KHYZHA COLLECTION IS INSPIRED BY THE ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE OF THE UKRAINIAN CARPATHIAN
KHYZHA collection continues to explore Ukrainian architecture and its construction traditions, reinterpreting the architectural heritage and daily life of the inhabitants of the Ukrainian Carpathians. PODYH embraces the simplicity and clarity of the forms and lines characteristic of the region’s buildings, creating a connection between centuries-old traditions and the present.
The collection’s name, KHYZHA, which means “dwelling” in Ukrainian, refers to the traditional houses of the Lemko people, one of the ethnic groups in the Carpathian region.
The collection embodies the shapes of various traditional structures such as wooden churches, bell towers, windmills, and houses, as well as architectural and construction methods used by masters.
“It was fascinating to explore techniques used by different craftsmen and integrate them into garments,” says Daria Plaksyuk. For example, the traditional carved talisman six-petal rosette (called Gromovyk in Ukraine) has been reinterpreted and adorns cutouts on the back of dresses and tops.
The silhouettes of the styles also replicate the volumes and forms of architecture: lively and light fabrics represent the connection with these incredible buildings through wide, trapezoidal, and stepped structures.
Special emphasis was placed on the colors in this collection, which reflect both the natural elements of Carpathian architecture – wood, straw, and clay – and the colors of regional ornaments and decorations.
Among the looks of the collection, the raffia dress occupies a special place. With its imitation of the structure of a thatched roof and a multitude of refined details, this dress becomes a true work of art.
Another highlight of the collection is the bags and accessories. “I am very proud of the accessories made from leather scraps, which mimic traditional roofing techniques such as “Dranka,” a type of wooden shingle, and thatched roofs.
Additionally, this season we introduced the Vitryak keychain, a handmade leather accessory that reinterprets the traditional wooden windmill,” says Daria Plaksyuk.
The name of each item is a Ukrainian word associated with its architectural inspiration, such as Vitryak – windmill, Dzvinytsya – bell tower, Dranka, Gont – types of wood shingle, Strikha – straw roof, and others. It helps to stay connected and further delve into the heritage of the region and style.
BRAMA COLLECTION IS INSPIRED BY THE ARCHITECTURAL TRADITIONS OF KYIVAN RUS
PODYH, a brand at the intersection of architecture and fashion, continues to explore Ukrainian architectural heritage. The BRAMA collection is inspired by the architectural traditions of Kyivan Rus.
The architecture of Kyivan Rus is a synthesis of monumental forms and elegant decor; impregnable defensive fortifications and intricate artistic carvings. Ancient Kyivans used wood to express their own perception of building beauty, sense of proportions, and harmony of architectural forms with the surrounding nature.
“Ancient Kyiv is an impregnable fortress surrounded by earthen ramparts and wooden palisade walls. The entrance to the fortified city is possible only through the gate – BRAMA. So for me, BRAMA became the starting point for learning about Kyivan Rus.
The BRAMA collection is an attempt to find a connection with the ancient Kyivans, to understand their life and way of life at that time. Since it is the soul of the people embodied in wood,” – comments on the name and meanings of the collection, brand designer Daria Plaksyuk.
Allusions to defensive constructions occupy a special place in the BRAMA collection: a wooden palisade is recreated in palazzo trousers through vertical pleats; defensive towers-fences are recreated in a dress and top through a massive overhanging collar with imitation of shingles.
The Dranka cape is a reinterpretation of a defensive outpost covered with impenetrable scales of wooden planks.
The designer also reinterprets the various architectural decorations that our ancestors used to decorate buildings.
Thus, the decorative element of the pediment – tympanum – is reflected in the scalloped bottom of the straight vest and skirt costume.
And the delicate ornament of lace carvings is reflected in the embroidery on the Merezhyvo dress.
The color scheme of the collection emphasizes the austerity of architecture and does not distract from the monumentality of the images. The products are not oversaturated with fabric textures, and the main emphasis is placed on conveying the textures of architecture through individually developed techniques that echo the approaches of past masters.
A special accessory was the bestseller of the KHUTIR collection – Vitryak bag in new versions – in black, with a sheepskin insert, in a larger-sized. They perfectly complemented the looks and emphasized the connection between the origins of Ukrainian folk architecture and Kyivan Rus.
