Though not in the mainstream news much anymore, Ukraine is still embroiled in a border dispute with its neighbor to the north. But at least one designer of the avant sort, Irina Dzhus, is pushing boundaries of her own. Who needs the mainstream anyway?
Despite the austere nature of her Dzhus label, launched in 2010, there’s something familiar and refreshing about its conceptual attitude. “It’s inspired by things at the edge of perception,” she says, “from spiritual strongholds to abandoned industrial zones.”
For her fall 2015 collection, called Totalitarium, Dzhul took her cues from the authoritarian regimes of the early 20th century, particularly their working-class propaganda and stoic monuments. The silhouettes are both historical and modern, while the rare detail, like geometrical pleats, interpret architectural elements of Constructivism. All the pieces are made of authentic worker cottons and wools in a strict grayscale palette.
But that’s where similarities to brutal dictators ends because Dzhus is a vegetarian-friendly brand where all products are made of violence-free materials.
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