The 6 Eastern European Designers To Know Now

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The 6 Eastern European Designers To Know Now

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Photo:

F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Gabriel Rivera (clothing)

OVER THE PAST few years, Eastern European talents like Demna Gvasalia, the rabble-rousing co-founder of Vetements who became artistic director of Balenciaga, and menswear designer Gosha Rubchinskiy, who has staged his recent shows way off-piste in Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg, have pushed the frontiers of luxury fashion.

It’s ironic that those who grew up behind the Iron Curtain, cut off from western fashion, are now the people redefining it. Then again, the fashion industry loves an outsider—and creativity is often born out of constraint. Under Soviet rule, uniforms were obligatory and western clothes a rarity. “There was no space left for individuality,” said Russian fashion and tech entrepreneur Miroslava Duma.



Illustration:

Patrick Leger

But now the region is undergoing a bona fide designer boom. Messrs. Gvasalia and Rubchinskiy have paved the way for under-the-radar labels like

Petar Petrov

and

Yuliya Magdych,

names you may have come across on Instagram or e-commerce sites like Matches Fashion and Moda Operandi.

These labels are catnip for retailers—and shoppers—seeking something they haven’t seen before. “I’m constantly looking for emerging designers,” said

Caroline Maguire,

fashion director at e-commerce site Shopbop, which stocks Russian designer Vika Gazinskaya, Polish designer

Magda Butrym

and Ukraine-based

Anna October.

Ms. Maguire said she’s discovered these brands via word-of-mouth, Instagram and paying attention to influencers.

Aesthetically, these designers are diverse. Some mine their heritage and employ traditional craft, while others take their cues from the streets with edgy silhouettes and logos. The one thing they share? “They set their own rules,” said Shopbop’s Ms. Maguire. Many also make wearable clothes with the sort of smart twists that can quickly wake up your wardrobe. Here, a guide to the best Eastern European designers to consider now.

The Eastern Parade

Designers from Ukraine and Russia are a stylish woman’s secret weapon.

<strong>YULIYA MAGDYCH</strong> | History and tradition are the driving force for Ukraine designer Yuliya Magdych. Her colorful and feminine dresses and coats use embroidery techniques that have been passed down for generations. The result: beautiful bohemian dresses with an Instagram-friendly aesthetic (think: bold hues and plenty of volume). Robe, <em>$2,175, <a href="http://yuliyamagdych.com/" target="_blank" class="icon none" >yuliyamagdych.com</a></em>

YULIYA MAGDYCH | History and tradition are the driving force for Ukraine designer Yuliya Magdych. Her colorful and feminine dresses and coats use embroidery techniques that have been passed down for generations. The result: beautiful bohemian dresses with an Instagram-friendly aesthetic (think: bold hues and plenty of volume). Robe, $2,175, yuliyamagdych.com
F. Martin Ramin/ The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Gabriel Rivera

<strong>MAGDA BUTRYM</strong> | Based in Warsaw, Magda Butrym merges the streetwise feel of Vetements with a feminine sensibility. Look to her for dresses with on-trend silhouettes—asymmetric hemlines, cut-outs—that won’t make you feel like a fashion victim. She tempers the edge with floral motifs. “Her feminine prints really resonate with our customers,” said Shopbop’s Ms. Maguire. Ms. Butrym said she wants to imbue her clothes with “soul” and taps the talents of Polish artisans to do so. Dress, <em>$1,997, <a href="https://www.magdabutrym.com/" target="_blank" class="icon none" >magdabutrym.com</a></em>

MAGDA BUTRYM | Based in Warsaw, Magda Butrym merges the streetwise feel of Vetements with a feminine sensibility. Look to her for dresses with on-trend silhouettes—asymmetric hemlines, cut-outs—that won’t make you feel like a fashion victim. She tempers the edge with floral motifs. “Her feminine prints really resonate with our customers,” said Shopbop’s Ms. Maguire. Ms. Butrym said she wants to imbue her clothes with “soul” and taps the talents of Polish artisans to do so. Dress, $1,997, magdabutrym.com
F. Martin Ramin/ The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Gabriel Rivera

