Berlin Fashion Week witnessed the remarkable showcase of Ukrainian fashion label PODYH and its Spring/Summer 2024 collection, titled KHYZHA. Under the creative direction of architect-turned-designer Daria Plaksyuk, PODYH presented 15 stunning looks at the Runway Presentation in the Kronprinzenpalais, leaving the audience of over 200 guests in awe.
Daria Plaksyuk’s Pride in Representing Ukraine
Founded in 2020, PODYH has quickly established itself as an exceptional women’s fashion brand, drawing inspiration from the rich architectural heritage of Ukraine. Daria Plaksyuk takes pride in representing her country’s cultural wealth and diverse talent through the medium of fashion. “As a Ukrainian designer, I also feel a deep sense of pride in representing the heritage of my country and sharing it with the world through fashion,” says Daria Plaksyuk. She expresses immense gratitude for the opportunity to showcase her new collection at Berlin Fashion Week, recognising it as a significant milestone for her and her team.
KHYZHA: Reimagining the Carpathian Architectural Legacy
The SS24 collection, KHYZHA, continues PODYH’s exploration of Ukrainian architecture and its construction traditions, reimagining the architectural heritage and daily life of the Ukrainian Carpathians. PODYH embraces the simplicity and clarity of forms and lines seen in the region’s buildings, establishing a connection between centuries-old traditions and the present. The collection derives its name, KHYZHA, from the traditional houses of the Lemko people, one of the ethnic groups in the Carpathian region, meaning “dwelling” in Ukrainian.
KHYZHA embodies the shapes of traditional structures such as wooden churches, bell towers, windmills, and houses, as well as the architectural and construction techniques employed by master craftsmen. The collection seamlessly integrates decorative motifs and ornaments found in Carpathian architecture and folk embroidery. Stay up to date on the newest in the world of Fashion, Arts, Beauty and Lifestyle; Follow FAB on socials.
Traditional Techniques Woven into Modern Garments
Daria Plaksyuk remarks, “It was fascinating to explore techniques used by different craftsmen and integrate them into garments.” For example, the traditional carved talisman, the six-petal rosette (known as Gromovyk in Ukraine), has been reinterpreted and adorns cutouts on the back of dresses and tops. The silhouettes of the styles mirror the volumes and forms of architecture, with lively and lightweight fabrics symbolising the connection with these remarkable buildings through wide, trapezoidal, and stepped structures. The colour palette of the collection reflects both the natural elements of Carpathian architecture, such as wood, straw, and clay, as well as the colours found in regional ornaments and decorations.
Music and Visuals Transport the Audience to Ukrainian Villages
Also, through carefully chosen music and visual elements, PODYH created a profound connection with the source of inspiration, immersing the audience of over 200 guests in the ambiance of Ukrainian villages and the Carpathian region. Among the 15 captivating looks presented on the runway, one dress stood out: a raffia creation that mimicked the structure of a thatched roof and was embellished with intricate details, turning it into a true work of art. The collection also featured standout bags and accessories. Daria Plaksyuk proudly shares, “I am very proud of the accessories made from leather scraps, which mimic traditional roofing techniques such as “Dranka,” a type of wooden shingle, and thatched roofs. Additionally, this season we introduced the Vitryak mini bag, a handmade leather keychain that reinterprets the traditional wooden windmill.”
Ukrainian Naming Convention Adds Cultural Depth
Interestingly, each item in the collection bears a Ukrainian name associated with its architectural inspiration, such as Vitryak (windmill), Dzvinytsya (bell tower), Dranka, Gont (types of wood shingle), Strikha (straw roof), and more. This naming convention fosters a deeper connection with the heritage of the region and the distinct style it represents. Be the First to Experience the Exquisite Summer Issue of e-fab; Join the Fab community now!
In conclusion, PODYH goes beyond being just a brand; it is a mission that promotes the exploration and appreciation of architecture’s value. With its KHYZHA collection, PODYH intertwines architecture and fashion, creating wearable art that celebrates Ukraine’s architectural heritage. Daria Plaksyuk’s vision and dedication to her craft have positioned PODYH as an exciting addition to the global fashion landscape, promising an innovative future where fashion and architectural inspiration continue to merge harmoniously.