Kyiv Art and Fashion Days commenced with the goal of establishing Kyiv’s position as an innovative and exciting destination in the art world. Four days of art and design later and not only has the festival achieved this, they have also begun to establish their niche; Kyiv is a city of individualism. With designers and artists ranging from traditional to maverick, the festival showcased a multitude of unique perspectives, which we will round up now.
Gudu went full circle with this collection inspired by the streets of the city. By taking familiar garments and revamping them, the label created a collection that combines comfort and individuality. Trench coats are no longer inconspicuous; Gudu ruches the sleeves with drawstrings and replaces the camel fabric with bright metallic patchwork. The suit is also given a face-lift, with cutouts that create shape and extra large hemlines that fold over. Uniform is no longer uniform.
Combining femininity with boldness, Artemklimchuk created an eclectic collection representative of the present. Sheer pale dresses delicately embroidered with sequins that trail across the floor are followed by knit co-ords in eye-catching colours that command attention. Artemklimchuk designed this collection with a fantasy of a sensual world with total freedom in mind, and the label certainly took us there.
Inspired by the mountains of designer Irakli Rusadze’s native Georgia, Situationist‘s presentation consisted of cosmopolitan coats and elegant dress — perhaps less apt for high altitudes. A highlight was a caped suede coat with pocket flaps that continue beyond the shoulder; its mountain origins are perceivable, yet the coat remains innately glamorous.
Bobkova’s minimalism was a change of pace from the rest of the festival. Ease was the collection’s priority with clean silhouettes, monochromatic looks and fluid fabrics that move with the body. The original prints by Ukrainian artist Notuko were laid bare with a white shirt as the canvas, ensuring the collection remained cohesive.
Representing the underrepresented, The Fungus brought together LGBTQ+ artists to create Anti-Fashion — an exhibit reflecting on the appropriation of Queer style by dominant culture. The message between the artists was similar; it was one of angst and pent up fury. Designer Aka Prodiashvili tackled the subject in earnest with a pink ball gown spray painted with words disparaging ‘culture’. Fashion brand God Era’s execution was cryptic, presenting I Hear Every Thought. I See Every Shadow, a pair of glossy black ears inspired by the Rainbow Portrait of Elizabeth I, who ruled through the patriarchy, which featured a dress decorated with eyes and ears.
Kyiv-based fashion photographer Julie Poly presented Hrishnysia, the first art zine in Ukraine to focus on erotica. The second issue will feature the work of several photographers, artists and a sexologist among others chosen by Poly, and will orient itself around tattoos. Quite fittingly, the zines presentation combined pole dancing and tattoo artists — ending the week with the bang it deserved.
words. Lucy Vipond