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7 (2014)
Tunnelling Towards Hope

28 February - 6 March 2014

Ukraine History

A Stronghold of Rulers and Rebels

With the recent death toll jumping to nearly 100 and 1,000 injured, Hrushevskoho Street, one of the strongholds of EuroMaidans three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the countrys stand against government corruption, abuse of power, and the violation of human rights turned from peaceful protest to all-out revolution. Having witnessed much over the years, Hrushevskoho is a street with a history, and not only care of recent days.


Ukraine Today
Acelebrity using their status and intelligence to influence public views and opinion is rarely seen in modern society, even less so in Ukraine. Here, the majority of celebs use their time, effort, and money to enhance or further their career rather than put their name to something that can do good for others. However, as EuroMaidan intensifies, some are making themselves heard and they fall either side of the EuroMaidan divide.
It used to be that when rebellion and revolution occurred, the intellectual, creative, and spiritual elite would be front and centre.


Ukrainian Culture

When Walls Can Talk

People have been writing on walls since the dawn of civilisation, we call it graffiti, and ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Sometimes it is merely the creator wanting to leave his or her mark; sometimes there is an underlying social or political reason. And it is due to the latter that graffiti has exploded across Kyiv in recent months. Anti dictator messages aside, we peel back a few layers of paint to look at graffiti in the city in general.


Kyiv Culture

Ukrainian Fashion Week Marks Jubilee

Ukrainian Fashion Week might only be celebrating its tenth birthday this year, but it's all grown up. The event's more about fashion now and less about celebrities, and local designers are starting to earn international reputations, What's On took a look at some of Fashion Week's most exciting collections,

Lilia Poustovit
Lilia's was the first show during this jubilee Fashion Week, and her new spring-summer collection met the expectations that attend her work. Poustovit's great at creating clean-cut, precise forms, and her new dresses unite monochrome colours with splashy orange, yellow-green, primrose and light-pink accents. The zippers she put on the backs of some of her dresses showed up in the collections of other designers, too, so they're a bona fide trend for the season.The collection was inspired by Art Deco pioneer Alexandra Ekster's work for the theatre and cinema, and unites jackets with slim silhouettes with voluminous skirts and architectonically constructed dresses. The whole effect is light, minimal, fresh and modern, which is probably why her work is now on sale at London's Dover Street Market.

Viktoria Gres
Viktoria Gres' new 'Head in the Clouds' collection is, in a word, elegant, eschewing conceptual experimentation in the interests of keeping it classic. Gres likes to play with decorations and trimmings, and this collection included lots of different dress variations. Matched with summer coats and jackets, all of them add up to a very feminine silhouette. These are clothes a self-confident woman might wear on holiday at the coast. Italian silk, satin and batiste are in heavy use, while black and white predominate, offset with grey, beige and gold. Gres' unusual silk shoes are gorgeous, and her new bags unite leather and branded textiles.

Svetlana Bevza
"Voting Ukrainian designer Svetlana Bevza's spring collection was a pleasure, offering practical and precise clothes like a little white dress the designer predicts will be a must-have item next summer. The collection hearkens back to the 1980s with its high waists and straight-cut lines. Silk, chiffon, cotton and poplin are everywhere, in charming colours like light-blue, violet, peach, beige, orange and white. This is minimalist, aristocratic clothing that's not trying to show off.

 X'U by Ksenia Marchenko
Ksenia recently returned from design school in London, and maybe it's the foreign influence that makes her work so different. X'U is for the young, featuring bright, brave clothes with a touch of grunge to them. The clothes are popular among clubbers and DJ's, and all those redesigned old jeans, magenta swimming costumes, yellow shoes and green T-shirts will turn out to be must-have pieces for local hipsters.

