ukrainian fashion week: vladimir podolyan

(images via ufw)

so the news is that, unlike many of the ukrainian labels which opt has been following with some regularity over the seasons, we’ve checked in now and again (see a/w 2011 & s/s 2013) with designer vladimir podolyan (Владимир Подолян), but i’ll admit i didn’t find his work all that memorable–until today. for his a/w 2013 presentation at ukrainian fashion week in kiev, i finally feel as though he let go of the schlumpy, grungy aesthetic in favour of the more minimalist-leaning vibe of many of his peers.

anyway, that doesn’t mean the designer is able to grasp onto full-on, say, svetlana bevza or christina bobkova territory, but he’s trying, and certainly deserves some measure of credit for that, at least. and he was definitely trying, also, for a thought-provoking display, with the ufw site explaining that the “collection was inspired by ‘The Blue Bird‘ – philosophical fairy play by Maurice Maeterlinck telling a story of two children in search of a Blue Bird – metaphor for happiness. Reality and fantasy are entangled in Podolyan’s collection. His clothing is simple, yet complex, multi-layered as if put together not by human will or hand, but through an act of magic.”

carrying on with this concept somewhat was the russian site korrespondent, quoting the atelier in their artist’s statement as relating that (trans.) “(t)he collection of wonderful intertwined images is a strange mixture of reality and fantasy. The simplest and [most] multifaceted images, multiple layers of magic, <….>, Day by Day, Night Light wins, but at the end of the day, night absorbs light. The eternal struggle between Light and Darkness. And so it will be up to the end of time, because that’s destiny.”

if you find all of that a little pretentious for describing what amounts to classically-coloured updated basics, i’m kind of with you in some senses, but maybe we can just try to appreciate the spectacle? anyway, it was staged with a lot of pomp, fake snow, and the like, which the russian site fashiony details, as the ukrainian website hochu pointed out that there was supposed to be some sense of greek tragedy (or something) in the clothes themselves, while the blog be in trend also called attention to the allusion to antonio vivaldi‘s the four seasons, and maybe also some 18th century drama (and possibly a little bit of la bohème, as well).

in the end, the site ukrainian fashion did a rather nice job of summing up all the distinct references to the times to day, seasons, etc. in the pieces, as they detailed how (trans.) “‘Night’ [pieces] in the collection were many: black architecturally cut skirts, robes, flared pants, and long vesst. One of the central images of the collection was a a white gown as a symbol of ‘Time’, wide,and  contrasting with the black skirt, as an obvious struggle ‘between light and darkness’…Certain dresses, tunics reminiscent of Greek goddesses, refer to the ‘Sahara’ – here we see the juxtaposition of light and coarse materials, flowing silhouettes with vertical slashes…and bows. And finally, the ‘Water’ – a dress with a transparent, padded metallic jacket.” so that was interesting, and it was deep, but if you didn’t want to look that much further, you didn’t have to either, and i’m guessing that, for a lot of kids, this will be the appeal (see additional runway images at vogue & anastasia-basilica).

(watch the full collection video here)

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