by Tanvi Shah
On Saturday, February 18, as part of London Fashion Week, a fashion show was held to commemorate the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As a result of the war in Ukraine, more than 130,000 Ukrainians moved to the United Kingdom, many of whom live in London and work in the fashion, beauty, and related industries.
A community that established itself within no less than four months to be a part of London Fashion Week as a platform for the Ukrainian artists and creators to flourish in the United Kingdom. This remarkable group of people was brought together by Oleksandr Volkov, PR expert with 15 years of experience. The fashion community came together to support the people of Ukraine and give them a platform to showcase their talents.
The SVITLO fashion show was both beautiful and culturally significant. Drawing inspiration from antique embroidery, the collection seamlessly blended old and new, resulting in a modern and authentic interpretation. The context in which this show was created made it even more remarkable. SVITLO brought their collection to London during the Russian attack on Ukraine, having previously been seen in Poland and Belgium. It was a powerful declaration of tenacity and fortitude in the face of adversity. The embroidery itself was stunning, with intricate patterns and vibrant colours that reflected Ukraine's rich cultural heritage. It was clear that SVITLO had not only paid homage to this heritage, but had also succeeded in making it relevant to contemporary fashion.
As a fashion designer, I was impressed not only by the design quality, but also by the brand's commitment to giving back. SVITLO is an official volunteer of the Reliable Country Charitable Foundation, with 20% of sales benefiting Ukraine's Armed Forces. This is a brand that not only makes beautiful clothing, but also uses its platform to make a positive difference in the world.
Overall, the SVITLO fashion show was a breath-taking display of creativity, culture, and tenacity. It was an honour to be a part of such an important collection and to be a part of a fashion industry that values beauty and authenticity as much as philanthropy and social responsibility.
Marta Holod's headwear designs stood out at the Ukraine in the UK show during London Fashion Week. The designer's experimental approach to form was on full display, highlighting her one-of-a-kind ability to blend complexity and ambiguity.
Marta's designs demonstrate her commitment to innovation and functionality. Her signature shapes are captivating as well as wearable, with meticulous craftsmanship that defies stereotypes and transcends time. Marta's designs are complex and smart in structure and aesthetics, combining sophistication with street sensibilities. Marta herself visualises and executes each design, demonstrating that each piece is created with passion and expertise. Her collaborations with other designers resulted in hats worn by international and local celebrities alike, including Anna Dello Russo and Sarah Jessica Parker, gaining the approval of renowned milliner Philip Treacy.
Marta's unwavering dedication to preserving her distinct identity shines through in her designs. She focuses on lifestyle concepts that prioritise innovation, sustainability, and longevity, with a strong emphasis on experimental craftsmanship and relationships between people and objects. Her designs are not only visually stunning, but also deeply meaningful. They demonstrate her commitment to her craft and her desire to make a positive impact on the fashion industry through innovative design practises.
I had the pleasure of discovering KOMASHNYA, an exclusive clothing and accessories brand created by Ukrainian designers Maxim and Margarita Komashnya. Established since 2012, the brand has become a resident of Ukrainian Fashion Week since 2015 and was even chosen as the official designer for Ukraine at Eurovision 2017.
I was impressed to learn that KOMASHNYA has dressed a number of local and international celebrities, including Artem Pivovarov, MONATIK, and Verka Serduchka show ballet. They've also created corporate styles for well-known companies like ACER and KYIVSTAR. The brand's versatility doesn't stop there, as they've even developed their own perfume line, "UNO", designed for couples and suitable for both men and women. In addition to their main brand, KOMASHNYA has expanded with two additional brands: TATAWEAR by Komashnya, which specializes in swimwear, sportswear, and home wear for women, and DA! BRO, which offers stylish and affordable casual wear with a message. I was impressed by the brand's versatility and innovative approach to fashion.
KOMASHNYA's fashion show featured a range of high-functionality street wear with a distinctive and eye-catching style. The use of camouflage prints and vibrant colours created a striking and stylized look. The pieces are gender neutral and thus unbiased. The standout aspect of the show, however, was the eye-catching styling and head-covering accessories, which added a unique touch to the collection. Overall, KOMASHNYA's collection showcased an innovative and distinctive approach to street wear fashion that is sure to catch the attention of fashion enthusiasts.
The audience was in awe at the LA MUSA fashion show because the brand showed how to dress a woman's body like art. Ksyusha Danicheva, the company's founder and a graduate of Milan's prestigious Marangoni University, envisions a sustainable future in which products are made with love and great consideration for people and the environment. The brand's zero-waste production and use of organic and recycled materials, as well as their commitment to not using any materials derived from animals, demonstrate this sustainability pillar.
The concept that every woman is a distinct muse who inspires and shares her energy with the world is emphasized in the global name of the company itself, LA MUSA. The brand's logo, which features a meticulously drawn peony flower, a symbol of love and honour, with lines of varying weights, further exemplified this contemporary take on the classical Greek mythological figure. The subtle scent of the peony evokes feelings of inspiration and creativity that are central to the LA MUSA brand, while the delicate bloom of the peony represents the natural tenderness and softness of a woman.
The collection's carefully crafted colour scheme was influenced by Renaissance paintings' skin tones and the symbolism of bees and insects, which symbolizes the inexhaustible flow of life, eternal youth, and immortality. Additionally, the brand used the breath-taking colours of the paintings to evoke a sense of freshness and anticipation for upcoming events. The end result is a pleasing palette of soft pastel tones that bring feelings of peace, love, and kindness to the viewer. The corsets and the red hand gloves were the statement pieces.
The LA MUSA collection features original designs that are influenced by art and emphasizes feminine lines and a woman's individuality. The pieces were made with care from sustainable materials, and the brand's commitment to sustainability can be seen in every step of the production process. The designs were elegant and feminine with a strong emphasis on natural lines. The collection featured dresses, blouses, skirts, and pants with intricate patterns and one-of-a-kind designs that are sure to pique the interest of any art lover.
The UA in Uk Community team is extremely appreciative of The British Fashion Council's tremendous trust in the new community and the chance to introduce Ukrainian designers to British fashion experts. 120 guests from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Japan, China, Hong Kong, France, Australia, Sweden, Poland, and Turkey attended.
India Quinn, director of brand partnerships at Vogue Business, Derv Gernon, head of events at Vogue Business, Ukrainian producer/director Ksenia Bugrimova (The Bachelor, The Four), Jessica Edwards, head of media success at Web Summit, and Zoe Keane, head of fashion at Web Summit, were among the guests. Dawn Hung, contributing editor at Ming Pao Daily Mariia Vynogradova, popular Ukrainian radio and television presenter, host of many events from schedule Ukrainian Fashion The documentary series "Home for Ukraine" is about famous British hosts and refugees from Ukraine. Andrew Castle, a former tennis player and Wimbledon tournament commentator, and Yulia Ivanova, a refugee who escaped from Mariupol, are the primary protagonists of the first series.
Special mention to the British Botanical jewellery designer Phoebe Walsh who was there to support the designers.
They also offer to observe a moment of silence in honor of everyone who lost their lives in this terrible war in the modern world on the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.