ukrainian fashion week: elena burba

(images via ufw)

it’s interesting to me the way in which kiev’s ukrainian fashion week seems to be so clearly divisible into three types of show–the clean/modern/minimalist presentation, which values simplicity of form and tailoring above all; the avant garde creations, which usually include the newcomers trying to make an immediate splash with their boundary-pushing (don’t they know such a thing rarely occurs in fashion?); and those prettyprettypretty types of collections that strive for nothing more than to make their girl look good as she frolicks about her day, usually with some type of a charming floral print and some flippish/flirty elements occurring with some regularity.

right, then. so with that, i believe it’s immediately clear to which group elena burba (Елена Бурба) belongs, and although opt has only been following her work a few scant seasons (see f/w 2012 & s/s 2013), from what i can tell, she’s firmly ensconced in this camp, well beyond merely the f/w 2013 season. there’s nothing wrong with that, though, as i’m forever arguing that we desperately need more designers to address the everyday in a woman’s life, however much fun it might be to make the special occasion/bridal/sex/look-at-me/artisan-style looks.

but then, there’s a slight rub in that last notion, if only because while ms. burba could definitely have made her fall range a more ‘day-to-day’-style affair, she focused a lot more on the fanciful/evening-style looks than i’d have wished her to, and the result was a collection that felt too top-heavy on the formal-type pieces that maybe, thanks to the kind of cutesy prints, didn’t quite ring in as elegant as they should have, given the silhouettes, and probably would have been a lot happier (and made us likewise happy) if they’d been cut down into little day dresses and possibly some suiting-type separates.

ah, well, i think she’s rather young, and still learning, and for that we ought give her something, non? anyway, we should probably talk details, and so with that, according to the ufw site, the “collection is called ‘Made in the shade’ and is inspired by the night New York [sic], New York lights and Rolling Stones. The designer offered vast trousers, one-piece suits and luxurious maxi dresses. The collection is created in diverse variations of blue accentuated with red and wine-red.” there was a definite seventies flavour, and ukrainian fashion played up on this, adding that (trans.) “(t)he heroine of the collection is a bohemian, beautiful, creative girl who is the object of admiration, desire and emulation.”

elsewhere, perhaps (? maybe?) catching up on what i was saying above, the ukrainian blog fashion blog (yeah, creative naming, right?) reflected that (trans.) “(a)s always in her show, Elena Burba [featured] many long skirts flowing to the floor. The distinctive detail was a fairly wide belt that fits tightly around the waist and emphasizes it. This season, it was supplemented by numerous ruffles in the skirt silhouette.” anyway, lady tochka noted that the designer’s typical client is usually in the 35-40 age range, and although i guess that can help explain some of the youthful vibe, it doesn’t help with the lack of workwear, which seemed to largely be confined to maybe a few pairs of the high-waisted trousers, and some of the flouncy printed frocks–if worn with a sweater or jacket, of course.

finally, the ukrainian blog be in trend spent much of their time lauding the designer, noting that there were some parallels more to slavic culture than new york, and while i could tend to agree (or at least say the range bridges the gap nicely), i’d like to also step out of my complaints for a moment to congratulate the designer on a collection well executed–in form, at least. the tailoring and cuts were precise and lovely, and the fabric choices were exceptional, such as the long-sleeved magenta gown with a few delicate drapes at the sculpted waistline, which reminded me a lot of what valentino has been doing of late, and also maybe of roksanda ilincic’s s/s 2012 show. it was magnificent. now if only she could have made a daytime version….

(check out the full runway show video here)

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