Архів теґу: young designets


Sots-art in fashion, collage by Myroslav Melnyk

Melnyk Myroslav, PhD in Art Theory and History,

Orcid ID: 0000-0002-0494-9403

Since Sots Art was built on irony over the values and symbols of the USSR, it would be logical that after the collapse of the empire this art direction lost its relevance. But after 1991 the ideas and aesthetics of Sots Art came into fashion several times: costume exhibitions have been held in art museums, fashion collections have appeared on catwalks and in media. A new generation of designers and recipients of their creativity has updated in a new way USSR signs and symbols.  From the 1920s to the 1980s these symbols were an ideological weapon, an instrument of social and aesthetic pressure, designed to further strengthen the Soviet system, and since the late 1980s have turned into kitsch – ridiculing outdated ideological myth, irony over false reality, history, and culture of lies.

Sergey Borisov’s photo, 1987

The first wave of Sots Art came into fashion during the “Perestroika” period (1985 – 1991).  Then, in the wake of the debunking of dogmas and cults, Sots Art expressed a desire to change the country for the better, freeing it from the ubiquitous false ideology, debunking the “sanctity” of its symbols. The desecration of everything Soviet – something that should have been treated with piety – was a sign of dismissal, a demonstration of long-awaited freedom. Avant-garde artists laughed, sewing clothes from the red flags and banners, drawing and embroidering hackneyed slogans and quotes, using the iconic attributes of Soviet life as accessories.  Since already in 1988 laws gave the right to engage in entrepreneurship, numerous new cooperatives carried these ideas to the masses: T-shirts with inscriptions and images in the Sots Art stylistic were replicated.

Hungarian designet Tamás Király with model, 1986

With the collapse of the USSR and the declaration of independence by its former republics, everything “Soviet” had negative connotations. The fashion of the 1990s celebrated crises and the fashion of the 2000s – glamour.

The first designer who, working in line with Sots Art, become popular in Russia, and achieved international success was Denis Simachev. The designer decorated his creations with Soviet coats of arms, folk ornaments, matryoshka dolls, and prints made of Soviet money. He mixed the former Soviet and modern Russian, ridiculed symbols and stereotypes that Russians are not proud of, made fun of the recent past, which was hated, and thanks to irony, made it “cool”. It is interesting that such creativity based on stereotypes resonated with Russian and foreign mass consumers, and Simachev’s works were forged and replicated actively.

Sots Art by Denis Simachev

In the 2010s, public sentiment in post-Soviet countries changed and, against the background of disappointments from instability and economic problems of the first years of independence, nostalgia for the USSR emerged. This nostalgia was strongly stimulated by Russian propaganda with its numerous retranslations of iconic Soviet films, products “from the childhood” advertisements, TV series about former heroes, etc. The older generation was nostalgic for the times “when we were young”, young people romantically perceived the culture, the negative aspects of which they did not feel on themselves.

In the 2010s, thanks to a new look at the aesthetics of Sots Art, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Demna Gvasalia, Yulia Efimchuk, and other designers from the post-Soviet space received worldwide recognition. With their works, they reinterpreted the codes, as nostalgic and at the same time warning against the return of utopian ideas, pointing to current socio-cultural problems.

Gosha Rubchinsky

In 2008, Gosha Rubchinsky made his debut with the collection  “Empire of evil”, which included T-shirts with two-headed eagles, as well as bears with weapons and other symbols associated with aggressive Russian international politics. The next designer’s shows also played with the aesthetics of late Soviet fashion and the symbols of the USSR. Oddly enough, this approach has been very successful at the international level. Rubchinsky launched the trend and other young designers wanted to repeat his success story.

Yulia Efimchuk started her career with competitions for young designers, and since 2012, the shows of the brand “Yulia Yefimtchuk+” have been held at the famous Kyiv Fashion Days. Yefimchuk’s collections have always been dominated by pure shapes and unambiguous colors like white, black, and a rich shade of red. Sots Art in her collections is added with the inscriptions on the clothes that resemble posters about labor exploits: “Labor”, “Peace to the world” and “Every day it becomes more joyful to live”. Despite the decommunization policy in Ukraine, in her spring-summer 2017 collection designer even used the words “Communism” and “Socialism”.  That, as well as the cut and colors (white, scarlet, dark blue), refer to the images of Soviet posters, to which the designer appealed.

