The three collections by fashion labels Kseniaschnaider, Paskal and Frolov were put together in Ukraine despite constant interruptions from missile attacks and air raid sirens.
“I think it’s really important not to stop,” said Ksenia Schnaider, one half of the husband and wife team behind the Kseniaschnaider label.
The designer has been travelling back and forth from Ukraine and her new base in the UK, where her daughter is at school, since taking the decision to carry on with fashion despite the war.
Schnaider feared she might “never be able to create again” after being forced to leave Kyiv last March.
But after travelling to Hungary, then Germany and finally Britain, she decided she had to continue for the sake of herself and her team.
“You can’t stop even if reality is terrible, you should continue doing what you do best, still be creative, try to bring beauty to this world of tragedy,” she told AFP backstage.
“There’s a lot of new meanings in this, it’s not just being a fashion designer like it used to be, I need to save my culture and my traditions.”
Kseniaschnaider’s Autumn Winter 2023 collection featured plenty of the brand’s trademark denim along with blazers and skirts made out of surplus stocks of neck ties now that Ukrainian men have swapped them for military fatigues.
“It’s really meaningful because Ukrainian men don’t need ties now because they are fighting,” she said.
You can sit and cryJulie Paskal said all four of the designers behind the three labels had been conflicted over whether it was right to carry on with fashion