Three Ukrainian designers were able to showcase their collections last Tuesday at London Fashion Week.
Fashion labels Kseniaschnaider, Paskal, and Frolov have put together new collections in the midst of blackouts and threats of missile strikes.
“Creating collections is our resistance to war,” the designers said in a collective statement. “And a reflection of the courage of all Ukrainians.”
The fashion house’s eco-friendly collection featured denim jeans and dresses matched with white tops.
Using 5,000 silk ties from a friend’s closing menswear store, the designer upcycled the materials into skirts, blazers, and tops.
After fleeing from Ukraine, Anton and Ksenia Schnaider, who run the label together, finally settled in the UK.
However, the rest of the team has chosen to stay in Kyiv, Ukraine. This proved to be a challenge due to the blackouts, as sometimes they could only work four hours a day.
“Circumstances are so unusual,” the designer told Reuters. “I just want to escape the reality … I just want to bring joy and something beautiful.”
Julie Paskal stayed in her hometown of Odesa for the first three weeks of the war. Later on, she relocated to Germany with her children.
Upon working on her new collection, she moved back to Ukraine without her family. The designer has simultaneously been making netting for the army. These were crafted using a laser-cutting technique.
Despite the many hurdles, Paskal commends the high level of productivity and the unity of her team and the rest of the Ukrainian people.
Her designs included dresses adorned with fluttering butterfly shapes. The designer explained that the collection is “a metaphor of fragility, the beauty of life and death.”
Kiev-based designer Ivan Frolov suspended his fashion house’s operations after the invasion. Instead, his seamstresses aided in making rocket carriers and uniforms for the army.
At the same time, the designer and his team were happy to find out that their pieces have been worn by the likes of Blackpink’s Lisa, Beyoncé, and Sam Smith.
For his newest collection, Frolov said he was inspired by Ukrainian folk songs and their relationship with the human heart.
His designs featured hand-knitted sweaters and corset gowns in pink, red and black with heart-shaped cutouts. “It reflects the idea of listening to your heart,” the designer explained.
At the end of the show, the three designers walked on the runway carrying a Ukrainian flag. The flag bore the UNITED24 logo, the fundraising campaign launched by President Volodymyr Zelensky.
London Fashion Week called the event “a celebration of joy and positivity, resilience, with touches of nostalgia and memory, and how every little action has its consequence.”
The designers will go on to showcase their works in Berlin and Copenhagen as well.
Banner image via Instagram @itsmekseniaschnaider.