Yulia Yefimtchuk+

Demna Gvasalia created the Parisian brand Vetements in 2014. Elements of Sots Art in his work indicated his origin from the Georgian Soviet republic, which added a certain exoticism in the eyes of European consumers. Thanks to Gvasalia’s worldwide success, international fashion columnists have drawn attention to the phenomenon of “Georgian fashion”. 

The listed designers are called “the new generation in the New East”, and their fashion collections are considered as the most earnest and most relevant way to speak about the past.

“Komar & Melamid” at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art
“Komar & Melamid” at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art

But fashion is only part of a larger cultural trend. 2019 was the peak year for the actualization of the Sots Art in the Post-Soviet space. The exhibition “Komar & Melamid”, dedicated to the founders of Sots Art, was held at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art. The project was their first retrospective in Russia and included works created by the artists after their association in a creative duo. The exhibition in its genre resembled a collection of quotations-works and documents extracted from the key and most famous projects of artists. The character of Komar & Melamid appeared in the art to destroy the monopoly of socialist realism in the USSR, to discredit modernism in the Western world, and to outline the contours of a new international style, the distinctive feature of which would be aesthetic and philosophical eclecticism, on the ruins of both branches of the art of the twentieth century. The demonstration of this program became the core of the exhibition concept.

The Estonian Museum of Modern Art KUMU hosted the exhibition “Sots Art and Fashion” in 2019. Yulia Efimchuk from Ukraine, Marit Ilison from Estonia, Sonja Litichevskaya from Germany, Nina Neretina, and Donis Pouppis from Russia have presented fashion collections in which the socialist past of their countries has been turned into a source of inspiration and demonstrates the coping of the Eastern European culture with its  Soviet past.

“Sots Art and Fashion” in KUMU

In the Odessa museum of modern art, the avant-garde fashion of the 1990s “Perekroika” exhibition was held in 2019. The exhibition included samples of clothes and accessories from 1988 – 1998, created by designers from Odessa.  There were dresses made from Soviet tapestries, flags, and other artifacts in the style of Sots Art.

Studying and understanding of Sots Art objects, stunning of its specifics and its perception, defining its new connotations is particularly relevant and interesting in the light of decommunization, understanding the “undesirable past” and searching for options of positioning Ukrainian culture in the global world.

Read Also: Подорож азійським мистецтвом з колекцією Junya Watanabe весна-літо 2022

Botter Autumn/Winter 2019

Botter Autumn/Winter 2019

Paris-based label Botter, winner of the 2018 Hyères fashion festival, was found by
the Caribbean origins designers Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh.

Rushemy Botter was born on Curaçao and have lived a big part of his life in Amsterdam. He applied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, where was mentored by Walter van Beirendonck and in his master year by Dirk van Saene.

Along the way he was lucky to have won a few awards, in his second academy year he won the prize of the most promising student. In his third year he has won the IFF (International Fragrances & Flavours) awards. He presented his collection during New York Fashion Week.

With his Master collection he is launching the Botter brand together with his partner Lisi Herrebrugh, who has been working together with him on the background during his studies. Lisi Herrebrugh have studied at Amsterdam Fashion Institute and graduated Cum Laude. During her studies she interned at the atelier of Viktor & Rolf, where she developed her technical skills.

Botter designes find them selves looking back at their Caribbean roots. Their style is elegant and have a poetic feel.

Look also:

The Highest Mountain

 Fashion always is a sum of instructions, regulations, frameworks: to be young, to be thin, to be rich, to be in trend, to be in brand … To be or to have? Become better or only seem “required”?


Owls are not those, who they surrender. And what about us?

We prefer to go to look for ourselves far away… to India, to Tibetian Mountains… we are constantly looking for something and have something to prove. Ourselves. But The Highest Mounting is always with us – inside of us…

Each of us has a pack of mavericks. Keep them in cages or let them out? “To be like everyone else” – for some of us it’s a daily choice.

What is life? What is beauty? What is art? What is fashion? What is the sense of all this things?

