The clean, minimal lines of Ukrainian designer Irina Dzhus’s garments speak a lot to my interests. The hyper-clinical silhouettes are strong, while the pleats are feminines and precise without being fussy. Every detail is thoughtfully executed, and at times, the garments recall wartime nurse’s clothing, a la Florence Nightingale. Perhaps it’s the dark grey workman’s denim, or perhaps it’s the monolithic structure of the pieces, but there is an unmistakeable uniform look to each of Dzhus’s designs. Add to it the deliberate folds (are they wind panels?) and powerful shoulder details, and the pieces look like practical, solution-based clothing in a quasi-industrial dystopian world.
Dzhus takes inspiration from the geographical remnants of Ukraine’s Soviet past: abandoned plants, monumental factories, utopian monuments. You see it manifested in the statuesque stoicism of the model and the unrelenting stiffness of the clothing. Somewhat reflective of this physical rigidity is Dzhus’s uncompromising stance on fashion consciousness and sustainability. She is committed to the ethical, cruelty-free production of her designs, and expresses an idealistic desire to create products for intelligent and socially-conscious people who value morality and nature. In an era where speed and efficiency (no matter the cost) have become the cornerstones of fashion retail, it’s refreshing to see a designer take on such an admirable stance. The thing is though, her designs are so good, that even without her dedication to sustainability and accountability I’d still be a fan.
You can buy Dzhus’s current collection at Notjustalabel.com.
Images via Wild