Photo: Bild Credit: © Lina Grün
Recently, the Ukrainian brand BOBKOVA presented a new collection called “MRIYA (Dream”) at the Berlin Fashion Week in Kant Garagen. The show was made possible thanks to a grant for Ukrainian designers from the NEWEST (Fashion Council Germany) project.
The MRIYA collection is full of contrasts: delicate feminine lace and soft knitwear tell about the search for inner comfort, and rough army blazers embody the courage of a fighter. Bobkova pays a lot of attention to how a woman feels about her clothes and how she adapts them to life, which is constantly changing.
The sensuality of lace is one of the main accents. It lends delicacy to BOBKOVA’s signature minimalist styles, from long 90s lace-edged slip dresses and bras are worn over shirts to patchwork mini dresses, and A-line skirts teamed with Françoise-style leather stocking boots Ardi era of the 60s. Allusions to military uniforms tell the story of female soldiers: suits in a safari aesthetic with skirts and blazers with massive patch pockets represent a refined and grown-up take on practical functionality. The word MRIYA adorns metal rings stylized as brass knuckles.
The philosophy of upcycling reigns in this collection, heroically created in the Kyiv atelier against the backdrop of critical wartime conditions. Focusing on manual work was a pragmatic decision when machines were regularly shut down due to power cuts. From scraps of fabric and remnants of knitted material, artisans created new products and decorative details using patchwork and crocheting techniques known and practiced for centuries in the Ukrainian countryside. Recycling helps the atelier minimize waste and develop a sustainable approach. The designer, for whom sustainability is a principle of thinking, buys fabrics in Italy from surplus rolls of luxury brands to support a conscious second cycle of using surplus materials in the fashion industry.
At the age of only 23 and as a Kyiv National University of Technologies and Design graduate, the Ukrainian Kristina Bobkova founded her eponymous label. She has been part of the Ukrainian Fashion Week since 1998 and has been presenting her ready-to-wear, handmade accessories and shoes in her home country ever since.
Ever since BOBKOVA was founded, the label has stood for self-confident femininity. With the combination of feminine silhouettes and straight, unmistakable Japanese cuts, the designer pursues a higher fashion sense, namely breaking up gender stereotypes.