Who are you?
are peddlers of the new faith,
setting the beauty with iron tone.
Vladimir Mayakovsky 1918
IT is the words of Russian futurist writer Vladimir Mayakovsky that provided the inspiration for Yulia Yefimtchuk’s SS17 collection, which manifests itself in a striking, unapologetically bold aesthetic, with an overtly didactic intention.
A unique, somewhat revolutionary Ukrainian brand, each of Yulia Yefimtchuk’s collections carries an overt political message, using fashion as a medium to confront contemporary social issues.
A look from Yulia Yefimtchuk’s SS17 collection ©Yulia Yefimtchuk
For SS17, Yefimtchuk celebrates and advocates the ideas behind Communism – those of social equality, solidarity, and the development of the individual, as well as of society as a whole. She suggests that it is upon these ideals that society may move forward and her pieces seem therefore to call for a youthful uprising, for the creation of a new and brighter future.
The silhouette is simple with an underlying sporty aesthetic that speaks of juvenility and rebellious subcultures, such as the oversized jumpers, tracksuit-like trousers and military-style boots. Armbands and sashes are a further indication of protest and are emblazoned with the word “Communism” or “glory of the world’s youth” – a slogan taken from Leni Riefenstahl’s film Olympia.
The palette is entirely red, black and white – colours of course, strongly associated with the Communist movement, and which have dominated Yefimtchuk’s aesthetic since the label’s inaugural collection. She believes that red symbolises love and happiness, black represents power and confidence and that white denotes peace.
by Hannah Bergin
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