People are looking  for answers through the lifetime, people writing books and becoming doctors of sciences, but everyone has his own truth

Idea Myroslav Melnyk

Photo Anton Yaroshchyk

Clothes Anton Yaroshchyk

Model Myroslav Melnyk


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Fashion inspiration: Rene Magritte + By STEBLAKIZM

Kozaks of the XXI century

Giorgiana Giuroiu presented her collection on the catwalk of the  graduation show of Fashion Department at University of Art and Design Cluj-Napoca in 2014. With her futuristic kozaks  Giorgiana succeeded to make a strong impression. Her collection titled Folcloriada stood out through the originality of the inspiration source, the novelty in interpreting a traditional theme and the innovative materials introduced.

Despite the similarity with the Ukrainian Kozaks, the collection has its roots in Romanian folklore and the title refers to a “healing” journey meant to recover the authentic values of cultural heritage. In many ways, this collection epitomizes designer’s personal quest, that moved from her passion of studying specific elements of Romanian traditional costume (headpieces, peasant coats, masks and belts) to the challenge of converting them into comprehensive contemporary outfits. The ironic twist also helped a lot.

The clothing ensembles resulted from this creative experiment succeeded to integrate folk elements in contemporary style, abstracting the traditional costume silhouette and proposing new solutions for the textile surfaces. The techno shepherds on the catwalk wore outfits made out of quilted plastic filled with raw wool, holographic leather jackets, impressive belts and handmade knitwear paired with sneakers and metallic leggings.

Below, there are  a few images from Giorgiana Giuroiu graduating collection at University of Art and Design Cluj-Napoca (2014).

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Колекція Tsauder на Odessa Fashion Week

Sincerely Yours,

Myroslav Melnyk )

My fashion discovery: Fyodor Golan Fall Winter 2015/2016

Fyodor Golan is the designer’s duet by Fyodor Podgorny and Golan Frydman. Fyodor studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and Golan graduated from Istituto Marangoni, London. Their combined experience in the industry includes Alexander McQueen, Issey Miyake, Richard Nicol and Raf Simons. The label’s second season won the Fashion Fringe award and in 2012 was the youngest label to be the focus of the V&A’s “Fashion in Motion” exhibition. FYODOR GOLAN is a London based label with a distinctive visual language.

Fyodor Golan Fall Winter 2015/2016

Fyodor Golan Fall Winter 2015/2016

Fyodor Golan Fall Winter 2015/2016

Fyodor Golan Fall Winter 2015/2016

Fyodor Golan Fall Winter 2015/2016

Fyodor Golan Fall Winter 2015/2016

Through expressive dialogue FYODOR GOLAN look for purity in shape and integrity of texture. Both coming from a Fine Art background the designers infuse an expressive approach with clean geometrical silhouettes and sportswear aesthetics into modern luxury womenswear. Fyodor Golan Fall Winter 2015/2016 collection named “Rainbow Wheel”

Fyodor Golan Fall Winter 2015/2016

Fyodor Golan Fall Winter 2015/2016

Describing their ethos as Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde the designers explore contrasts. Playful adolescent aesthetics and pure colour combinations create the striking FG image. Manipulating materials through new technology brings to life distinctive textiles and 3D embroideries. – Text fron offisial FYODOR GOLAN site.

Fyodor Golan

Sincerely Your’s,

Myroslav Melnyk )


Жахи фіналу “Печерських каштанів-2015” – post about the Ukrainian young designers competition “PECHERSKY KASHTANY”

The new generation of Ukrainian designers

The last day at Ukrainian Fashion Week was the New Generation’s Day. Of course there was a risk that nobody comes to see unknown designers, that they show a trifle and spoil positive impression from all the fashion week. But talent of young Ukrainian designers overcame all fears and surpassed even my most optimistic expectations

New designers shows on the catwalk of Ukrainian Fashion Week is very important not only for the future career of individuals, but also for the whole Ukrainian fashion. It’s like some kind of litmus, which indicates what forms the worldview of young people, haw good is designer education at Ukraine and what prospects will have Ukrainian Fashion tomorrow.

Collection ss-2015 by SVITLO is more about Ukrainian tradition, then about next summer fashion trends. But look at their honour, their adoration of Ukrainian authenticity! And it is not exploitation of underlined love for Ukraine in modern tough times – it’s their style, the DNA that was formed during five years.

The artist Marina Rybalko successfully debuted last year at MBKFD. But at Ukrainian Fashion Week the collection RYBALKO was a very pleasant discovery for me: forms, materials, the combination of textures and colours, prints and accessories – all that working together to create an integrated clear image.

