Yesterday marked the 2014 Ukrainian Fashion Week as it commenced the 34th biannual event held in Kyviv. This year designers fused clothes debuting war attire in protest of the Ukraine and Russia crisis.
Apparently with accessories like bullet-proof vests, and gas masks, Ukrainian designers want to showcase the realism of war at the 2014 UFW events. Seems like they will make much more than a fashion statement.
Since the recent events leading up to the much heated and dividing issues between Russia and Ukraine over the Crimea area, some fashion designers wanted to tell the true story of what war looks like for human life, and share their emotional connection to the ongoing deadly revolution happening in their country.
"We are not just inspired by the events, we have been actively participating in them," Designer Iryna Pvlyk said. "Many of the collections reflect not only the events that took place but also our personal emotions."
During a Thursday press conference held at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center, designers spoke how their fashion was created during ceasefire times, and is their peaceful way to demonstrate their opposition to Russia invading Crimea.
"We have all been in the war," said Designer, Olga Navrotska. She added, "We only returned to creative work during the periods of ceasefire."
But not all designers were able to make the show due to deadly clashes interrupting their work spaces, according to the KyvivPost.
Designer Anna Bulik, a very dedicated designer who participates in both shows, had to cancel. Apparently the violent protests had been taking place where her office is located. These events blocked her from safely entering and working in her office to prepare her collection for the show.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, if both sides are not budging to meet a peaceful agreement, we could start to see a "higher risk".
But where does a fashion designer learn how to work with war material?
Designer Ivan Frolov said, they learned how to "properly position the bullet-proof plates," and this occurred during a time when the designers could no longer work on their collections for the UFW due to the deadly shootings "at Maidan."
He said, some of the designers during this down time had been contacted to make "bullet-proof vests," and "were assisted by the Afghanistan war veterans." He added, "Artem Pavlov, Yasya Khomenko, Anastasiya Volokita, Tetyana Gorishyna and others," were among other tailors fitting theses vests.
More than half of the designers support the EuroMaidan -- a revolution happening in Ukraine to integrate into Europe. Other designers will create their event around the "influence of political and social events," according 2014 UFW organizers.
Since 1997, the UFW brings in "more than 40 participants, accredits more than 150 Ukrainian and international media, and is attended by [more than] 25,000 guests every time," according to UFW history page. But that might be different this year.
“We also want to use [the collections] for delivering a message to the whole world: stop the destructive machine that is heading towards Ukraine," Volodymyr Nechyporuk, a UFW founder, said.