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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Our Life, 1953, №4.
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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.).
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 modoslav.blogspot.com 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
- To send your congressman a message
- go to https://democracy.io/
- enter your address
- select your representatives
- copy a subject and a draft message from below and paste it into the form
- enter your email address, name and phone number
- choose Foreign Relations, International Affairs or other appropriate topic
- send you 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.
- To reach your congressmen on Twitter
- Pick one of the text options below
- Select 1-2 images of your choice from this folder: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1V7YZjkovjvvJAoTBEpAGp4VwlRWdneXA?usp=sharing
- Go to Twitter of the US congressmen from this sheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1uUF6WGtFl-WBPe_oLdk4gdgFp09aPOAekBWmHdIUnC0/edit?usp=sharing
- 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!).
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.
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.
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.
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.
The woman in the illustrations by Charles Dana Gibson was the female ideal in the 1890s and 1910s. Gibson began creating these drawings around 1890, using various models. Evelyn Nesbit – an American model, chorus girl, and actress – was one of tham.
The most famous Gibson Girl was probably the Belgian-American stage actress, Camille Clifford, whose high coiffure and long, elegant gowns that wrapped around her hourglass figure and tightly corseted wasp waist defined the style.
After Gibson’s marriage in 1895, his wife Irene (Irene Langhorne Gibson) become a model for Gibson Girl. Gibson’s Girl became the archetype of American femininity of the upper and middle class, a fashion ideal, a role model.
The Gibson’s Girl look wasn’t an easy feat to achieve. She was immaculately beautiful, with a voluminous hairstyle framing her face. She was slender, narrow-waisted, and attractively sensual. Often, dressed very exquisitely, she played sports with enthusiasm and skill. Most importantly, the Gibson Girl had a confident grace and cold confidence, was independent in relationships with men, showed a sense of humor and attitude to life, which was then associated with a “new woman”. Gibson’s girl, however, was less controversial than the new woman; she wasn’t a suffragist, didn’t get involved in politics.
The image of not a living, but just a painted Gibson Girl was imitated in the United States and Europe. After all, the Gibson Girl was always dressed in the latest, trendiest fashion. Gibson himself said, “I haven’t really created a distinctive type- the nation made the type…There isn’t any “Gibson Girl,” but there are many thousands of American girls and for that let us all thank God”.
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Very often, less is better. In our time saturated with visual (and not only) images, excessive fashions look ridiculous. Kim Jones for his Fendi ss 2022 Haute Couture collection with minimal means, achieved the maximum result. Simple classic silhouettes, black, gray, red, blue (but what beautiful red and blue) colors, as well as images of ancient statues and textured ornaments from the Renaissance, became a guide to the ancient Roman culture.
Jones’s muse was Rome, and he revealed the theme of the Eternal City with the Haute Couture craftsmanship and techniques: “It has so many layers to it. It’s such an ancient city,” he said. “We’re always thinking of the past, present, and future of it. The idea of different times and that very spiritual side of Rome, which becomes almost celestial; almost spacey.”
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For the query “Pussy Pussy“, Google returns scenes from the “Pornhub”. But in Fashion World Pissy Pussy “is a Brooklyn based, self-taught, wearable art designer, creating outrageous couture pieces for themself and other performance artists around the world”. The designer explains brand naming: “I definitely know my brand name plays a big role in the success of my brand because it’s vulgar“. Their work revolves around covering the human body and transforming it into an artistic creation made of shapes, patterns, colors, and textures.
LOOK more at the official site: https://www.pissy-pussy.com
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Johannes Warnke was raised in Germany and studied at Central Saint Martins in London. Since his graduation in the summer of 2020, his creations have garnered attention from the spheres of high fashion and performance: he designed the dress for Lady Gaga’s “911” video or the several gowns that outfitted Post Malone’s choir during the 2021 Grammys.
“I don’t see much of a difference between a painting or a sculpture and a couture piece,” says Johannes Warnke. “We might usually say that painting is art and that fashion isn’t necessarily. But I think art comes more with the message and the intention behind it, as well, perhaps, as with the skill set that’s involved in creating it.”
“Couture isn’t about making historical dresses, but rather about what the artistic message is, what the artistic process is, and how much love and time was invested in it.”
“Couture, to me, has the same reasoning as a painting, sculpture, or installation, and I think that, if it’s done well, it’s a socio-political reflection of our time. Fashion should mainly be about exciting people and being part of a purposeful, positive, artistic expression, just like a theatre play is…”
Maristella Okpala, Miss Universe Nigeria, was awarded the Best National Costume at Miss Universe 2021. The 20-year-old Filipino student designer Kennedy Jhon Gasper is behind this costume. Last year Kennedy Jhon made the costume for miss Cameroon. It was only his second time designing a costume for Miss Universe. Despite that, he has created costumes for Miss Grand International Haiti 2021, Miss Utah Teen USA 2021, and Miss Supranational Kenya 2021. Recently, he also won the Best in State costume for Miss Utah Teen USA 2021.
The traditional masquerade of the southeastern tribe of Nigeria called ‘Mmanwa’ inspired the costume. Moreover, the costume is made of African beads, stones, crafts. Additionally, the three feet tribal mask with the colorful ancient back cape featuring Mmanwa’s face ties everything perfectly.
What’s more, Miss Universe Nigeria explained that it represents how the beautiful figure fought tirelessly to stop child mutilation and slavery. On the other hand, the patterns and embellishments portray the African dashiki which is meant to invoke the ancestral spirits.
Furthermore, she believes that the attire reflects her advocacy to protect children and women against abuse. Other than representing the rich cultural heritage, it also pays homage to the strong will of women.
The winners are not judged, but there were still many beautiful national costumes at the Miss Universe 2021 contest.