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Versus Hires Jonathan Anderson November 29th, 2012 @ 11:04 AM


Cacharel Unveils New CEO, in Major Corporate Revamp November 21st, 2012 @ 00:56 AM


Kane Drops Out of Versus in Major Shake-up November 20th, 2012 @ 10:14 AM


Pucci’s Madison Avenue Store Debuts Massive Expansion November 16th, 2012 @ 00:35 AM


Ghesquière Departs Balenciaga in Major Surprise November 05th, 2012 @ 00:43 AM


Sao Paulo Fashion Week: Between Optimism and Fear November 02nd, 2012 @ 00:28 AM


London Unveils Men’s Season Schedule November 01st, 2012 @ 00:36 AM


Azzaro Releases Castello Branco October 25th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM


Revenue Soars 22 Percent at LVMH in First Three Quarters October 16th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM


Rykiel Names Geraldo da Conceicao Artistic Director September 21st, 2012 @ 8:12 PM


Brazil’s New London Pop-Up September 21st, 2012 @ 7:20 PM


McQueen Men Returning Home to London September 12th, 2012 @ 7:19 PM


Roitfeld, Mum and Son, Open in Brazil September 07th, 2012 @ 00:54 AM


Berluti Opens to Big-Time Business in London September 06th, 2012 @ 3:27 PM


Stefano Pilati Back with a Bang at Zegna September 05th, 2012 @ 7:10 PM


Hugo Boss Wows in Berlin, Plans for New York July 06th, 2012 @ 00:17 AM


Salvatore Ferragamo: Crusin’ the Louvre June 13th, 2012 @ 11:04 AM


Michel Klein Gains New Backer; Launches Sunglass Collection June 13th, 2012 @ 00:48 AM


Sykes Jettisoned by Aquascutum; Maurer In at Rabanne June 06th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM


Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



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Kiev: Fashion's Latest Frontier

Godfrey Deeny
October 17th, 2008 @ 12:56 AM - Kiev

With luxury firms and fashion houses bracing for a turbulent few quarters in the fallout from the financial industry's debacle, it’s instructive to come to Kiev, a burgeoning new market for prestige products, currently staging its fashion season.

Chanel opened a 200-square-meter boutique just off the city’s main street, Khreshchatyk, in a huge shopping complex that includes the Pinchuk Art Center, probably Eastern Europe’s most important contemporary art museum.

Louis Vuitton has a thriving boutique, and what was striking about the large crowds attending shows in Ukrainian Fashion Week was that those carrying Vuitton products had the real thing. That’s not always the case east of Berlin where in the old Soviet satellite countries, fakes still tend to be the order of the day.

It’s another example of the strength of the local luxury consumer demand in this nation of 46 million people, that the capital Kiev has even developed a market for avant-garde fashion.

Atelier 1, the Corso Como of Kiev, has devoted the heart of its 120-square meter to Comme des Garcons, while owner Elena Garbunenko has added local talents like Lilla Poustovit, the best collection seen so far in the Kiev season. And the city’s most charming boutique hotel, Vozdvyzhensky on Andrew’s Descent, a beautiful cobbled hill which features a museum to master writer Mikhail Bulgakov, boasts a boutique in its lobby split between Rick Owens and Gareth Pugh.

And, though less of a boomtown than Moscow, Kiev is crawling with spanking new autos from BMW, one of some 20 sponsors of Ukrainian Fashion Week. Ukraine’s economy is cooling this year, like most on the planet, but this week Shell announced plans to triple its gas station network to over 300 in the next five years.

Local organizers have also worked energetically to create a season where local designers can show their latest ideas.

“Our goal is to make sure any young designer with talent and ambition really has the chance to stage a proper runway show under professional conditions,” explained Alexander Sokolovskiy, founder of the local season.

Sokolovskiy charges designers 1,500 Euros (or $2,050 at current exchange rates) for the use of the show space, including lighting, a pittance compared to Bryant Park or the Caroussel du Louvre in Paris, where rates start at 10 times that price.

While all shows are staged in a conference center in Pushkin Park, the season features parties on cool old river boats on the Dnipro river and an opening bash in Zoloti Vorota, a modern reconstruction of an ancient gate sacked by the Mongols in 1240, in the center of this 1,500-year capital.

Another example of fashion on the move was Thursday’s biggest show by Oleksiy Zalevskiy, a theatrical costumer, whose absurdist collection earned roars of applause. A curious mix of historic costuming and Eighties touches, it was a little as if Catherine the Great – not popular a Russian here seeing her troops the greatest Cossack camp here – had reappeared as the lead singer in A Flock of Seagulls. One could only admire Zalevskiy's energy and self-confidence. He had all the models stand at the finale on the runway reading a copy of his own extended coffee table photo biography.

Other shows included Olena Dats, who sent out overly complicated picnic and cocktail dresses that intermittently were wearable but in general too contrived.

Kiev does boast one pretty talented accessories designer and her name is Oksana Karavanska, who showed a series of suede Cowboy Cossack boots with rosettes that looked great. However, this local take on Moschino was a tad too crazed in her mix of patchwork prints and fabric ensembles, except when it came to a final foursome of some great kids wear that garnered a round of cheers.

The day’s best collection was by Natasha Glazkova, whose lace and cotton blend cocktails and shiny slinky silk dresses, all worn with white lace leggings that covered platform boots, had plenty of romantic zip.

Datable dolls for guys who don’t mind a gal who stands out in the crowd.

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