t)hus the designer paid attention to environmental issues.” oh, sigh. i mean, it’s a decent idea, but why do i feel he’s mostly posturing here?

ahem. anyway, in terms of his inspiration for the clothes, the ukrainian website hochu explained that mr. zalevskiy drew on the paintings of artist gustav klimt, adding that (trans.) “(a)mong the boxes and recycled paper, models were dressed in cardboard wigs: boys and girls showed suits made in Klimt’s characteristic blue and yellow colour scheme. The main emphasis was placed on the prints, based on the works of the artist, and Zalewskiy’s favourite part – the fur jackets and coats. At the end of the show, guests saw a wedding dress made of paper. The designer hinted in his show that things like works of art can be stored in museums, and in dressing rooms at the same time as they clog our space as debris.”

meanwhile, the site ukrainian fashion argued that there was a certain ‘royal’ idea underlying all the rest of the pomp and ceremony, pointing out that materials such as the aforementioned fur, cotton, silk, lace, knitwear, and velvet helped lux-ify the offerings, while as to palette they stated that (trans.) “(o)f the colours, blue can be distinguished clearly and different variations of gray – from silver to mouse.” and sometimes things felt to be clearly flowing here, while at others…just not so much. maybe it was all the interplay of textures and the busy quality going on in a relatively short show, but i found it a little difficult to, like, aesthetically link all of the looks.

anyway, the ufw site related that at least one of the designer’s prints was based on paper (whatever exactly that’s supposed to mean), while the excellent ukrainian blog be in trend was a little more impressed with the theme than i, probing into its depth. and i suppose maybe, like, you can be there (and by all means, go and read their argument!), but as one who is here first and foremost for the clothes, i’m just not sure he didn’t have too much flotsam floating around onstage, while the pieces themselves suffered, because they didn’t have narrow enough focus. to be sure, i loved the more clearly klimt-esque looks, such as a broad-lapeled dark denim-y blue geometric-printed coat, but there weren’t enough of those moments, particularly when some of the others (fur, lacy options) seemed sort of…just tossed on to make more ‘stuff.’ kind of belies the point of the show then, non?

(check out the collection video here)


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