As per announcement, here is a weekly feature on Kyiv Fashion booklets, spanning the period from 1972 till 1990. Be it for my mum’s heritage or some other reason, but there has always been many Ukrainian fashion booklets in our house. The most amazing thing about these booklets is that they all feature sketches and pictures, so you will be able to see how the sketching technique evolved in 20 years. You can view individual photos on Flickr.
|Kyiv Fashion Models 1974|
I grew up flicking through the pages of old fashion booklets and magazines. Although I didn’t realise this at the time, most of those booklets were produced by the Kiev Fashion Model House, the actual models being drawn by the Ukrainian fashion designers. Some of the booklets were also in Ukrainian, so this, together with Nikolai Gogol’s folk stories, was my introduction to the Ukranian language that my maternal grandfather spoke.
|Kyiv Fashion Models 1985|
Naturally, as the years go by, we start appreciating same things in a different way. As a kid, I felt like missing some of the 1970s air: I loved those sophisticated ladies, a complex mix of innocence and seduction, and handsome men with moustaches, strong, independent, yet elegant. I drew much inspiration from these magazines and booklets throughout my teens, when I made paper dresses for the dolls or wrote romantic stories. To me, 1970s that I never actually saw epitomised the time of whirlwind romances, intrepid gentlemen, and ethereal ladies. Cue in Faye Dunaway, Michael Caine, Barbra Streisand, and Robert Redford, just to begin with.
|Kyiv Fashion Models 1988|
|Kyiv Fashion Models 1987|
This is just a teaser of what you can really expect to see and savour over the coming weeks. Apart from throwing tons of lights onto the Soviet fashion, these images are also unique in that they are all hand-drawn sketches representing changing perceptions of female beauty from year to year.
|Kyiv Fashion Models 1989|