LARA QUINT has also taken part in Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days and won the Be Next competition in Georgia. The designer is already known for her conceptual and ironic vision of fashion, which once again was proved in collection ss-2015 «ESC». I was most amused by handbags, which looks like the computer keys.

YANA CHERVINSKA covered the Ukrainian Fashion Week Spring-Summer 2015 wit her collection “Tea Party” – very beautiful and interesting stylisation of Lewis Carroll’s characters, led by the Mad Hatter. Bright images was supplemented mainly with funny slippers that looked a very witty ironic accent.

Sincerely Your’s,

Myroslav Melnyk )



SVITLO представить нову колекцію весна-літо 2015 на New Names


On September 9 the 5th Ceremony of the BEST FASHION AWARDS in Ukraine was held.

The BEST FASHION AWARDS are the only professional awards in Ukrainian fashion. It was started by Ukrainian Fashion Week at 2010 for and awarding the achievements of fashion designers and public leaders, who create a positive international image of the Ukraine.

The BEST FASHION AWARDS are determined every year –  a group of Experts evaluate collections of two fashion seasons. This year I was the one of 39 Experts: journalists, fashion critics, buyers and of public leaders. For me it was great honor and great responsibility. The only point of my choice, that coincided with the objective opinion of most experts, was the “Best Menswear Designer”: when I saw the F/W 2014-2015 collection of SASHA KANEVSKIY, I want to have every piece of it in my wardrobe.

The most important nomination – “Breakthrough of the year” – won young and very talented IVAN FROLOV.

The BEST FASHION AWARD “For Significant Contribution into Development of Ukrainian Fashion” quite deservedly got KATYA OSADCHA – one of the best TV-reporters in Ukraine, who represent our country all around the world.

I heartily hope that Ukraine will be in peace and prosperity, that Ukrainian fashion will develop and that next BEST FASHION AWARDS will reveal many new fashion talents.

Sincerely Your’s,

Myroslav Melnyk )


Українська мода в контексті Майдану та євроінтеграції (інтерв’ю з Іриною Данилевською)

Top 5 young Ukrainian designers from MODOSLAV

Dedicated то Ukraine’s Independence Day, we asked our favourite young designers about Ukraine


Anton Belinskiy established himself at the Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days as one of the most promising and original Ukrainian designers. His creative style is sporty and geometrical, always with  combination of different material textures.

Anton Belinskiy: Ukraine is my Homeland


Masha Reva has winning a lot of designer’s competitions, an intern at the New York Thakoon studio and at the Belgian designer Walter Van Beyrendonk. She is one of the most promising Ukrainian designers in a creative and commercial aspect.


Masha Reva: Ukraine – is firstly my family, our cottage at Bugaz and, of course, it’s  Odessa. This unique place of power where I always come back, full of energy that remind me that family is the most valuable thing.


Jean Gritsfeldt is the perfect model for his own collections. He boldly quoted by famous designers and works on the edge of kitsch and outrageous. He is one of the “young favorites” at Ukrainian fashion week.

Jean Gritsfeldt: Ukraine is my home


Ivan Frolov‘s motto is «INTELLIGENT PROVOCATION AND SEX”. His gothic and androgenic collections often contain elements of BDSM-suits. The designer uses a lot of hand work and collaborating with musicians.


Ivan Frolov: I’ll think about “What is Ukrain for me”, becouse It’s not so easy to tell.


Lviv artist and designer Olya Steblack inspired by both Ukrainian and international art, espessially surrealism. Her spring-summer 2014 collection has a clear social message against the war, in which Ukraine was involved recently.

Olya Steblack: Ukraine – this is my love, love to the Carpathians, near which I has grew up, love to fields and steppes, that’s not just my eyes rejoiced to extremely beautiful, sincere and dedicated people; love to the culture, which builds a rich and ambiguous ethnicity, love emergency language and Ukrainian songs. Unfortunately, recent events shows us that Ukraine is a country of so called “Third World” and it’s not strong enough, so we see that part of it become a ground to show off a brutal power to the “Lords of the weapon”. But this will cease very soon. Ukraine will win 🙂



Про покази Anton Belinskiy та by Steblakizm на Volkswagen Proskurov Fashion Days

Sincerely Your’s,

Myroslav Melnyk