Less than three months of full-scale war have dramatically changed Ukrainians, not only on the inside but also on the outside: Our compatriots have changed their fashion tastes – mainly for practical reasons.
NV spoke with Yulia Savostina, stylist, fashion blogger and founder of the festival of Ukrainian things In Search of Made in Ukraine, and identified the top five fashion trends sweeping the country.
1. Khaki and military
Military realities have made khaki and military-style clothing a trend. Moreover, such clothes are becoming increasingly popular among civilians, because, as stylists explain, people who now wear military uniforms in public space have a powerful heroic role, and most Ukrainians seek to associate themselves with courage and strength.
“Our military pixel (camouflage pattern) is now at the top of popularity and in absolute trend, as is the khaki color,” says Savostina.
“All men want a ‘fleece jacket like Zelensky’s’ and are ordering trainers from Italy like the president’s. This is not an issue of pea-cockery, but about the desire to bring victory closer.”
The stylist claims that the military trend has been seen on the world catwalks for the last few years, but really began to go mainstream just as the war began.
2. Memes and yellow blue
In early March, the U.S.-based Pantone Color Institute chose the new main colors of 2022 – the colors of the Ukrainian flag “free” blue and “energetic” yellow. The global fashion industry reacted immediately, and the yellow and blue palette adorned the new collections of the French fashion houses Balenciaga and Lanvin, as well as the vast majority of Ukrainian clothing manufacturers.
Ukrainians are also dressing en masse in T-shirts, sweaters and sweatshirts with printed inscriptions of major military memes. Winged expressions have become the most popular, such as “Good evening, we’re from Ukraine” and “Russian warship, go f*** yourself.” Almost all Ukrainian brands of various levels and price ranges have such items in stock, and even the luxury segment is trying to meet the rapidly growing demand.
3. Sport and comfort
Ukrainians prefer comfortable clothes. According to one of the largest e-commerce websites OLX, over the past three months, dresses and shoes have replaced sportswear and trainers in the top sales in the category of Fashion and Style. Demand for them has doubled, according to OLX analysts.
There is also demand for simple and multifunctional things. “In peacetime, such things could be called ‘restaurant-baths-beach,'” as Savostina jokingly describes the trend.
“Now it should be ‘load boxes, go for coffee, evacuate with a dog over your shoulders.”
4. Women without makeup
Bright dramatic make-up, intricate hairstyles and an excess of accessories, as well as heels and women’s dresses for Ukrainian women are a thing of the past – it seems inappropriate during the war.
“Girls have stopped putting on make-up at all,” says Savostina. “But there is still a request for a manicure. This is a kind of folk tradition, a feature of the nation – to keep your hands in good shape. Being in the evacuation, women first ask about a manicure, not where to dye gray hair.
5. Bearded men
Along with President Volodymyr Zelensky, many Ukrainian men have grown beards. And it’s nothing to do with the youth fashion of recent years – now the Ukrainian establishment and white-collar workers, including respected businessmen and media personalities, have stopped shaving After all, today the presence of a beard is considered evidence of the soldierly employment of its owner, and gives him a military charm in the eyes of others.