In Progress. Ukrainian Dress Code since IndependenceExhibitions

In Progress. Ukrainian Dress Code since Independence

In Progress. Ukrainian Dress Code since Independence
Мистецький Арсенал
вул. Лаврська, 10-12
Київ, Київська область 01010

What? At first glance, IN PROGRESS is a recent history of Ukrainian fashion, but it is not only about fashion. Fashion has always been and remains a reflection of people’s ideas about the ideal world and the ideal ourselves in this world. Therefore, this exhibition is a story about our society, our country and its citizens, demonstrated with the help of clothes models created by Ukrainian designers.

When? This is a chronological narrative, which begins in 1991 and continues to this day. Each hall with the help of fashion presents a system of views that prevailed at certain times. If you pass through all the halls in sequence, you will see the way that our society has also passed from feeling as the inhabitants of one of the republics of the USSR to their sense of being citizens of an independent country, which is on its way to Europe. This path has not yet been completed, it continues to this day.

How? In the history of the Ukrainian fashion since Independence you can distinguish three periods, each of which in the exposition is represented by two halls. One hall reflects the idea of ​​the best society through the fashion, the second – the idea of ​​an ideal self. The last hall is a forecast: an imprint in the fashion of a fundamentally new worldview and an attitude to the planet on which we all live. Perhaps, in the nearest future, we will see how these ideas radically change the world of fashion and our world in general.

1991 – 1997

New liberties

New elite

At fashion festivals throughout the country, young avant-garde designers display collections that clearly depict the pain points of the post-totalitarian society: the process of destroying old ideology and symbols, the emergence of sex and sexuality issues in public discourse, the emergence of youth subcultures, etc. At the same time, the first private fashion houses of Ukrainian fashion designers are forming their client base with representatives of the financial and political elite of the new country.

1997 – 2010

Dialogue with the national tradition

Ukrainian glamour

Self-realization as citizens of independent Ukraine, a country with an old and vibrant culture, led to a series of original attempts to actualize Ukrainian cultural heritage, particularly, in fashion. At the same time, Ukrainian designers have played a significant role in creating the scenic and public image of the brightest Ukrainian pop singers, TV presenters and stars of secular life. The features of their quite a grotesque style have become widespread in folk variations of Ukrainian glamour, which is full of provincial and “bottom” fashion.

2010 to our time

New Urbanism. Antiglamour

New Criteria of Success: Sales Levels

Antiglamour has become the natural response of a new designers’ generation to a glamorous decade of zero years. At the same time, antiglamour aesthetics became an instrument of demonstrating unity with the global urban “nation” of the digital age. A little later, young Ukrainian designers began to work purposefully with the consumer market inside and outside the country. Instead of the uncertain “creativity”, the new clear criteria for success are the number of sales and the level of capitalization of fashion brands.

Responsible consumption

This is a definite forecast for the future. Ecological and environmental issues that were put into the principles of recycling, upcycling, sustainable fashion have become the driving force of the dramatic changes in fashion. In Ukraine, these issues are of particular importance, and sensitivity to them gradually becomes a trend – fashionable and social at the same time.

Zoya Zvynyats’kivska

Curator of the project

The idea of ​​this exhibition came to my mind almost 10 years ago – not even the idea, but the first feeling about it. During this time, the project grew from a timid thought to a huge exposition, but its main goal remained unchanged. The history of fashion for me is, first of all, the history of people. Clothing can tell about our dreams, desires, fears and prejudices better than anything else. Eventually, it can tell us about ourselves.

Olesia Ostrovska-Liuta

Director General of Mystetskyi Arsenal

When Zoya Zvynyats’kivska introduced us to her vision of this project, it was immediately clear that this project was not about fashion and not about clothes, or not so much about fashion and clothes. This is a story about how Ukraine changed from 1991 to the present. This is an extremely interesting story about ourselves, about who we were 25, 15 and 5 years ago and an attempt to imagine who we will be 10 years later.


  • Curator of the project

    Zoya Zvynyats’kivska