Inside, guests gathered in the Art Deco auditorium for a show by Ukrainian designer Lila Litkovska that continued with a radio theme.

Edited  by |ANNA sam

 Life&Style  section -  CJ journalist

PARIS - 1 march 2023  

Titled “On air,” it was a metaphor for the unpredictable way life in Ukraine is unfolding by the minute. The soundtrack of the ready-to-wear show flicked between radio stations, in constant interruption. Litkovska’s collection reflected this sense of haphazardness by mixing up the styles in a generally loose and oversized display.

There were the more commercial looks, such as a black tuxedo coat worn over a floppy black slit skirt and sneakers, alongside more abstract plays in shape, like a black coat wrapped on the midriff with long sleeves to create an intentionally off-kilter silhouette.

Simple menswear suits were the nicest in what was ultimately a low-key show, with long sashes from the silken undergarments fluttering elegantly behind like a train.


Litkovska fled to Paris with her 2-year-old daughter when Russian missiles started pounding Kyiv in February 2022. But the bright-eyed and optimistic designer, who launched her eponymous brand 14 years ago and shows at Paris Fashion Week, pressed on creating her “made in Ukraine” designs by relocating studios to a safer location within the country.

“In the first week of the Russian invasion, we relocated to Lviv in the west of Ukraine. But we came back (to Kyiv) at the beginning of summer with our productions and with everyone there,” she told The Associated Press.

Litkovska said that now “it’s the same factory the same office, the same team,” as before the war and she has even “extended (the size of) our team during the first year of the war because our orders are up.”

By organizing activist fashion events with other Ukrainian designers over the last year, including pop-ups in Paris, Berlin, Munich, and Milan, she has raised about 50,000 euros ($53,000) that have gone toward buying medicine, as well as to supporting Kyiv’s biggest children’s hospital and the armed forces. She asked for 30% of the profits to go to Ukraine.

“It’s an amazing process,” she said, describing how one of her initiatives involved selling little angels.

The fashion community is key to raising awareness – and money – for the war effort as it “has a big following, millions and millions, and they can attract their audience for what’s going on,” Litkovska said.

The Belgian master of contradictions subverted the feminine with menswear for his fall collection, breaking it up with lashings of flowers and flashes of gold. They were touches that gave the sumptuous collection both softness and edge.

Soft silk trim peaked out of the hems of a charcoal pinstripe men’s suit jacket, while another pinstripe style – this time double-breasted – was worn atop a silk printed foulard skirt that hung on the bias. Subtlety was the name of the game.

Even glam rock elements, such as a gold leather coat, were handled carefully. The coat had a vintage feel with little wrinkles and was worn on a bare chest.

Jun Takahashi, founder, and designer of the Japanese streetwear-infused brand Undercover, once cited British designer Vivienne Westwood, who died in December, as an inspiration.

Whiffs of Westwood’s signature punk were in the air as Takahashi displayed a funky collection with eccentric flourishes and contrasts galore.

Sheeny gray bubble material became a parachute-like shawl with contrasting bibs that looked regal. It was worn over Formula One-style wader boots and a black and white racing check motif at the crotch.

This high versus low musing continued in a frayed bomber jacket made of posh tweed and kinky boots in bright violet. Sartorial suits came in acid tones.



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