We are constantly working on the design and testing of new models. I am often asked:
how do I create clothes? Mostly I cannot explain it. Sometimes I try, then I get even more confused.
In order to somehow explain it to myself as well, I sat down to analyze and recall how I had worked on some of my favorite models. I went through the archive, went through the memories. I made conclusions.
The conclusion will be at the beginning of this article, and the analysis is below.
All the most interesting elements and models were created experimentally and with a hint of fear, which sounded like this: how will others perceive it? Can I allow myself to interpret my vision exactly as I feel?
After all, ethnic has a great history and power. It is much easier to create and sell something that has already been created or sold. And new is always a risk. And now, when inventing new forms, this risk seems to pierce through me and scares me a little. But I really like it. Based on these feelings, I create new models of clothes. In fact, it is the work of the whole organism. Because when you put one fabric to another, sensations appear in the body: pleasant or not. And if I change something, how is it now? At the same time you also need to understand how everything should be technically: during sewing, wearing, care, etc.
Sometimes it may seem: what is difficult here?! Yeah 🙂
That is the way it happens.
Suit made of a woven fabric, collection “Yednannia”, 2022
The suit from the creative experimental series which started with my trip to Kosiv. Victoriia, an associate professor of the Institute, gave me fabrics to work with there. She says “take them, make something out of them.” I thought they reminded me of Chanel tweed suits. However, I failed to try reproducing something similar, because I was limited by the length of the material. I was also limited by the checkwork and the way the tissue sections were processed. They need to be glued through and the load on the seams must be calculated.
Handmade woven fabrics made by a student of the Kosiv Institute of Applied and Decorative Arts. Woolen thread, twill weave. The primary source is from bags of Kosiv and Kolomyia districts. Student Anna Yasinska wove 4 pieces of cloth, and I used them in my suits. One of the suits had been sold before the series was completed.
Actually, I want to try working with these fabrics more. But I understood that it was necessary to plan the item before making the material.
Sarafan with a print, collection “Flower Pixel”, 2022
I copied this Bukovyna carpet from a book. When I had covid, I bought a course in 3D and a computer with a video card, because my gadget must be powerful, must withstand the workload 🙂
I was learning how to place images on a fabric in virtual space. After several months of trying I thought:
1. An image is very important.
2. I need to start with something simpler.
That is how shawls came to exist – something simpler than clothes. The product is simple in form, on which it was easier to predict the final result. We have had them on sale for a year and a half, since October 2021.
I had been puzzling out the image for a long time before I started drawing myself. I did not know what it should look like, I did not like anything. I took different images, made collages from them, took ready-made collages, drew ornaments myself, until I tried this carpet. But I did not have an image of it in good resolution, so I started looking for other carpets and a photographer who could provide an image for me. I went to the markets of Yaremche and Kosiv, asked sellers, friends, acquaintances. I spent the summer of 2021 on this.
At the end of the summer I dared to copy the carpet. But it is not easy either! I looked for ways, tried various graphic programs. I settled on the non-professional one for other tasks, but with functional features that allowed this.
It was the finish straight, but since that moment I had tried and remade it 10 more times. Every time I finished I understood that it was not good. I wanted to reproduce the print so that it looked like that ancient carpet when being printed. That is: the interweaving of threads should be visible. This process lasted forever, until I dared to send the first cloth to print. This is currently one of my favorite techniques that I plan to develop in the brand.
Velvet coat with aero down, collection of 2019
Every time we at our production site start sewing something that we have not done before, it immediately becomes a little creative there:
– no skills and understanding of how to process new knots
– how long it will take
– which sewing option to choose
– it is necessary to make new patterns, gradation
– it is necessary to test fabrics and garment accessories.
And then it is not yet clear how “our potential customer” will react to this novelty.
Such tests take some time and effort. But I wanted to try making at least one thing finally not embroidered, and to make a pattern with a volume: with seams that hold aero down inside. The coat is velvet on the outside, and the inside is lined with black linen. The product turned out to be festive and cozy, like a spring to the touch.
Coat made of striped wool, collection of 2019
This pattern was drawn for me by artist Olesia Vakulenko. We met in Nur-Sultan (Astana) at the exhibition of our dresses. She drew all the patterns for me so that they could be used in a rapport order, which is a bit difficult. I had interesting wool – striped. This is a solid piece of cloth of two green colors. And I spent two hours proving to my cutter that 2 coats should come out of this length, and how to combine the stripes. When the cut was assembled for the fitting and I explained to the girls how to embroider it, my embroiderers asked: “How? It is like a road roller drove over your back? Moreover, in red?”
I myself was a little scared, because an expensive fabric + a large volume of the pattern = a high cost. My mother, who worked as an accountant for us at the time, created names for each model so that it would be easier to distinguish items without codes. She called this coat “a small watermelon”. The original watermelon has a brother watermelon, but the rest of the coat and kersetka (waistcoat) models from this collection remained in one copy.