Svetlana Tegin
Svetlana's new collection, inspired by the ocean floor, was small and to the point. The pieces pick up where Tegin's winter collection left off, but now warm winter cashmere has yielded to silk and chiffon. Despite the fact that Tegin's colour decisions tend to be quiet - lilacs, light pinks, greys, silvers, and whites predominate - there's a spirit of play to her clothes, which is probably what makes Tegin so popular among fashion-forward Kyivites. Many of the pieces have a subtle silver veneer that sets them apart.

 Andre Tan
Star fashion boy Andre Tan apparently wasn't satisfied with his new collection, saying he didn't have time to finish it properly and that he wanted to make it more about the spiritual qualities of women - it seems he was inspired by Western Europe's cathedrals. Anyway, this collection is a subtle and gentle one, without the futuristic styl-ings we've seen from him in the past. Spectators liked his light, airy blue and pink dresses in aquarelle tones. A couple bright magenta dresses particularly stood out. Accessories are downplayed this year, and don't play a huge role in the collection.

 Larisa Lobanova for Garderobchik
This collection prompted a bit of discussion. Is this the sort of stuff that could be popular only down in Lobanova's native Odessa, a famous humour capital, or will women elsewhere embrace something so exuberantly witty? The queenly crowns were one thing; the summer prints bearing images of pigs, frogs, and rats in striking colours, on the other hand, might scare those with delicate sensibilities. But then this is a cruise collection - in the morning you can go sailing in a t-shirt with the slogan 'I Am the Queen', and you put on the printed animal dress later for a boardwalk stroll. It's all appropriately playful for vacation. For evening, Lobanova presented lovely coloured dresses, which will also appeal to women with a sense of humour.

 Elena Golets
A huge crowd turned out for this high-profile collection. Kyiv women like to stand out, draping themselves in bright clothing that lets them shine, so it's no wonder that Elena Golets' dresses are so popular among local celebrities. The models hit the runway in the dark, so it was hard to see the details on the clothes, which was a shame because there were a lot of them: stones, glittering leather, silk and feathers. Green, yellow, fuchsia and violet predominate. Golets, by the way, will soon be launching a men's boutique clothing collection.

 Galeb Al-Maali
This small collection from Fashion Week's 'Fresh Fashion' series recalled Italian beach culture from the last century - it was apparently inspired by the style, if not the morbid theme, of 'Death in Venice'. The high-concept show featured the models walking the runway holding birdcages. The dresses are diaphanous and airy, and the girls really did resemble birds in flight. White trousers and light-blue shirts added a simple, classic touch. In general, this was a collection that used elements from the history of fashion, like circle collars and short jackets.

Designer Sergey Smolin was the brains behind this stylish collection, which set the pace on men's fashion day. This is clothing for urban guys who don't follow fashion trends, but rather create them. The materials are practical and appropriate to the city - summer woollens, different cottons and silks, well-made coat fabrics. Red, yellow, golden, and green predominate in the colour department. Shorts are matched with serious jackets and shoes for a hip but elegant look, and the accessories lend an extra cosmopolitan touch. Smolin's shoulder bags were a standout -generously cut, they can be used for both documents and laptops.

 Natalia Marianchyk

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Comments (2)
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    Ukraine Truth
    Rights We Didnt Know We Had

    Throughout EuroMaidan much has been made of Ukrainians making a stand for their rights. What exactly those rights are were never clearly defined. Ukraine ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1952. The first article of the Declaration states all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, they are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. The ousted and overthrown Ukrainian government showed to the world they dont understand the meaning of these words.

    Kyiv Culture

    Pulling Strings
    Located on Hrushevskoho Street the epicentre of EuroMaidan violence, home to battles, blazes and barricades childrens favourite the Academic Puppet Theatre had to shut down in February. Nevertheless, it is getting ready to reopen this March with a renewed repertoire to bring some laughter back to a scene of tragedy. Operating (not manipulating) puppets is a subtle art that can make kids laugh and adults cry. Whats On meets Mykola Petrenko, art director of the Theatre, to learn more about those who pull the strings behind the show.


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