Fashion at Ukraine in 1914 – 1920

Beautiful_Sunflowers_Wallpapers_laba.wsIn the early twentieth century fashion at Ukrainian lands developed in the context of European trends, which vividly discussed on the pages of Kiev and Lviv, Kharkiv and Odessa newspapers and magazines. But the name “Ukraine” used only to the territory when : Eastern Ukraine was a part of Russia and Westen – a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The events of First World War changed the map of Ukraine and brought Ukrainians a lot of trouble.

The First World War lasted from 1914 till 1918. But in Ukraine fights and riots delayed longer and brought numerous casualties, significant political changes and economic losses. Ukraine became the center of territorial violations by the warring parties: Russia, Austria-Hungary, Poland and Germany – all wanted to grab a piece of our land.

Already in 1914 hostilities took place in Galicia. They launched an offensive Russian army, which occupied Lviv, Chernivtsi, Przemysl and other cities. In 1915 the German counteroffensive and Austro-Hungarian troops pushed Russia, but in early 1916, Russia won again.

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1917, due to the Bolshevist revolution in St. Petersburg, Kyiv Central Council proclaimed the establishment of the Ukrainian People’s Republic on the territories, where Ukrainians constitute the majority.

The newspaper “New Council” then published an article “Who is with them”, where the author wrote about the Bolsheviks: “They destroyed churches – historical monuments. Shed the blood of their brethren. Shot in innocent. They beat, abused and tortured prisoners, raped women. Arrested and beat children. Keep people in prisons, nowhere involved, broke freedom of speech, plundered people’s property, unleashed thieves and robbers. Old Kyiv and glorious scene made wild pitch battlefield and, worst of all, – that might cry again on gun streets of Kyiv, and then what will be the heart of Ukraine is scary to thought… “.

1918 in Galicia adopted the manifesto of independence and the creation of Western Ukrainian People’s Republic in Galicia, Bukovina and Transcarpathia (although the real power has not been extended or the entire eastern Galicia or in Transcarpathia). But very soon the Polish troops took Lviv. In late 1918, the Romanian troops entered Chernivets, and in early 1919 Uzhgorod was conquered by Czechoslovak army.

In Kiev, during thirty-six months, from March 1917 to June 1920, the government has changed fourteen times. Some of the former Kyiv coups were practically bloodless, but others cost the lives of many innocent peoples.1391367571_21

The most significant event of this period was the announcement of the Universal of Ukraine’s unity. But in the end, the Bolsheviks occupied Kyiv. They nationalized private enterprises, including small handicraft shops. Life was under the jurisdiction of the Soviet institutions. Economic, and indeed no prosperity to no avail. Part of the population, unmet new regime, emigrated and Ukraine has lost many prominent scientists, artists, and entrepreneurs. Those, who resigned ahead, waited seven decades of Soviet rule, for which fashion was the old bourgeois relic. 139136753811 13913676003

But even that time, despite the terrible events and circumstanses, people had to dress and woman want to look beautiful. Dresses made from curtains, mattress covers, altered dresses from grandmother’s chest, facelift things.

In “Life of Mikhail Bulgakov” T.Lappa recalls: “I went in my single black dress with crepe de chine and panne: altered my former, last year’s coats and skirt.

Forced dull, “dirty” colors, crumpled textures and bagful silhouettes were in vogue then. Any trim or decoration has perceived like a “bourgeois burp” and was condemned.

At the same time in post-war Europe gaining momentum “Golden Twenties” – roared jazz, women cuts their hair, shorted skirts, embroidered their dresses with beads and danced, danced, danced …1920 хрещатик1

Sincerely Yours

Myroslav Melnyk )

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The Torture Chamber of Alexander McQueen

alexander_mcqueen03Alexander McQueen was the greatest fashion creative artist at 1990 – 2010. 2010 he committed suicide, at forty, in London. His life was not easy and his work was a form of confession.

In his childhood Alexander saw his older sister’s rape. He had realized very young that he was a gay. His generation was frightened of AIDS: sex and death they saw in the same bed. All this impressed him too much. McQueen was inspired by the things, that most of us try to avoid: evil, rape, death, victims, tragical moments of Scotland’s history. His master’s-degree collection entitled «Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims» (1992). And it was only the beginning…

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There is no better designer then nature.

Alexander McQueen


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It is important to look at death because it is a part of life. It is a sad thing, melancholy but romantic at the same time. It is the end of a cycle – everything has to end. The cycle of life is positive because it gives room for new things.

When I’m dead and gone, people will know that the twenty-first century was started by Alexander McQueen.

Alexander McQueen

Sincerely Yours

Myroslav Melnyk )

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CREATIVE WREATHS

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The new generation of Ukrainian designers

DSC_9360The last day at Ukrainian Fashion Week was the New Generation’s Day. Of course there was a risk that nobody comes to see unknown designers, that they show a trifle and spoil positive impression from all the fashion week. But talent of young Ukrainian designers overcame all fears and surpassed even my most optimistic expectations

New designers shows on the catwalk of Ukrainian Fashion Week is very important not only for the future career of individuals, but also for the whole Ukrainian fashion. It’s like some kind of litmus, which indicates what forms the worldview of young people, haw good is designer education at Ukraine and what prospects will have Ukrainian Fashion tomorrow.

