ukrainian fashion week: christina bobkova

(images via ufw)

well, swell. are you ready children? we’re finally ready to bid adieu to the fall season of kiev’s ukrainian fashion week, and with it (as often feels like the right thing to do), we’re closing things out with the a/w 2013 range one of my personal favourite designers (not just in kiev, but basically anywhere), christina bobkova (Кристина Бобкова), whose amazing-amazing work (see s/s 2011, a/w 2011, s/s 2012, a/w 2012, s/s 2013) has long entertained and impressed us.

right, then. so if last season (especially when compared to the prior spring and fall ranges) felt like the designer was a little bit ‘off’ in her game, then i’m pleased to proclaim that for the upcoming winter, she was fully back to what she does best–minimalism with a little bit of a darker, almost punky edge that has more than its share of rick owens (as i always say) running through its veins. but interestingly enough, this season felt like a certain dose of jil sander was there, as well, with the same shade of goldfish orange sashaying its way down the catwalk as was seen in the german designer’s a/w 2013 show in milan.

anyway, this time around, interpretations of the inspiration were slightly varying, depending upon the site, with the ufw site, for example, declaring that “Christina Bobkova was inspired by traditional Ukrainian village menswear…[the] collection offers national-style but ‘cosmopolitized’ and contemporary shirts, coats, dresses and belts,” which, first of all, i think we can basically agree on (and certainly see coming out of this particular designer).

however, in a differing vein, the ukrainian fashion blog argued the fall range (trans.) “was inspired by the peasant costume, not a regional variation, and the prototype of the peasant costume in general…The basis of the cut and silhouette formed the traditional peasant costume of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, things [such as] shirts, plain shirts, coats and scrolls, simple belted dresses with pleats.”

carrying on, interestingly enough, they added that (again, trans.) “(t)he main colours of the collection also remind us of the simple technology of whitening and dyeing used in everyday clothes: milk, beige, gray and black shades. Their background stands in deep blue and bright orange,” as the ukrainian site story related that the designer worked with such textiles as blended wool, suede, chamois, leather, cotton, silk, and cashmere.

“Soft cashmere sweaters, pullovers and dresses are combined with loose trousers,” (trans.) they pointed out, although if we’re being honest with ourselves, we can probably admit this is something of a given chez bobkova, but i’m definitely not complaining, either. anyway, reflecting that bermuda shorts were also a big turn for the designer, the ukrainian site hochu commented that the (trans.) “designer combines androgynous styles with a sophisticated and fashionable feminine conciseness.”

elsewhere, whereas a lot of sites wanted to crow about the shoes and accessories (and i will admit the designer’s footwear game is looking up from seasons past), i was and will probably always remain more fixated on the clothes. anyway, rather interestingly, lady tch noted that this time around (trans.), “(p)articular attention is paid to the technology of the ‘hidden seam’, which she completely handmade.” i guess we’re supposed to take that as some of the complexity of the pattern draping and cuts, which is something, coincidentally enough (or not) that mr. owens also specializes in, although i’d say that the aforementioned ms. sander and helmut lang’s old-school techniques certainly informed her work for fall, as well.

in other words, though at times i suppose the pieces seemed simple, we were meant to look closer, and see the way they curved, or had unexpected details given to what were otherwise basically classic staples. and the ukrainian blog be in trend argued that (trans.) “(d)espite the fact that the weight of the collection was of images with feminine dresses and skirts, the hair of the models, the direct line of clothes, and lots of pants and geometric elements lent the collection a male image, coupled with the blurred boundaries of the sexes.”

but! i think we’re all aware that like some of the great minimalists, the designer wants to challenged our preconceived notions, and to shake things up for us a little bit, all the while casually sliding in her clothes in their fairly neutral shades, and their fairly wardrobe-friendly aesthetics. it’s what makes her one of the more interesting designers out there, to my mind, and each season when we take a look, i get to feel all the more excited that we practically have her to ourselves, much as i would like her to get the global recognition she no doubt deserves and would likely get, if she only moved her show to paris (enjoy additional catwalk images at vogue).

(watch the full fashion show video here)

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