Style consultant, image-designer, shopping guide and a very beautiful woman Alina Arlynn shares her vision of Ukrainian Fashion and shopping in Kiev with Destinations’ readers.
Alina Arlin: I would like to popularize our culture outside the country, to speak about our beautiful women, educated and interesting ones. Now, unfortunately, there is a very one-sided and often negative image of Ukraine and Ukrainian women in the world. I would like it to be changed.
Alina, tell us about your school of image, please.
The main focus of the school is the education of adolescents, girls of 13-15 years old. This is the age when their perception of the world is changing, when parents are no longer an example for them. And the girls look for such examples somewhere else: in glossy magazines and their friends’ advices. As a result, they get not the best patterns of behavior in society.
That is why, at the age of 20, I knew I would open a school, where it would be possible to teach the girls to dress properly, to communicate, to present themselves in a right way. The main course for girls includes knowledge about image, style, photography, fashion, history, crafts, psychology, conflict resolution and speaking in public. My credo is: happy woman is the key to a happy society. Man is a form, and a woman is a filling. Happy woman makes her man happy. It is important from an early age to fill the women in a right way.
We work not only with teenagers, but also with elder women. We held workshops, offer long and short courses, have parties and themed evenings.
Now “Made in Ukraine” trend is very popular in our country. It is very easy to get lost in the abundance of new Ukrainian brands. How to find a good brand of clothes?
The choice of clothing depends on the personality and his/her desires. There are very decent young Ukrainian brands, which will soon become known around the world. They create unique models. The problem of Ukraine is that we still do not have our own fashion style. The designers are focused on Europe, the West or Asia. It is very difficult to sell something in Ukraine. But if the foreigner wants to find something really special here, he/she should buy ethnics. There are several collectors of ethnic garments.
Read: Shopping Out of the Malls: Creative Markets in Kyiv
Which bright Ukrainian designers would you recommend?
If we talk about ethnic motives, it is worth taking a look at Natalka Poltavka, Oksana Polonets.
There are a lot of designers who work with contemporary themes. Litkovskaya is a great conceptual designer who came out of the “old school of masters”. She is worth of being promoted in the world. Podolyan is also a luxurious designer. GOSHA ALTSHULER is a terrific designer and is not afraid to experiment with forms. Dresseddict by Artem and Victor is also a very interesting brand. Their production and shop are located here, but the designers work abroad already. Bevza and her little white dress have so much light. If we talk about fashion for special occasions, I would like to acknowledge Nana Aboimova, the young designer. She takes into account all forms and creates an image of a person in a couple of minutes. She is a very promising designer. Lesya Kaplan and her Planarts brand are very special. She transfers paintings to the clothes in the Shibori technique and others. Soon she opens her own studio. Each item of clothing is a work of art for relatively little money. And I know that this brand is loved by foreigners. You can order clothing on her web. Of course, Couture de Fleur is worth of attention. It is a unique brand of high-quality clothing.
What do our modern Ukrainian designers need to become successful?
In my point of view, often, they lack taste and aesthetics. Maybe it's a lack of education in the field of art and the history of fashion.
We have a lot of showrooms in Kiev. Where would you go with a foreigner?
The choice depends upon the person's preferences. Classic feminine line is well represented in Apartment 31 and Looks. Good Ukrainian designers are presented in Corner Concept Store, S.M.L.XL. Kiev. The ONE shows conceptual and more intelligent fashion. The quality of our designers is higher than mass market, but the price is acceptable.
It is quite simple to recognize foreigner in the crowd. He/she is always stylish, well-groomed person. What do modern Ukrainians lack in their look?
The foreigners do not pay so much attention to their appearance, as our people. But they just care about their comfort and nice look. Artificial selection of clothes distinguishes our people. We have to be more organic, more natural, I think.
Read: Suitster Online Store
In which stores do you go while abroad?
I like local shops and flea markets. If I go shopping with the client, we visit brand stores. When we choose clothes for a customer I always start with his/her inner world and self-expression. If I go shopping alone I visit conceptual stores. IF Boutique is one of my favorite stores.
What would you advise to a foreigner in terms of shopping in Ukraine?
We can offer absolutely different kind of shopping depending on his/her wishes. So welcome to Ukraine, you can find really unique brands here.