Kyiv-made: Litkovska brings chic clothes and Ukraine strength to Paris | Paris fashion week

Gerard Ortiz

You would by no means guess from the immaculate tailoring and finely turned silhouettes of the Litkovska assortment revealed at Paris vogue week that its creation was frequently interrupted by air-raid warnings, which compelled the 23-robust workforce of tailors and stylists to flee the design and style studio for a bomb shelter. It stays the only Ukrainian brand on the Paris catwalks and is still made and generated in Kyiv by Lilia Litkovska and her group.

The bombardments are just a single of the logistical problems faced by the designer and her crew in Kyiv. “There are issues each individual working day, but we locate answers every day,” reported Litkovska backstage before her present.

“We are pretty lucky for the reason that our studio is close to a very good bomb shelter,” added Olena Iakovenko, a person of four team members who travelled to France with Litkovska to phase the party.

A model wears a Litkovska ensemble from the autumn-winter 2023 collection in Paris.
A design wears a Litkovska ensemble from the autumn-winter 2023 selection in Paris. Photograph: Romuald Meigneux/Sipa/Rex/Shutterstock

The assortment, referred to as From the War Zone with Peace, was demonstrated at an art deco cinema in opposition to a backdrop of footage filmed inside the Kyiv studio.

“I am in Paris mainly because I want to chat about our unbelievable, courageous state and about our strength and our culture and roots and our deep record,” claimed Litkovska, who started her brand in 2009. Camel, toffee and charcoal gray make for a chic, neutral palette on the catwalk, but near inspection revealed the yellow and blue of the Ukrainian flag, embroidered in miniature upcoming to the Litkvoska title.

A model wears a Litkovska creation in the Paris show on Wednesday.
A design wears a Litkovska generation in the Paris demonstrate on Wednesday. Photograph: Romuald Meigneux/Sipa/Rex/Shutterstock

Litkovska has kept her label likely since of her deep really like for her country – and simply because of her appreciate of fashion. “After what we have been by the previous year, I sense extra than at any time that just about every day is treasured. I like my dresses to be stylish, mainly because it helps me to remember that each one day is particular.”

Litkovksa was all set for a occupied working day in her Kyiv studio on 24 February past calendar year, planning to put ultimate touches to a assortment prior to travelling to Paris trend week to show it on the catwalk. Instead, soon after waking that early morning to the sound of bombs saying the Russian invasion, she fled by car or truck to Poland with her toddler daughter and one particular suitcase, leaving that collection guiding.

Lilia Litkovska with some of models wearing her collection backstage in Paris.
Lilia Litkovska with some of types wearing her assortment backstage in Paris. Photograph: Romuald Meigneux/Sipa/Rex/Shutterstock

Ukraine’s 1st lady, Olena Zelenska, is a longtime customer. To mark Ukraine’s most latest independence day, Litkovska manufactured her a very simple white pencil skirt with a matching silk shirt with regular Ukrainian embroidery in delicate seed pearls. When Zelenska satisfied Joe and Jill Biden last calendar year, she did so in a pale lemon yellow Litkovska skirt fit, teamed with blue footwear.

“I adore to do the job with Olena,” the designer reported on Wednesday. “And I recognise the great obligation of dressing the initial girl. It is innovative work, to be able to join with the entire world through what you dress in.”

Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska, centre, wears a lemon Litkovska skirt suit while visiting Joe and Jill Biden in Washington last July.
Ukraine’s very first girl, Olena Zelenska, centre, wears a lemon Litkovska skirt accommodate while checking out Joe and Jill Biden in Washington past July. Photograph: Abaca/Rex/Shutterstock

The London division retailer Selfridges has been a stalwart help by a challenging 12 months. “When the war started, they stated: ‘We are your companions, and however very long it usually takes to provide the collection, we want to aid you,’” Litkovska stated. “It was a good determination for the workforce, recognizing we had that order.” The workforce delivered the collection to Selfridges on program in the spring of 2022.

Quite a few users of the packed to capability Paris viewers had been Ukrainian clients now residing in the French cash. “There are many women of all ages who experienced to go away Ukraine to discover basic safety for their children. They are faithful customers. They say that when they don Litkovska, they really feel like they are house,” said Iakovenko, including that she will return to Ukraine following the show. “I am content to be in Paris, but I miss Kyiv.”

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