Thursday, July 19, 2012

More on Ukrainian design

I wrote already about Ukrainian designers and how impressed I am with such a vibrant and diverse community. I like the variety of sensibilities and the fact that so many of them match mine -- classic with a top note of avant garde, clean-lined, with cohesive palettes -- from Vozianov's pale neutrals to Kanevskiy's disturbing reds and blacks to KamenskayaKononova's feminine blushes and pastels. So yes, I am a fan, a convert, and an enthusiast. And now apparently an evangelist.

In my first outfit post, you can see my favorite jacket by Fedor Vozianov, the fashion designer and a linguist. How much do I love that jacket? A lot, actually! I was ecstatic when I got it in the mail. And still am that it is in my closet. A friend recently expressed his surprise that I don't wear it every waking hour. What can I say? I am shocked too!

Now, shopping overseas even in the days of the internet is daunting: shipping charges, inability to try things on, returns taking forever... but the rewards can be great, and thankfully there are now many places that make it a painless and pleasant experience. In this case, I was very happy to find the boutique in Kiev, Suitster, that not only carries all of my faves, but also ships overseas, and has the founder who is friendly, communicative, and really goes out of her way to make sure everything is right -- from obtaining measurements of the pieces in the store to actually communicating with the designers to make pieces to order. The sight is in Russian and English, with English listing pricing in dollars in addition to hryvnias.

Quick aside: I wish more stores chose to highlight local talent rather than well-known brands.It's a risk, but I cannot tell you what joy it is to browse the online store and to know that all of the clothes are locally made. They even have a section highlighting the newly emerging talent, in addition to established professionals (and you can easily browse by designer as well as the category). Not an imported dud in sight!

Anna Pashchenko, the very fashionable and  accomplished businesswoman, is a joy to work with. Each time I wanted something, I emailed her, received a prompt response, and was always delighted at how friendly and helpful she was. I was so encouraged with how well the jacket transaction went, that for my birthday I decided to order a couple of pieces. First, this shirt by it's me:

Gorgeous, right? Semi-sheer cotton and vsicose batiste, it drapes as well as silk, and the back of the collar is open, creating a really cool effect:

The back yoke, collar, cuffs, and pockets have an extra fabric layer, so they are more substantial and sturdy than the rest of this gauzy shirt.

I also really loved these pants by Ksenia Shnaider:

They were not available in my size, but magical Anna took my measurements and ordered them for me. The pants are substantial silk, and the polka dots are raised, swiss-dot style. Notice also the neat pocket placement -- you get the pockets without them throwing off the line of the hip. Bonus!

So this is how these pieces look on me:

I do intend to wear them separately, but they do sort of work together! So may thanks, Anna and Suitster!

And  next time there is gift money, I think I might get this vest by Kanevskiy:

And I really cannot recommend the store highly enough. And look, they have teddy bears!