Solomiya Krushelnytska

Solomiya Krushelnytska, collage by Modoslav

Solomiya Krushelnytska (1872 — 1952) was a Ukrainian soprano, considered to be one of the brightest opera stars of the first half of the 20th century. During her life, Solomiya was recognized as the most outstanding singer in the world. Among her numerous awards and distinctions, in particular, the title of “Wagner’s diva” of the 20th century. Singing with her on the same stage was considered an honor for Enrico Caruso and Titta Ruffo. Italian composer Giacomo Puccini presented the singer with his portrait with the inscription “The most beautiful and charming Butterfly”.

Solomiya Krushelnytska as “Butterfly”

 She was a fervent promoter of Ukrainian folk songs and works by Ukrainian composers. In the modern Ukrainian tradition, she is included in the list of most famous women of ancient and modern Ukraine.  The Lviv Theatre of Opera and Ballet is named after her (Lviv State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre of Solomiya Krushelnytska).

Lviv State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre of Solomiya Krushelnytska

Look also: Мадам Гре та її український чоловік

Ukrainian colours by Madame Gres



ISSEY MIYAKE has died. He was great fashion designer, innovator, and artist. He created the brand with very strong DNA. One of my favorite ISSEY MIYAKE art-collections is a coat series inspired by instruments playing together at a session. The sax, trumpet, contrabass, piano, and drums graphics, which each have different colors, were designed by the graphic design unit GOO CHOKI PAR. The hooded coat is characterized by its light yet supple texture and relaxed feel.

Look also: Як Радянський Союз програв Заходу боротьбу за моду

#Stoprussia #standwithUkraine

Outstanding Ukrainian women: OLENA PCHILKA

Olena Pchilka, 1870s

Olena Pchilka is the literary pseudonym of Lesya Ukrainka’s mother Olga Petrivna Kosach (nee Drahomanova). ОІenа Pchilka was one of the foremost Ukrainian suffragists, a woman who during the long span of her life proved her proficiency in many fields of action. She was a writer and excelled as a journalist, she carried on researches in Ukrainian folklore, and above all was a model of a wife and a mother of six children.

Olena Pchilka (from the right side), 1890
Olena Pchilka, 1860-th

She was born in 1849 in Ukraine, then under Czarist Russia. The years of her childhood were the period of spreading of liberal thought in Russia. True, the Czarist regime was still potent, however the liberation of serfs was drawing near, for they were set free in 1861. From the age of twelve, Olga Drahomanova studied at the Kyiv Boarding School for Noble Girls.
Her father sympathized with the movement and her brother Michael. Drahomaniv was animated and elated at the prospect of freedom for peasants. Thus the young girl had already learned in her family home the meaning of misfortune of fellow men as well as of labor to overcome their distress.
In 1868 she married Petrо Kossach, a judge, and their life was very
happy. She had been busy taking care of the household and rearing
her children, still she has always had in mind the object which s’he
fixed in her youth — to work for the cause of the oppressed Ukrainian people. To this cause she devoted all her skill and ardent spirit. At the start she tried at literary ventures — poems, essays, novels, translations. While studying the folklore, she collected many folksongs, proverbs and tales which she printed in scientific editions. She had been readily
contributing her own funds to ward the expenses for publishing
the material. Later on she turned to publishing and editing her own newspaper “Ridny Kray” (Native Land) which continued for 8 years with the supplement for children under the title of “Young Ukraine.”

Olena Pchilka (Drahomanova Olga Petrovna), Kyiv, 1867

After World W ar I she was employed at the Academy of Sciences in Kyiv. She died in her 82 year, alert and eager for work to the last day of her life.
In the course of her work, of her -tireless efforts, Olena Pchilka initiated a field of activity which afterwards unfolded gradually, until it grew into prominence. While studying the life of her people, she was moved and inspired by the beautiful Ukrainian folk art.

Olena Pchilka, 1870-th

She soon realized that this art is valuable only in its originality of design which must be studied and shown at home and abroad. Hence she started to collect the copies of designs of embroidery and Easter eggs which she edited and published in 1875. This work became the basis for further explorations and studies. It has been recently re-іssued in Germany and is still indispensable to those who wish to acquaint themselves with, the originality of design of Ukrainian embroidery.

