In 2022, a Ukrainian collective called "Kalush Orchestra" won Eurovision, so in 2023 the show should have taken place in Ukraine.
However, due to the full-scale invasion by Russia and the corresponding security risks, Ukraine was unable to host the competition in its territory. The draw determined the host city to be Liverpool, Great Britain.
Graham Norton, as usual, was set to be one of the presenters of the show. As an homage to Ukraine, his stylist Lindsay McLean wanted to see the work of Ukrainian artists among the presenter's costumes. She discovered the LUVi brand via Instagram.
LuVi is a Ukrainian luxury clothing brand founded in 2006 in Kyiv by Lyudmila Sedlyar and Victoria Zagrafova. A few years after its debut at Ukrainian Fashion Week, the brand moved away from the model of seasonal collections to concentrate on individual bespoke work with television and show business stars.
In 2023, LuVi turned to ready-to-wear drops and presented the SS23 collection.
When discussing the process, the direct speech of Victoria Zagrafova and Lyudmila Sedlyar stated, "Graham Norton's stylist contacted us on Instagram and offered to design one of his looks for Eurovision. Since we work a lot with Ukrainian embroidery, we suggested decorating the jacket based on Borschiv embroidery (a type of embroidery that originated and was developed in the Ternopil region in Western Ukraine).
The first difficult question was the fabric: we considered velvet, sequins, and embroidery on smooth fabric. The choice was also complicated because the communication took place exclusively online: after all, the screen conveys only a part of how the material works.
Among the many options, Lindsay chose gold embroidery on black. To make the pattern shimmer, we worked with lurex thread and beads. Embroidered with a half cross and combined with gold micro-glass thread - due to the complexity of the handiwork, this suit was embroidered when disassembled, in the process of sewing. This work took two embroiderers two weeks to complete.
There were no try-ons — instead, there were Zoom calls and numerous photos. Even if we weren't separated by borders, it would have been difficult to make proper fittings, as Mr. Norton has such a tight schedule. So it was decided to have one of his existing jackets sent to Ukraine and design ours based on his measurements.
We enjoyed this collaboration - we are glad that Lindsay chose us based on what we do. It was also a huge responsibility for her – to create a piece online with a brand that you can see only via digital means.
She followed the process in detail and was actively involved in the decision-making. We are delighted that she and Graham are as genuinely pleased with the result as we are".
Edited by Emily Duff
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