Anton Belinskiy, a breath of fresh air from Eastern Europe
In recent seasons, Anton Belinskiy’s name cropped up between Kiev and London, where he has already showed. This season, the 30-year-old Ukrainian designer made his debut on the Paris Fashion Week’s official calendar, bringing a ray of sunshine to it with his fresh, light-hearted style.
Belinskiy is based in Kiev, where he graduated from the Taras Shevchenko Republic Art School in 2006. For this collection, he was inspired by the iconography of the Orthodox church he attends in his home city, explaining at the end of the show that his main reference was “his mother, who is very devout.” Hence the denim or white cotton veils draped, nun-fashion, over the heads of models carrying strings of rosary beads in their hands.
A little pink crop top decorated with the effigy of a Madonna is tied over a white shirt, worn like a mini-dress over bare legs. Other looks are a little more chaste, with colourful patterned tights and even gloves, often worn with a simple shirt-bodysuit. The collection is built around a series of different, highly diverse feminine silhouettes, with the kind of post-Soviet feel which has been so successful in the wake of Vetements and Gosha Rubchinskiy.
With their nostalgic mood, tunics, trousers, tights and miniskirts look like items in vintage pictures borrowed from an old photostory. A velvet outfit with a dinky blue jacket and yellow miniskirt or, in reverse, a yellow t-shirt worn over denim Bermuda shorts, replicate the yellow and blue of the Ukraine’s national flag, a reminder to the audience of the designer’s roots. Elsewhere, a scarf embroidered in a traditional motif is worn across a pin-stripe suit.
The menswear looks, with casual, folk-inspired trousers and shirts, are attractive in their playfully appealing mood.
Belinskiy debuted with women’s ready-to-wear when he launched his eponymous label in 2009. He also worked as creative director for several photo shoots. In 2014, he was awarded the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Days prize in Kiev, and the following year he was long-listed for the LVMH Prize. His label is now available at about 15 multibrand retailers, among them Dover Street Market in New York.
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