Traditional Ukrainian designs of embroidery edited by Olena Pchilka
Traditional Ukrainian designs of embroidery edited by Olena Pchilka
Traditional Ukrainian designs of embroidery edited by Olena Pchilka

Olena Pchilka merited the gratitude of Ukrainian women because it was through her persuasive inducement that the folk art which was already declining and on the verge of vanishing — had soon developed into a carefully cultivated field and has embellished the expression of Ukrainian life. Yet we failed to mention Olena’s other great achievement which elevates her to great distinction among our prominent women. She not only served her people with her talent and deepfelt patriotism, but also presented it with a precious lasting gift— with the greatest Ukrainian poetess. Her daughter, Lessya Ukrainka, is one of the leaders of Ukrainian artistic creation. It was her inspired motherhood which inculcated in her daughter and other children lofty ideals and this was perhaps her greatest contribution. She adopted a fitting pseudonim, “pchilka,” which means little bee, a little worker among small creatures that tirelessly works and assembles. Her spirit evolved the spirituality of her daughter which remains like a culmination of her own lifelong striving and labor.

Olena Pchilka and Lesya Ukrainka. Yalta, January 1898

Lydia Burachynska.

Our Life, 1953, №4.

Look also: Леся Українка – лицарівна Belle Epoque

Лекції Мирослава Мельника

VYSHYVANKA: more than 100 years in fashion

International Vyshyvanka Day, May 19, 2022

Vyshyvanka in Ukraine is a serious thing – it is a national symbol, and a work of traditional arts and crafts, and a powerful amulet of Ukrainians. But fashionable things, on the contrary, are international, temporary, and superficial. Despite this, in the history of fashion from the beginning of the twentieth century until today there have been many seasons when the vyshyvanka was the “last cry”, enriching trends with traditions and absorbing the spirit of the moment.

From the point of tradition, an embroidered shirt should never be called an “vyshyvanka” – it is a very gross violation, as well as a shirt shortened to the thighs (this is a blouse). It will be a desecration of tradition to wear a long shirt uncovered below the waist (plakhta, derga, zapaska (traditional apron), lytnyk (summer skirt), etc.).

Girls in Ukrainian traditional costumes, Donetsk region, 1924
Schuri calendar, 2017
Project “Nation” Ukrainian authentic costume of the end of XIX – the middle of XX century Project manager Ksenia Malyukova Zhytomyr region

But fashion is not a tradition and allows itself all sorts of wonderful embroideries: dresses, blues and even T-shirts with printed patterns. Fashion can allow everything – it is part of modern mass culture of consumption, not the traditional culture of a unique craft. Fashionable vyshywankas, mostly, are only interpretations or imitations of traditional embroidered shirts.

Vyshyvankas make the tradition relevant. According to Google Analytics statistics, the query “embroidered shirt” is almost 20 times less than the query “vyshyvanka”. As a blogger who has been running for more than 10 years, I see that people come to me for “vyshyvanka”, and I deliberately prescribe “vyshyvanka” in my posts to have traffic, to be found, read, liked, and shared. Similarly, designers make vyshyvankas to sell more.

Vyshyvanka, XIX century

The big problem with the culture in general and traditional culture, in particular, is that it is a bit distant from ordinary people, trying to impose something on them, and no one thinks about how to do something so interesting that people want it. In most cases, cultural figures complain about the lack of orders (once commissioned by the Communist Party, the state) and demand funding. Fashion (and this area is completely commercial) immediately feels what is in a trend, what consumers demand – it immediately picks it up and exploits it to the maximum.

The term “vyshyvanka” originated a long time ago. For example, in the ’90s in Kyiv fashionable brochures “Vyshyvanka” was published. Models far from traditional shirts were offered, but traditional embroidery motifs were used to decorate them.

Schuri calendar, 2017

Ukrainians probably use the basic elements of traditional costume in everyday life easier and more often than representatives of other European nations, but over-identification of the national style with vyshyvanka in our country often leads to so-called “vyshyvatnytstvo” and kitsch. For example, embroidered shirts were worn on living cats or dogs, as well as on monuments to Lenin. Obviously, this does not change the essence of things and it is better not to torture animals and remove the bloudy leader “away from Ukraine”.

Fortunately, fashion deals with lively and beautiful people, and vyshyvankas as a fashion item were offered by magazines and studios in the early twentieth century. The dresses of Paul Poirier or Coco Chanel used certain elements of the embroidered shirt. At that time, such things were perceived as exotic (like Japanese kimonos or African bracelets) and did not have an ethno-national value.

Schuri calendar, 2017

In 1930-1940, many vyshyvankas were also offered in fashion magazines. This was due to the actualization of national sentiments and trends in Europe before the Second World War. Brochures with patterns and embroidery patterns were published. These embroidered shirts were called somewhere Bavarian, somewhere Russian, and somewhere Romanian, but, for the most part, the embroidered shirt in these fashions appeared as an attribute not of a particular nation, but of the social stratum – as a peasant blouse. And to this day, this culture is a rural culture after all. And so, perhaps, it was not so popular in the fashion of the twentieth century – the village was considered less developed than the city. It is already in the post-industrial era, and everyone began to sing odes to handicrafts and environmental materials.