Silk dress, 2018, collection “Expectations”
And the pattern for this collection was drawn for me by my friend from Ivano-Frankivsk, Maryna Maliarenko. We became friends with her when I started making clothes and she worked as a manicurist. Maryna did artistic painting on nails on any subject. There was a period when she was painting my models’ nails in the style of Petrykivka painting or putting an ornament from a dress or a coat for the runway shows and shootings.
Then Maryna presented me with a bracelet painted in the style of Petrykivka for my birthday. At first I thought it had been bought as a ready-made item until I saw that the flower was the same as the one on my coat – that is how skillfully it was made. Later she drew me an ornament for a tattoo and then she went to the USA and already there she taught the technique of Petrykivka painting at her personal master classes. And I asked her to draw me an ornament for clothes.
Originally, the drawing was purple-lilac, but in this collection I decided to significantly limit the spectrum of the color palette for the first time, to create something gentle. We embroidered with metallic thread on natural silk.
Blouse with roses and woven poncho, 2017, collection “Ya. Bachu.”
We first tried the crochet technique in 2014. But this time I wanted to make a crochet of a large size. Therefore, I decided to buy an embroidery machine with a larger size of hoops, that at that time cost 9 thousand EUR, industrial equipment. I bought it remotely when I lived in Kyiv, and the production was in my native Ivano-Frankivsk. And along with the purchase I ordered the design of the scheme of roses on the sleeves.
So, at first
– one girl drew roses for me in a graphic program with dots, taking into account the sizes and colors.
– the other one developed from this pattern an algorithm program for the movement of the needle of the embroidery machine.
At that time the supplier company brought this high-speed embroidery unit to my workshop. And since then we had not been able to embroider those sleeves for 2 months:
– those who made the scheme said that the problem was with the machine
– those who sold the machine said that it was incorrectly installed
– those who installed the machine said that the scheme was incorrect.
Later it turned out that there were some nuances in each of these aspects, which generally gave such a result. We did embroider the sleeves. Guess how long it takes to embroider 2 sleeves? – 2 days. Then, however, we replaced the scheme with a simplified and slightly thinner one.
And we made a poncho on a 1 meter wide loom from two identical pieces of cloth. But the pattern on it is not the same in length, it stretches in colors, from dark to lighter. Accordingly, this rapport order had to be repeated exactly, which is not easy.
The poncho is lined with velvet, and the belt for it is also made by hand on the loom, but with a slightly different technique – the carpet technique “in the eyelet”.
Dress with stars, 2017, collection “Nebesna”
The entire collection “Nebesna” was sewn from thin polka dot batiste. I had doubts then: can I combine embroidery with a polka dot fabric? – because they are completely different in mood.
But this fabric reminded me of the starry sky that I saw one wonderful evening in the Carpathians. And I saw many patterns, symbols and flowers in this sky and this evening. That is why I wanted to try recreating such a sky in dresses for girls to put that sky on themselves. Such are those dresses: delicate, airy, mysterious, dotted with starry patterns.
Coat with a gathering and an ornament of a lizhnyk (a thick woolen mostly patterned-woven plaid rug), 2015
The “gathering” technique was most often used on the cuffs of embroidered shirts of Eastern Podillia. This technique was used to narrow the volume of a garment element. And it also had a “knitted effect”. I thought it would be interesting to make a “gathering” on a coat. In woolen fabric the “gathering” technique gives a large terrain and a massive assembly. This particular coat was painted with a broad stroke, sparing no effort, threads and cloth. I love such a format of creativity.
Woolen dress with woolen lace, 2016, collection “Shliakh Dodomu”
We had a lot of lace that was used for dresses. It reminded me of a spider’s web, because it looked good without a fabric underneath, on a naked body. That is why we started designing from its form. To make solid cloth for the hemline and back, we created the pattern the rapport order of which matched the size of the purl of the lace.
The size of the dress details was also calculated on the basis of the sizes of the pattern and the width of this lace.
The fabric completely matched in color and composition with the lace, and from the inside it was lined with a duplicate material – for internal comfort: to prevent the wool from biting 🙂 And for the aesthetics of the inside out.
– these are the details we take into account in the process of each designing, the smallest ones. For the clothes to be beautiful and interesting. To be technically right. To be comfortable.
Woolen waistcoat, 2016, collection “Bo.Liubov”
The fabric from which the waistcoat is sewn is very dense ancient fulled wool. To be honest, I cannot remember where from it appeared at our production site. Most likely, it was brought to us by the lady, who supplied us with various interesting ancient shawls and drawn thread works. A customer bought this waistcoat right after the presentation of the collection in Lviv. By the way, later we became relatives with this customer. Because I bought my Sphynx cat Cosmos from her, that is a relative of her cat Marvel 🙂
The cloth is rough, it was difficult and slow to embroider it, but I wanted to create something a little unconventional.