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Collection ss-2015 by SVITLO is more about Ukrainian tradition, then about next summer fashion trends. But look at their honour, their adoration of Ukrainian authenticity! And it is not exploitation of underlined love for Ukraine in modern tough times – it’s their style, the DNA that was formed during five years.VBO3742

DSC_9332The artist Marina Rybalko successfully debuted last year at MBKFD. But at Ukrainian Fashion Week the collection RYBALKO was a very pleasant discovery for me: forms, materials, the combination of textures and colours, prints and accessories – all that working together to create an integrated clear image.VBO4520

_VBO4387LARA QUINT has also taken part in Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days and won the Be Next competition in Georgia. The designer is already known for her conceptual and ironic vision of fashion, which once again was proved in collection ss-2015 «ESC». I was most amused by handbags, which looks like the computer keys.LARA-QUINT-SS2015-3

IMG_20141019_203843YANA CHERVINSKA covered the Ukrainian Fashion Week Spring-Summer 2015 wit her collection “Tea Party” – very beautiful and interesting stylisation of Lewis Carroll’s characters, led by the Mad Hatter. Bright images was supplemented mainly with funny slippers that looked a very witty ironic accent.

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FF_Yana_CHERVINSKA_SS2015-8Sincerely Your’s,

Myroslav Melnyk )

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SVITLO – the light of Ukrainian traditions

DSC_0082Design studio SVITLO was created by Svetlana Kubrak and Natalya Shevchuk in 2011. Studio located in Kiev and manufacture the very special clothing and accessories, based on traditional Ukrainian culture. Designers  adapt ethno through the prism of fashion trends, comfortable forms and ecological materials.

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10433068_700663716684254_1878224935121635844_nEach product of SVITLO is a result of handicraft, full of love and mental light. Designers believe, that when things are embroidered with a soul, they radiate  the light. Everything they make, they make it like for themselves or like for God. 902999_628874777196482_46920662237659453_o

SVITLONowadays goods by SVITLO are very fashionable in Ukraine, but designers understand, that  fashion is fleeting. There are  mountains of trendy clothing, that loses it’s attraction each new season. So they make things that you can leave to your children or even grandchildren. They also make a necklaces with the beads from your mother’s necklace. Even more – almost every thing from SVITLO has some vintage items. So every thing is unique and it’s very precious in the world of fashion, which is so full of cheap Chinese merchandise.

Sincerely Your’s,

Myroslav Melnyk )

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FASHION-SUPREMATISM

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There are a lot of arts, but art of creation is the only one.

Suprematism is the primacy of pure feeling in creative art.

Kazimir Malevich

The term “Suprematism” refers to an abstract art, based upon “the supremacy of pure artistic feeling” instead of visual depiction of objects. It focuses on basic geometric forms, painted in a limited range of colours.

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Suprematism as an art movement, was founded around 1913 – 1915 by soviet painter Kazimir Malevich (who was born to a Polish family near Kiev). The origin of suprematism was cubo-futurist art movement, which proliferate new artistic forms in painting, poetry and theatre as well as a revival of interest in the traditional folk art of Ukraine and Russia.

Malevich writes:

Art no longer cares to serve the state and religion, it no longer wishes to illustrate the history of manners, it wants to have nothing further to do with the object, as such, and believes that it can exist, in and for itself, without “things”.

So, Suprematism does not embrace a humanist philosophy which places man at the center of the universe. It transmits of what for Malevich was the world’s only true reality – the absolute non-objectivity. Although Malevich himself announced the end of Suprematism in 1922, we can see the signs Suprematism in different kinds of art-practices till nowadays.  Moreover, in 1923, Kazimir Malevich designed the project of a «suprematist» dress.

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Suprematism-inspired collections was showed by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac (Autumn/Winter 1992-1993), Martine Sitbon (Spring/Summer 1998, Spring/Summer 2008), Wunderkind (Fall/Winter 2009-2010),  Peter Pilotto (Fall/Winter 2011-2012), Roksanda Ilincic (Resort 2013), Marni (Spring/Summer 2014) and many others.221

2711-450x4506klein1 marni-spring-summer-2014-12 mystic_suprematism_by_kazimir_malevich_tees-rfe3bc2629584407399cc8f42617ca5e9_va6lr_324 Stella Tennant for Vogue Paris December 1997 by Michael Thompson

In Ukrainian fashion also was a lot of collections, inspired by Malevich’s art: Victor Anisimov (2003),  Fedor Vozianov (2008), Yasya Minochkina (Fall/Winter 2014), Polina Veller (2014).

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Sincerely Your’s,

Myroslav Melnyk )

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UKRAINIAN BEST FASHION AWARDS 2014

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On September 9 the 5th Ceremony of the BEST FASHION AWARDS in Ukraine was held.

The BEST FASHION AWARDS are the only professional awards in Ukrainian fashion. It was started by Ukrainian Fashion Week at 2010 for and awarding the achievements of fashion designers and public leaders, who create a positive international image of the Ukraine.

The BEST FASHION AWARDS are determined every year –  a group of Experts evaluate collections of two fashion seasons. This year I was the one of 39 Experts: journalists, fashion critics, buyers and of public leaders. For me it was great honor and great responsibility. The only point of my choice, that coincided with the objective opinion of most experts, was the “Best Menswear Designer”: when I saw the F/W 2014-2015 collection of SASHA KANEVSKIY, I want to have every piece of it in my wardrobe.

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The most important nomination – “Breakthrough of the year” – won young and very talented IVAN FROLOV.

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The BEST FASHION AWARD “For Significant Contribution into Development of Ukrainian Fashion” quite deservedly got KATYA OSADCHA – one of the best TV-reporters in Ukraine, who represent our country all around the world.

Катя Осадча

I heartily hope that Ukraine will be in peace and prosperity, that Ukrainian fashion will develop and that next BEST FASHION AWARDS will reveal many new fashion talents.

Sincerely Your’s,

Myroslav Melnyk )

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Fashion and style, fashion theory & hystory