In the Soviet Union, vyshyvankas are a special topic, because, since the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks, nationalism has been strongly condemned, but almost all Soviet artistic modeling was built on the promotion of folk traditions. They wanted to build socialist fashion on elements of the traditional costumes of the republics, thus contrasting it with Western fashion.

The outbreak of the popularity of embroidered shirts took place in the late 1950s – early 1960s, when Khrushchev was in power, who himself did not hesitate to wear an embroidered shirt. In world fashion, this trend is associated with hippie culture. Then the embroidered blouse became a symbol of freedom from the canons, from fashion trends. It was anti-fashion rather than fashion – freedom from the dictates of magazines and catwalks.

Mykyta Khrushchev

The 1970s were the most ethno-fashionable period. The main designer of the decade, Yves Saint Laurent, “traveled” with his collections to the traditional cultures of many nations. In 1976, Saint Laurent showed Haute Couture vyshyvankas. In different sources, they were called differently. All russians have positioned it as a purely russian collection, although it is likely that the embroidered blouses were inspired by Matisse’s paintings, including his painting “Romanian Blouse”. And till this day, the embroidered shirt called a “Romanian blouse”. Therefore, if we talk about national self-identification, the embroidered shirt is a very slippery ground, because it is an element that is present in many cultures. And if the Ukrainian shirt is easy to distinguish from the Mexican, it is difficult to draw the line between the traditions of neighboring nations. In Ukraine itself, each region has its own specifics, which do not add clear guidelines.

Yves Saint Laurent

I had to study for the period of perestroika and folk traditions were perceived, in particular, by fashion students as “Oh, my God!”. We were drilled to make collections based on national motives. That is, it was compulsory and all competitions were won by maternity clothes and clothes based on national motives. These were topics that added points. This obsession with “roosters and towels” has repulsed our generation’s positive perception of traditional clothing for many years. It sounded very good in one dissertation in 2015 that we need not so much to open as to rediscover and rethink our traditions, which were instilled in us from above.

Embroidered items of the Soviet period in the scientific literature have been given very different assessments since independence, but in fact, if you look now, you can see that the designers of the Republican model houses were professionals and created very harmonious things. Today, one can even envy the development of Soviet artistic modeling based on embroidered items.

The outbreak of fashion for vyshyvankas in the XXI century was associated with political events in Ukraine. For the first time since the 2004 Orange Revolution, embroidered shirts from the Jean-Paul Gauthier and Gucci collections have appeared on world catwalks. John Galliano made a “Ukrainian” collection in 2008, inspired by our traditional costumes.

John Galliano Ready-to-Wear A/W 2009

In Ukraine, on the wave of patriotism, many design options for embroideries appeared, but the demand for them did not fall, and after the Revolution of Dignity jumped – we had a “breakthrough” on a global scale called “Vyshyvanka by Vita Kin”.

Vyshyvanka by Vita Kin

In Lviv, Oksana Karavanska came up with such a direction as “Vyshyvanka Couture”, promoting it as a unique Ukrainian know-how. Roksolana Bogutska‘s vyshyvankas from Lviv can also be identified as Couture.

Vyshyvanka by Roksolana Bogutska

In 2015, at the Haute Couture fashion week in Paris (and this is still the coolest thing that can be in fashion), the Italian brand Valentino made a collection with embroideries. “Valentino embroidered shirts” flooded social networks and blogs, proving that the need for high-quality design interpretations of embroidered shirts is huge and this topic should be developed. Because of today’s terrible war, the world is not just chained to Ukraine – it is united around us by moral and material support. This is the best time in our history to show the world the beauty and grandeur, as well as the relevance of Ukrainian vyshyvanka in both traditional handicrafts and the latest digital versions.

Vyshyvanka Couture by Karavanska


Myroslav Melnyk

Look also: ГЕНІАЛЬНО: сучасні вишиванки Valentino resort 2017

Military vyshyvanka

Russians kill Ukrainian civilians

Nadya Trubchaninova

70-year-old Nadya Trubchaninova did not run away from the war when she came to the Kyiv region. The woman managed to survive, but the Russian invasion claimed the life of Nadya’s son. For more than a week, she hitchhiked daily from her village to the ruined Bucha in search of her son’s body. In the Kyiv region, as a result of Russian aggression, more than 1,000 civilians have already been killed, and bodies continue to be found.

