The British Council in Ukraine, Ukrainian Fashion Week (UFW) and Western NIS Enterprise Fund team up again to promote emerging Ukrainian fashion designers at London Fashion Week

Kyiv, Ukraine — February 7, 2017

With support from Western NIS Enterprise Fund, the British Council is taking the work of seven talented Ukrainian fashion designers to London Fashion Week (February 17-21, 2017) as part of the International Fashion Showcase. Six of these (FLOW the Label; Jean Gritsfeldt; Alina Zamanova; FROLOV; Yana Chervinska; DZHUS; and the COAT by Katya Silchenko) were selected during the 2016 Ukrainian Fashion Week by a representative from the British Council, the British Fashion Council, and Western NIS Enterprise Fund. The seventh - Victoria Balanyuk (FLOW the Label) – is the winner of the 2016 British Council Discovery of the Year Award as part of UFW’s annual Best Fashion Awards. 

The British Council’s / British Fashion Council’s International Fashion Showcase (IFS) is the world’s largest fashion exhibition and takes place as part of London Fashion Week. Participating countries promote their most promising emerging designers in concept-based installations. The scale of London Fashion Week gives these developing talents the chance to interact with players in the British fashion industry, as well as with colleagues from around the world. Since 2012, 550 of the most exciting international designers from 70 countries have exhibited as part of the initiative. The showcase will take place at the celebrated central London arts centre and tourist location, Somerset House.

Conceptually, the 2017 International Fashion Showcase will focus on the relationship of the global and the local, with designers offering a local take on global matters, and with local matters recast in a global context. The Ukrainian stand, entitled Wish You Were Here, was developed by designer Yana Chervinska and artist Oleksandr Burlaka. Yana Chervinska was the winner of last year’s Discovery of the Year Award and as such was featured in last year’s IFS exhibition. This year’s stand recalls a typical bus stop from Ukraine’s recent soviet past: a place from which to start out on a new journey of discovery.

Artist Oleksandr Burlaka explains the design further: “The proposal resembles a familiar 1960s-70s bus stop design: the blunt concrete form, the mosaics and tile-work, the old adverts and graffiti, the cracks in its structure. From the 1960s onwards, these ‘modernist’ bus stops started playing a role in Ukrainian public art. Artists turned to monumental art forms because it allowed greater self-expression, and the things they put up on public buildings and on roadways were transformed into public galleries.”

This year, American photographer Adam Katz Sinding has produced a photo reportage about all seven selected designers, which will feature on an acclaimed international fashion media platform in the run up to London Fashion Week.   

Irina Danilevska, co-founder of Ukrainian Fashion Week:

“The importance of Ukrainian participation in the International Fashion Showcase is almost impossible to overestimate.  Firstly, it’s London! During London Fashion Week! A Creative Mecca! The place every young designer dreams of being, so that their work gathers international attention.  IFS is also a platform for the synthesis of fashion and exhibition art, resulting in some outstanding ideas when the two are combined.”

Pablo Rossello, Director Arts, British Council Ukraine:

“Now in its sixth year, the International Fashion Showcase gives audiences at London Fashion Week the chance to discover the best emerging fashion talent from around the world. It’s great that Ukraine is taking part again within our annual Fashion DNA: Ukraine program, run in partnership with Ukrainian Fashion Week and with the support of Western NIS Enterprise Fund and featuring the work of seven designers, including the winner of the Discovery of the Year Award during the 2016 UFW Best Fashion Awards. This year’s theme, Local / Global, will allow us to show how emerging Ukrainian designers explore their local identity to create and promote a unique (and increasingly world-recognised) form of fashion.”

Iryna Ozymok, Local Economic Development Program Manager of Western NIS Enterprise Fund:

We’re very excited to again provide support to emerging Ukrainian designers and for the Ukrainian stand in London this year. The creative economy is an essential pillar of Ukraine’s economic development, particularly as Ukrainian designers have already received great acclaim internationally, and we can continue that by supporting new, emerging talent. Investing in them is investing in the development, growth and a positive image of Ukraine.’