Art, fashion, print and politics: YULIA YEFIMTCHUK

Young Ukrainian designer, YULIA YEFIMTCHUK, explores art, fashion, print, and politics on the basis of her collection.


Young Ukrainian Designer, Yuliya Yefimchuk, bravely juggles accents that relate to seemingly very serious issues. This collection is inspired by the notorious and large-scale – even colossal – artwork from the Cold War period, Dmitriy Vrubel's "Fraternal Kiss" (located near the Berlin Wall). This image is so widely popularized that virtually everyone is familiar with it: the savvy kiss on the lips between the Soviet leader, Brezhnev, and Eastern Germany's Head of State, Erich Honecker. This 365-480cm large-scale piece (take your time to imagine the scale of the work) is more than just a statement of a particular historical era – it is more than merely an echo of the political realm of previous decades. "The Fraternal Kiss" is a fully-fledged symbol of the atmosphere that reigned over Europe on both sides of the Iron Curtain. History has proven more than once that no curtain and no wall is solid enough to curb the distribution of ideas produced by a free and curious mind. 

A short overview of the source of inspiration for YULIA YEFIMTCHUK's fresh collection was absolutely necessary to realize fully what an exciting and challenging topic she had chosen to explore. "The Fraternal Kiss" is still one of the main attractions of the Berlin East Side Gallery, and it's easy to get carried away into political or social criticism, provoking jokes that ask: "Why so serious?". Instead, Yulia Yefimtchuk demonstrates incredible sense of irony and, what is more important, self-irony – bordering on sarcasm – that lift her above the level of simply putting an art print on her designs. She is, without doubt, smarter than that.

Yulia is insightful to an extent that seems unusual for her age. She is able to foresee how elements of pop art will affect the consumers of her product. In fact, this collection requires extensive analytical skills and professional intuition, in order to manage the moods of the audience and to build the concept of the whole collection that can be presented as a single entity – even as grand as "Fraternal Kiss". Its motto states, "My God, help me to survive this deadly love!" – a desperate and uncompromising cry from the pit of the soul of the original artist found its resonance in the souls of thousands of ordinary people, his contemporaries, and continues to vibrate in the heart of young creative people like YULIA YEFIMTCHUK. She senses the shape of things to come, and is not afraid to become a mirror that reflects those changes. 

Notably, Yefimtchuk uses natural materials such as cotton alongside artificial and semi-natural fabrics such as tweed, jersey, and polyester. This ensures the attention of the viewers is kept on the print and colors, rather than seemingly unnecessary elements. the young designer applied very simple sartorial instruments: straight cuts, midi length, medium-sized classic collars, zip-through for coats and jackets, and straight three-quarter sleeves, for instance. Around half of the items are designed for an oversized fit, while others seem fairly tailored. A couple of the coats have a distinct A-line silhouette, while some of the jackets are adorned with large appliqué pockets. To avoid an unnecessary flood of color, YULIA YEFIMTCHUK chose black and bright blue as the basis of this collection. The reproductions of "The Fraternal Love" are bold and bright, with contrasting letters and strong visual graphics. 

This collection is surely a statement, and a loud one at that. On top of everything, alongside the smart and daring print positioning, YULIA YEFIMTCHUK deliberately rejects the premise of sewing on the hemline. Left raw, with hanging pieces of threads and ruffled fabrics, the skirts and tops state clearly how little their creator cares about conformist standards. So far, this is one of the most promising collections of the season, and it is already garnering plenty of admiration – especially from the team here at ODIVO.

Lada LeginaComment