ukrainian fashion week: olena dats

(images via ufw)

right, so. this time around, i’m trying to be smart about things and not hole up all my favourite collections until the end, during which period we may or may not have the ability to get to all of them at length. and this was particularly important for me at the moment, as we’ve just rushed through many, many shows i would have wished to talk more on, so we can finally take some time with the events as they happen!

thus, the news of the moment is that we get to talk about the f/w 2013 olena dats (Олена ДАЦЬ) collection, this designer since our very first encounter with kiev’s ukrainian fashion week having entertained us with her supremely serious press releases and charmed us with her wearable, versatile clothes that at once marry ukrainian tradition with more modernist silhouettes (see f/w 2010, s/s 2011, f/w 2011, s/s 2012, f/w 2012, s/s 2013).

anyway, although i seem to have liked pretty much whatever she was up to in the past (and of course, in the present tense, as well), there’s something about ms. dats’ work in the fall that particularly speaks to me, and the current collection celebrated that which i so love: antiquarian fashion, with plenty of lace and some gorgeous prints (although, as ever, she never really drives her work with pattern, and instead plays the silhouettes up more intensely as a rule).

alors. according to (hold your breath here, we can all be excited!) the designer’s press release on the winter work, “(e)veryone keeps their treasures…For some, it is some kind of little shiny pushpin, found in childhood and later rediscovered as an adult. For some it is a grandmother’s dress, or the mother’s platform shoes. It is especially nice to look through old family photographs where your great-grandmother or great-grandfather looks even greater fashionista than you think you are. Their stories seem to you quite unrealistic. Of course, the most important values ​​are family warmth, love, and that all were healthy. But sometimes it is so joyful to know that somewhere you have hidden that only special dress.”

in other words, as the ufw site perhaps more succinctly summed things up, “Olena Dats was inspired by treasures,” and her general idea was to show us these types of “special dresses in her collection.” interestingly, the site ukrainian fashion argued that overall there was a pervading femme fatale feeling, which i’m not sure i can wholly get down with, but i did agree with their perspective that (trans.) “(t)he colour scheme is dark and secretive: dramatic black, deep purple, turquoise, and the intricate print in brown and beige tones.”

anyway, because this is olena dats, as we all know, the focus is on the dress, but she does a nice job of marrying them all together as a cohesive whole, in lieu of simply tossing out a handful of ideas she likes at the current moment, as well as trying to remember that we all of us need different things, and adjusting silhouettes, lengths, sleeves, necklines, and all of that good stuff accordingly. and in another intriguing analysis, the ukrainian blog be in trend opined that the show was separated into two stories: one of darkness, and one of light, which i suppose we can ultimately agree might be how we compartmentalize our memories, to some extent.

with regards to the textiles, they pointed out that (trans.) “(t)he designer achieved the effect of softness and romanticism through different textures: matte silk, light fabric with a voluminous texture in gold, and a shiny, silk multicoloured print.” there was ultimately a lot here that we could all of us probably read into at a much deeper level, but superficially, we could be rewarded, as well, and i think that’s one of the things that keeps bringing me back, without fail, each season to the atelier of olena dats (enjoy some nice backstage photos at anastasia-basilica).

(watch the fashion show video here)


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