KHUTIR COLLECTION IS A TRIBUTE TO UKRAINIAN FOLK ARCHITECTURE AND ITS CRAFTSMEN
The war made everyone look within, asking who they were, how to act, and what would prove to be a support in such a difficult time. Each person searching for the strength to create and live. For Daria Plaksyuk, the designer of PODYH, Ukrainian folk architecture became that support. This is embodied in the mini collection KHUTIR by PODYH – a brand at the intersection of fashion and architecture.
KHUTIR is a dialogue with the past, a step towards understanding the identity and originality of the Ukrainian people and their architectural traditions. “This architecture is like a monument of wood, clay, and straw. Each their own evidence of incredible technical thought that has passed down through time. Touching this heritage, you’re able to feel both the cultural background and multifaceted talent of the Ukrainian people. As you start to realize yourself becoming a participant of the continuous work of many generations you feel the strength and confidence to continue creating” – says the brand designer Daria Plaksyuk.
The KHUTIR collection includes three images, each of which an homage of traditional Ukrainian buildings. Thus, the hut-mazanka was transformed into a light white dress made of tencel, a linen skirt, and a bag that mirrors the customary thatched roof with its shape and leather fringe.
The commemorative image of a long vest and palazzo trousers reinterprets the Ukrainian wooden church tower. The Dranka bag, replicates the method of covering the roof with wooden plates – shingles, later becoming an addition to the image.
The shape of the windmill was embodied in a small shoulder bag and a necklace made of burnt wood. And its facade was reflected in a knitted dress with vertical lines, an allusion to the traditional technique of facade decoration – otherwise known as a shawl.
The chosen colors and materials harmoniously combine the collection with architectural works, so that it becomes their continuation and completion. The shades of warm straw, whitewashed clay and wood – from time-aged grey to freshly sawn warm brown – reflect the naturalness and authenticity of the architecture.
Particular attention is paid to wood as one of the main building materials. Therefore, the collection reflects not only the techniques of the masters but also the wooden elements used – handles for bags made of birch bark and decor made of burnt ash. This is a tribute to carpenters and carving masters.
The final elements of the collection are typical for Ukrainian life – these include wattle (wicker fences) and clay jugs. They are reflected in the jewelry Tyn necklace and Hlechyk hair tie. Thus, the wattle is made by hand on a loom in the traditions of folk craftsmen. And the jugs are made of clay, using the technique of milk glazing. Therefore, each has a unique shade and shape.
KYIV MODERNISM COLLECTION IS INSPIRED BY THE KYIV BUILDINGS OF THE MODERNIST PERIOD
The period of 1960-1980 is considered to be a turning point in architecture in its content: cardinal updates of forms and constructions, refusal of decoration and nationalization, functional approach. Really valuable and innovative objects have appeared, which are characterized by simplicity of forms and constructions and boldness and complexity of compositional solutions. These buildings are devoid of unnecessary aesthetic “noise”, and not oversaturated with details, color, or decor. Each element is justified, corresponds to the idea, and creates a complete composition of volumes and lines. Following the principles of modernist architects, it was decided to create a collection of Kyiv modernism, which rethought the famous buildings of Kyiv modernism: Vernadsky Library, Hotel “Salyut”, Hotel “Mir”, “Memory Park”, the building of the Faculty of Physics of KNU. T. Shevchenko, and “Flying Saucer” on Lybidska Square.
Caisson (architectural element) on the ceiling of the gallery of the Vernadsky Library is reflected in the Caisson bag.
Taking the “Flying Saucer” form as a basis, Kyiv UFO was created. This is a small leather bag for keys and cards.The Salut backpack bag is the most iconic and most difficult element of the collection to manufacture; with the help of hand crocheting, large eyelets, and a round shape, it was possible to convey the composition and details of the famous Kyiv hotel. The color scheme of the collection is not accidental: reinforced concrete and steel were used in the construction of modernist architecture. Due to this, the architecture is perceived as a whole, like a sculpture. For the Kyiv modernism collection, the designer chose a palette of gray shades with the addition of black and nickel in the accessories.
Although the inspiration for the collection was architecture, there was no desire to quote it directly in clothing.
The brand designer sought to create functional things for a woman who lives in a big city and combines several roles. This approach is fundamental for modernist architects. However, now in Kyiv, as in the whole of Ukraine, there is a problem of losing the monuments of modernist architecture. Most of the objects are in critical condition, and others are being ruthlessly destroyed. PODYH’s work aims to draw public attention to the problem of the disappearance of the cultural layer so that everyone could see the beauty and value of this architecture impartially, without reference to the era.