Whilst Kiev probably isn’t usually on your fashion radar, Ukranian designer Alina Zamanova shows why its worth keeping an eye on those scenes outside the big four fashion cities. The artist and fashion print designer has previously worked with big names like Alexander McQueen and Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio – as well as plenty of brands in her homeland – and last week presented the debut collection from her newly founded namesake brand at Kiev Fashion Week.
With print-heavy clothing and scarves the perfect vehicle for her aesthetic – which, unsurprisingly given her background, is deeply informed by visual art – Zamanova plays with and subverts traditional ideas of beauty through her variously macabre and floral hand drawn illustrations. Entitled “No Concept”, the collection, ironically, invites fairly conceptual readings, with “Fuck This” scrawled on models’ foreheads, bananas being salaciously eaten, plenty of fishnets and, most dramatically, well-cut outerwear heavily decorated with incendiary, sometimes disturbing imagery. This season, Zamanova collaborated with London-based designer Bianca Thoyer-Rozat to create a collection that worked as a canvas to the artist.
The influence on the theatrics of the presentation? Alexander McQueen’s radical spirit and, in particular, Martin Margiela’s iconic AW 1992 show and its groundbreaking anti-glamour vibe. As debut collections go, it’s about as thrilling a start as you could hope for: watch this space.