V Is For Vyshyvanka


So that’s one hell of a word to type – lucky I wasn’t drunk, like usual never. A vyshyvanka is a traditional embroidered Ukranian shirt and no-one (I can say that quite confidently) makes more beautiful vyshyvankas than Ukranian designer, Vita Kin. She’s been designing them for 8 years (though more for friends) but it seemed as if she just exploded out of nowhere, cryptically wooing the Instagram generation instantly with no website or stockists (sales were done directly through ‘gram), her wares debuting to the masses on the inimitable Anna Della Russo and Leandra Medine, amongst others.

These vyshyvankas are admittedly not cheap. I was lucky enough, after a bout of constant correspondence, to receive one from Vita, though for next season she will be stocked at Matches and Alex Eagle. I’ve been talking to Vita because I’m fascinated by the fashion scene in Kiev and am writing something about it for Style. Ukranian fashion is so joyful, so colourful and ornate and the industry itself, so young. Daria Shapovalova who runs Mercedez-Benz Kiev Fashion Days, is 27. Anna K, a Ukranian fashion designer who is now stocked in 60 outlets worldwide which soon includes Avenue32, is just 19 years old. It’s inspiring – as is this incredible dress. I’ve never had more comments on a piece of clothing than I have on this dress, unsurprisingly. It hangs on my wall like a beautiful wall hanging and it feels a total travesty to even let it touch the tube. (I’m not sure it’s suited to my morning commute. It seems fit for a Pashley and nothing else, but sadly no-one who knows me will let me ride a bike, as apparently spilling your cereal bowl over your keyboard every single day is indicative of poor road skills.)

As I get older, I more and more look to pieces that I can keep and treasure forever, which inevitably means more expensive pieces that are stand-alone beautiful. This vyshyvanka by Vita Kin – worn open over jeans; at night with heels; Reebok Classics during the day; with a polo-neck underneath for winter – is most certainly one.


I’m wearing a Vyshyvanka by Vita Kin dress and Uterque multi-strap Mary Janes.

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