Fashion is not only about the voguish fabric, but a work of art brought to life. In it is a vision of the future. In Belarus, this vision consists of both timeless elegance and daring creations awakened by talented designers during Belarus Fashion Week (BFW), which took the capital city of Minsk by storm on April 6 to 10, 2016.
The large international event was the exact definition of beauty and graceful- ness, with fashion pieces that delighted the eyes and the soul of each fashionista within the audience. Models showcased collections that certainly rivaled those seen in Paris and Milan. Yet, there was still something Belarusian about the designs, and in the world of fashion, standing out is certainly important. Here, on the runways of Minsk, was the perfect combination of unique beauty and fashion-forward trend-setting. Each designer took their chance to show the world their collection – namely their vision. Each walk down the runway was a moment of truth. The atmosphere this season seemed even more electrifying than the last.
This was the 11th season of BFW, and twice a year for more than five years, BFW has provided a platform for designers and artists, fashion journalists and anyone in the world of fashion to showcase their talents. Of course, fashion is also more than just style. In fact, fashion is a global industry of trillions of dollars, and the fashion designers at BFW certainly seemed ready to take their visions to the next level.
BFW was organized by Yanina Goncharova, the public relations and communications agency Open Podium, and the Belarus Fashion Council. The biggest fashion event in Belarus traditionally began with a press conference and evening opening ceremony, and the shows took place at the National Exhibition Center, which boasts the largest pavilion in Minsk. However, BFW was not confined to the walls of the pavilion, as a large number of fashion events took place in different locations throughout the capital. It seemed as though, for at least this one week, fashion was in the air!
BFW also went live internationally, as the shows were available for international viewing in real-time on several websites. Many abroad tuned in to watch each col- lection, keenly interested in Belarusian fashion. Of course, Belarusians were also watching, and BFW even received extensive coverage on many different TV channels. Young bloggers, who participated in the Fashion Blog Competition at BFW, had the opportunity to visit all the fashion shows and share their thoughts on each collection. The atmosphere alone was something worth sharing.
The organizers of the event certainly knew how to put on a show of national talent. The full ensemble of renowned de- signers and clothing brands were all showcased, including those of LEORGOFMAN, ton-in-ton, Julia Babiy, Candy Lady, NAVY, Line A, Harydavets & Efremova, Davidova, BOITSIK, AlenaGoretskaya, Hunkemöller, Kardash, Aiplatov and many others.
However, BFW was also international. Foreign designers presented their stunning collections including Federica Tosi (Italy), Marina Reimann (Germany), and FABRYAN (England). Consequently, BFW brought together a large number of guests from different nations’ ministries and embassies and caused a great deal of interest in the media. Those from the ministries of the Republic of Belarus, heads of large organizations, chief editors and famous fashion icons were also all distinguished guests at BFW.
Of course, fashion is about the future, and this season, BFW placed the focus on up-and-coming designers in Belarus. New Names BFW was a competition for beginning designers, and the final took place on April 9th. The competition aimed to focus
on students and talented young designers. In a true Belarusian twist, a rule of the competition was that the designers must work with natural linen (provided by the Orsha Linen Mill in Belarus) and create a truly transformative, modern collection. The winner was A.M. Shiroky Merenkova Marina, a graduate of the Institute of Modern Knowledge.
Fashion is also about giving back to the community. The Kids’ Fashion Days BFW fashion shows were part of a project called From Children to Children, a charity event organized to raise money for the construction of a Belarusian children’s hospice. The children’s collections were stunning, and, of course, the models simply brought the clothes to life!
This season’s BFW was truly electrifying, as evident by those participating in the LG Electronics Competition. There were many installations which combined fashion and technology, resulting in one of the participants receiving a grant from
the partnering LG Electronics Company, in order to create and develop a ready-to-wear collection. This exciting collection will be presented at next season’s fashion week.
In the display of striking fashion at this season’s BFW show, Belarusian designers are fast approaching fashion powerhouses such as Prada, Burberry and Chanel. Despite rising to the levels of European and American giants, Belarusian fashion still remains distinct in its ease, lightness, optimism, and elegance. As designers sell this season’s vision for the future, fashion- lovers eagerly await what the next season holds.
BFW invites organizations, companies, brands and media to participate in the next season which will be held in Minsk in November, 2016.
By Veronica Grigaltchik
For more information: www.BFW.by