Nadya Trubchaninova at his son’s coffin

This guy is a volunteer who helps to exhume corpses from mass graves in #Bucha. To understand the horrors of #BuchaMassacre you need to look at his face. The emotions of this young man show it…


In such difficult times for Ukraine, we ask you to support us and help stop russian aggression.


#Stopputin #stoprussianagression #stopwarinUkraine

Hidden violence in Ukraine

Hidden violence in Ukraine

A lot of people in Europe and the USA trying to silence Ukrainians speaking up about what is going on here. A lot of found it uncomfortable to see all of these pictures, they prefer to enjoy their coffee and turn their eyes blind, pretending that this is some kind of Netflix show… It is not – it is the genocide of Ukrainians in the middle of Europe in 2022. And if you simply close your eyes it will not disappear… these innocent people were killed and raped in real life- by real russians (cannot call them humans). And if you are silent about this – you supporting more of these to happen. Never again? What have you done to stop this? (c)

Russian violence in Bucha, 2022

What is love in Ukraine during the war?

Love is… to be her bulletproof vest
Love is…to look over your shoulder to see Bayraktar destroy a column of Russians
Love is… to look for the best place in a bomb shelter
Love is… making cocktails together
Love is … when every occupier killed he dedicates to you
Love is … when he gives you javelin
Love is … together watch the Russian tanks burn


Stand with Ukraine!

Yellow&Blue project from Pictoric

Poster by Olena Staranchuk

Illustrators club Pictoric launched the Yellow&Blue project in 2016 to show what a beautiful country Ukraine is. Ukrainian illustrators created incredible posters of the most beautiful places in our country, illustrations about cultural phenomena, our traditions, our customs, our food, our small family gatherings and big national holidays, our most beautiful nature reserves, and crazy buildings.

Now russia is destroying all of that: the culture we build, the cities we live in, the places we visit, and more heartbreaking – russia is killing all the brave and sincere people we love.

Ukrainians will never forgive and never forget this.

We believe in Ukraine! We believe in our victory!

We will rebuild every house and every street!

Poster by Artem Gusev

Help to stop genocide of Ukrainians and help them to defend their Freedom

Close the sky over Ukraine

Two hundred and two schools, 34 hospitals and more than 1,500 residential buildings were destroyed by Russia’s missiles and bombs in 12 days.

Thousands of innocent civilians died, including dozens of children.

The people of Ukraine call on the US Congress to close the sky over Ukraine. This measure is supported by 74% of Americans.

We are asking you to help us convince your senators and representatives to make a necessary move which will save thousands of innocent lives. 

You can send them a personal message and reach them on Twitter.

  1. To send your congressman a message
  1. go to 
  2. enter your address
  3. select your representatives
  4. copy a subject and a draft message from below and paste it into the form
  5. enter your email address, name and phone number
  6. choose Foreign Relations, International Affairs or other appropriate topic
  7. send you message

Draft message

Subject:       US should close the sky over Ukraine 


I am writing to you in shock at the Russian armed forces’ atrocities on the Ukrainian people and our country’s weak response to them. Our country is not doing enough to save lives in Ukraine and deter the Russian government from further aggression.

Russia has initiated a war of aggression against a democratic European nation at a scale unseen since the darkest days of World War II. Ukraine is fighting fiercely to protect its independence and the democratic ideals our country was built upon. We are witnessing crimes against humanity, nuclear threats, and the unrestrained use of military forces against civilians. 

In the face of overwhelming odds, Ukrainians are effectively resisting – but the fact that they are waging this war alone is not only a matter of great national shame but also an issue of our national security. Both our allies and hostile states watch our response and are taking notes. I believe that we must support Ukraine with all means at our disposal to secure our advantage on the world stage for decades to come. 

We take great pride in our title as “leader of the democratic world,” but our current administration needs to do more for that title to have a shred of legitimacy. After our disastrous exit from Afghanistan, we cannot bear yet another mark against the credibility of our defense posture to the world.

Ukrainians ask that we “close their sky” so that Russian missiles and planes cannot target civilians – yet NATO does nothing. At the very least, we should provide them with air superiority fighters, anti-aircraft missile systems, and the training and logistics support to operate them themselves. If we don’t act now, Russia will kill thousands of Ukrainians and destroy everything that our nation claims it stands for.

Therefore, I urge you to pressure our administration to implement a no-fly zone in Ukraine. 

According to Reuters, 74% of Americans, including myself and your other constituents, support a no-fly zone in Ukraine. Every day of our hesitation kills more innocent people and weakens the deterrent power of our armed forces and political will. 