<strong>LITKOVSKAYA</strong> | Don’t expect to find cheery, folksy embroideries in the collection of Kiev-based Lilia Litkovskaya. Her forte is a refined take on contemporary dressing that will attract professional women in need of non-generic office-wear. Think of it as a cross between Dries Van Noten and Céline. Litkovskaya Skirt, <em>$900, H. Lorenzo, 310-659-1432</em>

LITKOVSKAYA | Don’t expect to find cheery, folksy embroideries in the collection of Kiev-based Lilia Litkovskaya. Her forte is a refined take on contemporary dressing that will attract professional women in need of non-generic office-wear. Think of it as a cross between Dries Van Noten and Céline. Litkovskaya Skirt, $900, H. Lorenzo, 310-659-1432
F. Martin Ramin/ The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Gabriel Rivera

<strong>PETAR PETROV</strong> | Born in the Ukraine, raised in Bulgaria and now based in Vienna, Petar Petrov designs an eponymous womenswear line steeped in the distinctive modernism of his adopted home. His attention to immaculate tailoring and focus on high- quality fabrics have made him a hit with the luxury set. Petar Petrov Dress, <em>$1,590, <a href="https://www.net-a-porter.com/" target="_blank" class="icon none" >net-a-porter.com</a></em>

PETAR PETROV | Born in the Ukraine, raised in Bulgaria and now based in Vienna, Petar Petrov designs an eponymous womenswear line steeped in the distinctive modernism of his adopted home. His attention to immaculate tailoring and focus on high- quality fabrics have made him a hit with the luxury set. Petar Petrov Dress, $1,590, net-a-porter.com
F. Martin Ramin/ The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Gabriel Rivera

Petar Petrov Jacket, <em>$1,190, <a href="https://www.net-a-porter.com/" target="_blank" class="icon none" >net-a-porter.com</a></em>

Petar Petrov Jacket, $1,190, net-a-porter.com
F. Martin Ramin/ The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Gabriel Rivera

<strong>ANNA OCTOBER</strong> | The Ukrainian designer makes sweet dresses using methods rooted in her region’s cultural history. Her spring collection was detailed delicately with ricrac while her line for fall, pictured here, focuses more on prints and nattily cool tailoring. Jacket, <em>$707,</em> Sweater, <em>$551</em>, and Trousers, <em>$431, <a href="https://annaoctober.com/" target="_blank" class="icon none" >annaoctober.com</a></em>

ANNA OCTOBER | The Ukrainian designer makes sweet dresses using methods rooted in her region’s cultural history. Her spring collection was detailed delicately with ricrac while her line for fall, pictured here, focuses more on prints and nattily cool tailoring. Jacket, $707, Sweater, $551, and Trousers, $431, annaoctober.com

<strong>VILSHENKO</strong> | The work of Russian talent Olga Vilshenko, available on Net-a-Porter and Matches Fashion, is known for its fairy-tale quality. Fans of dreamy, bohemian brands like Valentino and Chloé will find a kindred sartorial spirit here. Vilshenko Jacket, <em>$970, Capitol, 704-366-0388</em>; Trousers, <em>$1,080, <a href="http://www.matchesfashion.com/" target="_blank" class="icon none" >matchesfashion.com</a></em>

VILSHENKO | The work of Russian talent Olga Vilshenko, available on Net-a-Porter and Matches Fashion, is known for its fairy-tale quality. Fans of dreamy, bohemian brands like Valentino and Chloé will find a kindred sartorial spirit here. Vilshenko Jacket, $970, Capitol, 704-366-0388; Trousers, $1,080, matchesfashion.com


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By | 2017-07-13T22:46:10+00:00 July 13th, 2017|0 Comments

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