Vogue Called Ukrainian Vyshyvanka The Hottest Trend
Ukraine has been in the forefront of international thought a lot recently, but its reach has extended far beyond the front page—whether you were aware or not, the Ukrainian influence has fully arrived in our closets.
The sudden rise and appreciation of Ukrainian traditional dress on an international level can be credited to Vita Kin, the designer of the eponymous Vita Kin, who uses the name for the traditional Ukrainian blouse, a vyshyvanka, in her label’s Instagram handle. Recently, the designer has become an international sensation, with local fashion fixtures like Asya Mkhitaryan wearing the designer’s version of a zhupan (a traditional Ukrainian jacket) to Paris Fashion Week, while street style stars like Anna Dello Russo and Leandra Medine are taking the bucolic style from the countryside onto Western asphalt.
“Ukrainians have a unique method of decorating clothing with embroidery, and that’s always impressed me,” says Kin about her designs via email. “I adapted this ancient heritage into a modern context, adding a seventies vibe, when clothing was more relaxed and friendly. It’s a bohemian eccentricity in a very luxe execution.” That execution is her distinctly modern translations of the straight-from-the-village vyshyvanka in shades of marmalade with crude scenes of birds and flowers in a thigh-skimming sky blue dress, or in a full length frock replete with Gzhel style embroidery soon to be sold on an international platform (courtesy of Matchesfashion) and in Kiev-based concept stores.
“Being inspired by Ukrainian traditions is huge trend now here. Our prints from spring 2015 and fall 2016 were our answer to the situation in Ukraine, revolution and war,” says Ksenia Marchenko of Ksenia Schnaider. “When designing prints for our collections, [design partner] Anton Schnaider was thinking about the perception of Ukraine in global minds. The idea of uncertainty of all things Ukrainian is transferred through the use of blurred traditional Ukrainian ornaments.” But one thing that is decidedly still in focus, at least when it comes to Ukrainian fashion? Traditional roots are here to stay, whether it is in Kiev—or Paris.