I hope that you and our administration will act fast and prevent this war from spreading even further, and know that I and many others will be viewing our upcoming actions as a voting issue. 


  1. To reach your congressmen on Twitter 
  1. Pick one of the text options below
  2. Select 1-2 images of your choice from this folder: 
  3. Go to Twitter of the US congressmen from this sheet: 
  4. Send the text and add 1-2 pictures in the comments to the last tweet about Ukraine or the last tweet of each congressman. You can change the text a bit (without changing the essence!).

Draft tweets:

74% of Americans believe that NATO should #CloseTheSky over #Ukraine. We must provide to Ukraine at least fighter jets, anti-rocket and anti-aircraft defense so they could defend themselves! Putin will not stop until he is stopped! #NoFlyZone #ProtectUASky #StandWithUkraine

Since the beginning of the war, hundreds of Russian missiles and bombs have been fired at Ukrainian cities, killing civilians every day. Ukraine needs fighter jets, anti-rocket and anti-aircraft defense to protect their country from airstrikes. #NoFlyZone #ProtectUASky #StandWithUkraine

“Green light” for NATO countries to provide fighter jets to Ukraine is not enough. Ukraine needs anti-rocket, anti-aircraft defense AND fighter jets! Putin will not stop until he’s stopped! #NoFlyZone #ProtectUASky #StandWithUkraine

Save the world like you do in the movies! The U.S. people are not blind to your weakness! #NoFlyZone #ProtectUASky #StandWithUkraine

Be that leadership that you used to talk about! Don’t hide behind the backs of Ukrainian women and children! #NoFlyZone #ProtectUASky #StandWithUkraine

The nuclear crisis is happening in front of us. The United States cannot hide. This time the ocean will not save us.  #NoFlyZone #ProtectUASky #StandWithUkraine

Freedom is Ukrainian religion. What is yours? What religion allows you to keep silent when kids and women are killed?  #NoFlyZone #ProtectUASky #StandWithUkraine

Russian troops are bombing cities every day, killing thousands of civilians and destroying their homes. We call to #CloseTheSky or at least to provide #Ukraine with fighter jets, anti-rocket and anti-aircraft defense. Please help Ukraine! #NoFlyZone #StandWithUkraine

Since the beginning of the war, hundreds of Russian missiles and bombs have been fired at Ukrainian cities, killing civilians every day. We call to #CloseTheSky or at least to give fighter jets, anti-rocket and anti-aircraft defense to Ukraine. #NoFlyZone #ProtectUASky #StandWithUkraine

38 kids were killed, 71 wounded, 1.5 mln in the areas affected by the shelling in #Ukraine. We call to #CloseTheSky or at least to provide Ukraine with fighter jets, anti-rocket and anti-aircraft defense. Putin will not stop until he is stopped! #ProtectUASky #StandWithUkraine

More than 500 kids were born under shelling in Kyiv since the beginning of the war. They deserve to live. Will they? We need to provide fighter jets, anti-rocket and anti-aircraft defense to protect #Ukraine. #ProtectUASky #StandWithUkraine

Russia has damaged or destroyed 211 schools, 34 hospitals, more than 1,500 residential buildings. We call to #CloseTheSky or at least to provide Ukraine with fighter jets, anti-rocket and anti-aircraft defense. Putin will not stop until he is stopped! #ProtectUASky #StandWithUkraine

Please share this message with your friends, communication networks, etc.

Close the sky over Ukraine

Medieval futurism from Raf Simons fall-winter 2022/23 collection

Raf Simons fall-winter 2022/23 collection

For his fall-winter 2022/23 collection Raf Simons gave but one hint: Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s 1559 painting Netherlandish Proverbs. The opening look, a blue cloak suspended from a hat, is almost a one-to-one remake of the garb worn by the painting’s central figure. Other looks of the collection do not copy images from the medieval painting, but develop the style of the Middle Ages, which Simons missed due to his own perception of fashion. It turned out not retro-viewed, but rather futuristic.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s 1559 painting Netherlandish Proverbs

In addition to incredibly interesting and textured hats designed in partnership with Stephen Jones, the Raf Simons fall-winter 2022/23 collection is complemented by jewelry-skeletons, singles and couples in arms.

Raf Simons fall-winter 2022/23
Raf Simons fall-winter 2022/23

It is worth adding that the fashion show was shot in a hall without an audience with chairs covered with crimson fabric and a luxurious crystal chandelier. All together created a rather creepy atmosphere of the show.

Look also:

“Кіномода” Жан-Поля Готьє

Костюми Середньовіччя, #ЛекціїМирославаМельника

Fashion and style, fashion theory & hystory