Ukraine has a strong history in traditional textiles and embroidery and these elements should be maintained and revived to become a part of the Ukrainian textile industry. The folklore element is very important part of the cultural and social identity of Ukrainian people up to the present day.
Vytoky Project is a cultural project introduced by Ukrainian Fashion Week, now preparing for its 3rd season to be presented in March during the UFW (Ukrainian Fashion Week). The Project is a combination of an exhibition and a fashion show presenting modern Ukrainian designers inspired by traditional culture and a selection of historical costumes. In the past Vytoky has collaborated with museums and collectors such as the Centre of the History of Costume and Ivan Honchar Museum. In the last exhibition historical garments were presented along with accessories, musical instruments, furniture and photographs from private collections in combination with conceptual pieces created by modern artists and designers inspired by Ukrainian cultural heritage. Everything is presented in a way to show the transition between the old and the new. This is also visible by the way their campaign is shot by contemporary photographer Dmitry Komissarenko.
This might seem like a very difficult timing for UFW considering the social-economic and political situation in Ukraine but it seems that UFW grows stronger to the international fashion world no matter what is going on. Now it is the time to make a change and be affected by current events. This is what fashion is all about at the first place, make a statement.
Melissanthi Spei is an Athenian born fashion artist based in London. Her heritage in combination with her creativity inspires her to create contemporary and sculptural garments. Part of her identity as a designer is to use industrial materials for something historical and old through the exploration of traditional arts and crafts and their projection to contemporary aesthetics. Melissanthi has taken an interest in exploring different parts of folklore culture around the world and ways to revive them within the fashion context.