lviv fashion week: domanoff
(images via lfw)
although ukrainian label domanoff is one of the rare brands this lviv fashion week season that has actually presented a collection at the event before, after their debut in 2008, as part of lfw’s “new names” segment, for which, according to the lfw site, they “were awarded the prize as the creators of the most commercially successful collection,” it seems they didn’t appear again until now. working under the mantra “clothes must have soul,” lfw goes on to explain that “(t)hey are fond of experimenting often combining quite contradictory styles. A lot of handmade work is required for production of their products. Moreover, they have elaborated their own technique for interlacing thread with half-transparent clothes…According to the designers, the clothes…[are] an attempt to create the most accurate, honest, balanced and sincere reflection of the inner world of a human being, his emotional state at various stages of life.”
and rather surprisingly, for the house’s s/s 2012 collection, a little more information was available than what we typically get out of lfw. perhaps that’s because domanoff is based in odessa? anyway, the ukrainian site press release quotes one of the label’s designers as commenting, when queried as it what it was all about, (trans.) “(t)ake a deep breath, breathe in unison with nature. The new collection accumulates the energy and force of the Earth. It gives a feeling of lightness of being, lets just be, live, love, and fly?” to this the russian site announces adds that the range was (trans.) “created for modern people who live in the city, and who never have enough time to contact with wildlife. She draws our attention to the beauty of simple and concise forms created by nature itself,” while lviv beauty reports that the show was (trans.) “a combination of natural and urban, the contrast of light and heavy, simplicity and complexity, coarseness and softness, and smoothness.”
fairly limited in palette, domanoff’s colour choices reminded me more of fall than spring, with a lot of natural and sort of washed-out looking shades like natural linen, pale white-blue, soft gray, sand, cream, slate, and faded taupe punched up by shocks of silvery cadet blue, black, cobalt, and indigo. there was some faint floral-like motif on a couple of pieces, but the natural waffle-like texture of others, along with the thick grid stitched into the fabric that looked vaguely like a flame retardant (as second from above) and interplay between them with many other rather tactile pieces was the real story here. anyway, the russian site look at me relates that the materials employed were completely natural and eco-friendly, including wool, cotton, silk, and linen, while announces said that (trans.) “(t)he undisputed hit of the collection - original accessories made of wood and stone…brought specially for this collection of Egyptian and Turkish designers.”
thus, as look at me correctly pointed out, (trans.) “Combining accessories made of stone and long transparent dresses, the designers contrasted light with heavy, simple to complex.” and press release took that thought a bit further, writing (trans.) “(a)s usual, in the collections DOMANOFF, there are elements of a complex cut and finish, the contrasts of light and heavy, simplicity and complexity, roughness and softness, texture and smoothness.” and, as the site modacycle opines, (trans.) “(t)he style is distinctive of the skillful use of surface structures and the volume. This reflects a beautiful facility that is combined with attractive draping a wild look. Rigor and playfulness alternated skillfully and offer a variety of combinations…cutting edges and sometimes deliberately left [pieces] unfinished at the seams.” in other words, the show felt like a trip along a little stream in the middle of some remote wood, during which one comes across some exceedingly beautiful finds, as well as those things that are coarse and imperfect.
it was interesting to see how the house played with sexuality, with day attire, with cocktail dresses. they seemed to have a rough sense of the kinds of pieces women will want for the upcoming season, and tossed them out with some mild interest in the bottom line: fluid slacks, a very good trench or two, seductive minidresses, origami-structured outerwear, drape-y blouses, seductively sheer flowing garments. but the latter was, for the most part, about as subversive as they got; other than that stone-encrusted shiny raincoat-material dress-thing (fifth from above) and some of the transparent dresses (which could probably be pulled off with the right layers) they didn’t go too avant-y, and yet, i think, made their point nicely. i felt the unexpected, the cool rocks half-submerged in a little bubbling brook, pieces of cast-off driftwood lying about, and the whole bit. if the ‘urban zen’ thing has been something donna karan has these last few years being trying to encourage us to merge with, then she probably needs some good competition, and though i don’t know enough about domanoff to say they’re it, at least a few of their pieces (like both of those stunning looks above this paragraph) really seemed to seize on the idea with fervor (see the label’s lookbook images at look at me).