lviv fashion week: olena sloboda

(images via lfw)

so often (especially when we’re facing different alphabets) it can be difficult to tell whether we’ve covered a designer before (and they often change their names slightly, as well), so whilst i was sitting here thinking we were on to yet another new ukrainian designer at lviv fashion week in olena sloboda (Олена Слобода) and her f/w 2013 range…no! shock! we’ve actually seen her at lfw before, back during the s/s 2012 season, though she was just called ‘o.sloboda’ back then, and i’d say she’s got a degree further impishness now (and that’s a good thing, of course).

right, then! so when we saw ms. sloboda last, i’d definitely say she was taking more of her cues from streetwear, but this time around, although she lost the neutral tones and heavy grayscale in favour of a plethora of rainbow hues, i’d tend to argue that in some ways, the designer has grown up tremendously. her cuts, which were strongly architectural, had a degree of playfulness that maybe wasn’t inherent last time around, but they also had a strong undercurrent of confidence, which allowed her to take on a more avant garde palette and prints.

in terms of ms. sloboda’s actual inspiration, while the blog world of men’s fashion announced (appropriately enough) that she (trans.) “drew inspiration from the works of avant-garde artists,” the lfw site picked up and expanded on this notion, adding that “(a)ccording to the designer, avant garde characteristics of the collection were manifested through the use of extraordinary designs, straight and geometric silhouettes, untypical combination of elements, contrasts of textures, asymmetrical details and exclusive accessories.”

then, as a final critical thought, we heard the russian site ria moda explaining that (trans.) “(w)ith the ornamentation of her fabrics, the designer avoided using pictorial décor and instead used abstract and geometric forms of both straight and circular lines.” and while to the naked eye certainly this could appear quite splashy (and, to be sure, was playful and delightful in its way), i’d say all the same there was a tremendous amount of control going beneath the surface, in that she never allowed her prints to overwhelm her cuts or the other way ’round, and carefully practiced for the complementary aspects of both, so that there was a studied degree of whimsy.

anyway, if (i think) last time around, one of my biggest complaints was that there wasn’t enough variety in the execution of the range, i’d say to a certain degree, the designer still struggled with that concept, and there were too many of the same type of stripey cropped trousers, for instance. and ditto to the constructed white tops and the asymmetrical structural black-and-white jackets. it was a short show, and yet, there were a few too many items that held more similarities than differences with the others, and it does leave one wondering how she’d manage to flesh out, like, a whole 30 or 40-exit program. but! maybe that’s all in good time and we can merely rely on this for a start. after all, she’s come far, and if she doesn’t appear off the face of the lfw map, then i’ll certainly be interested to see what she’ll execute in the seasons to come.

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