This week I had the great honour to attend a panel discussion on the future of the EU’s Eastern Partnership. It was informative for a student of political science like myself, whose focus is on international relations and migration. So there I was learning from experts sharing their opinions on newspaper headlining geo-political events.Of course even before questions were open to the audience, there was a lot of discussion on Russia and Ukraine.
What happens in Ukraine with Russia not only affects them but affects the member countries of the EU and the United States. This is a foreign policy challenge on a large scale, interwoven with issues of economic development, loyalty, defence, culture, and history. Now where does the fashion come into this?
Now my roving political eye has never landed on issues in the former Soviet Union, but once it did I was enthralled. So I thought to myself, my other biggest love is fashion…I wonder what is going on in that region. That’s when I discovered Ulyana Sergeenko.
This Russian designer is known as a regional ambassador in fashion as her designs integrate influences not only from Russia, but other countries in the post-Soviet space ,such as Georgia and Armenia. Her designs are so beautiful as to be almost fairytale like due to the effort put into minute embroideries. Her smile and her personal style absolutely exudes confidence in what the eastern Europe has to offer the world.
Her spring 2015 collection is a wonderful mixture and demonstration of soft and hard power influences which are currently playing out through the region’s crisis. Eastern influences are a much welcomed inspiration for fashion this year, and with them assurances that everyone’s culture has a place in the future even through clothes.
Sergeenko’s stunning beauty, unapologetic, pride filled demeanour makes her a fashion icon! I’m now a big fan and will be following her developments closely. Her designs have a strong feeling of history and tradition yet are very modern. There is something in her complex creations to be enjoyed by every fashion lover who strives for individualism (from subaltern fashion like steampunk and lolita, to upper class divas and debutants).
After briefly researching Ulyana Sergeenko and Russian street fashion, my hunger to travel to Russia and other eastern European countries has only grown stronger. I have to see the source their fashion inspiration that gives life to their designs! It’s now my fashion policy to look into what’s going on within the post-Soviet states and their neighbours…what’s a better combination than fashion with a critical eye?