Waistcoat with fur and silk dress, 2016, collection “Bo.Liubov”
I became fond of making colorful, brightly embroidered waistcoats many years before that. We had demand for them. In order to make something so colorful and multi-textured, you need to have many different colored materials available.
It often happens to me in such a way: I buy some ribbons or fabrics, they can wait a year or two for their time. Then at once we use them for a new series. It was the case here as well. This was the third collection with kersetkas (waistcoats). By this time I had already collected a considerable selection of fabrics and fur of different colors. And we also bought a beautiful material of exquisite, deep shades – silk.
Of the 12 suits this set is my favorite – a silk dress with velvet details and a waistcoat made of a few colored fabrics, with embroidery, fur and decorated with a shawl on the inside. The photo of it was on the cover of the Ukrainian People Magazine. For ethical reasons we no longer use natural fur and these shawls in our work.
Handmade jacket and dress, 2015, collection “Vira”
In 2013 I went abroad for the first time to Chicago for my personal exhibition. In between the exhibition affairs I managed to visit the local market of materials for light industry. It was a real paradise of threads, fabrics and tools.
There I bought several skeins of melange cotton threads, which at that time I did not come across in Ukrainian stores. From these threads the design of the series “Vira” began, which had lasted for a year and a half. Because all items were made by hand.
The dresses were embroidered using the technique of hardanger embroidery. Each one is sewn from fabrics of two colors and embroidered with two different types of threads – plain and melange. The jackets are based on continuous hand-woven cloth, the colors are stretched from one to the other. For the inside details we used velvet of a contrasting color on a natural basis and woolen lace.
Dress with a pillow ornament, 2013, collection “Litnia”
From hemp cloth, a part of an old pillow, pieces of woven cloth stretched in all colors of the rainbow, lace ribbons. The pattern is geometric in the technique of hardanger embroidery and black linen for the lining. And a piece of an old towel for a clutch. I was a little afraid of making such a bright suit, even in those times when everyone loved embroidery: the more, the better.
Then, according to the principle of this suit, we made the interior of our store – black wood of furniture and floors, white walls and all colors of paint on the carpet on the ceiling. For ethical reasons we currently do not use ancient embroidery for our suits.
Coat made of overcoat cloth with knitted sleeves, 2010
At that time I really liked using thick overcoat cloth for items. We just received the first roll of black overcoat cloth and a piece of the brown one. 1 meter, it was not enough for a sleeve, that dictated the solution to use hand knitting.
I remember that I had seen this coat before we started sewing it. As if the idea was born in the head, and then it turned out to become exactly as imagined. We chose the colors of the threads from the first time, as well as the pattern. I kept it for myself, because at the time it seemed too strange to be sold. While sewing, I made the coat coldproof, and I was not cold in it in the harshest winters. The sleeves were knitted with knitting needles of size 16, that is, with a diameter of 20 mm, with 8 threads, from Carpathian wool – like the socks elderly ladies sell in Kosiv. The buttons imitate the cross section of a tree.
Woolen dress with the Family Tree, 2012, collection “To Vse MOie”
This is the first item where we used the technique of tambour machine embroidery. I had a piece of super-thin wool that I did not even know where to use, I spared this beauty.
I asked to make a large pattern on it with black threads based on the Poltava towel motifs. When the finished embroidery was brought to me, I had goosebumps – how fantastic it was!
A Poltava towel is classically cherry on a white background, and black on gray looks completely different, elegant. Such a large embroidery could only be placed on a solid space without being cut. It turned out to become a dress. Later it was often ordered in various color combinations and bought by pregnant girls.
Coat from the first collection with a woolen necklace and fur patches, 2009
I came up with the idea of this coat when I was making my first collection. I sewed it almost all by myself at home. But close to the date of the exhibition I realized that in addition to sewing items, there was also the organizational work, and that I did not have enough time.
I had to hire a tailor, I drew her a schematic sketch with a pencil in a notebook. I remember the moment: I was printing posters, when the tailor Liuba called me and said: “I tailored it, come. It is so beautiful-beautiful, Ukrainian-Ukrainian.”
I bought a woolen fabric for it from the “Cheksil” factory in Chernihiv. According to my plan, the coat was to be sewn around like a Hutsul sardak (a kind of shoulder clothes with sleeves), and a massive woolen necklace was to be worn over it. After the exhibition I published a photo of it on social networks, and my friend Zoriana immediately bought it from me. I sold the coat for the cost of materials and labor, and I was very happy. For ethical reasons we currently do not use natural fur.