The first club restaurant opened in Kyiv introducing fruit cuisine, which is popular with fashion circles in both New and Old World, under a telling name Fructopia Fashion Cafe.
Halyna Lohvynova, president of the Initia E. M. Company, welcomed the guests in a playful interior in merry yellow, pink, blue, and orange colors. She stood at the cradle of the Ukrainian model and fashion business, which, however, had not become an industry in this country. Halyna is one of those few who not only survived in the fashion and show-biz market but promoted to a more socially significant activities: cultural and other practical initiatives. Ms. Lohvynova presented the new restaurant sporting the same Moschino gown as at the opening ceremony of the second Chorna Perlyna [Black Pearl] Ukrainian Contest in 1997. She announced that she is donating this gown to a mini museum of fashion situated at Fructopia’s second floor. Now it exhibits the works of Ukrainian fashion designers and various souvenirs collected as rarities by the host of the “Fashion Hour” television program, Stas Yankeliovsky, from his trips to Paris fashion shows during several years.
The symbol of the restaurant, as well as a basis for its menu and decoration, is the orange. Oranges are scattered and piled everywhere inside; there are also some orange trees in flowerpots. Even specialty cocktails and desserts are served in empty orange rinds. The club menu includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, and berries along with fish cooked in a truly esthetic manner. To prevent those who cannot enjoy food with no cholesterol from feeling a persona non grata, there also are barbecued ribs.
Another interesting conceptual decision in the club’s interior are bookshelves with English language literature and fashion magazines which customers can leaf through over a cup of coffee waiting for their order or change of courses. Indeed, gaining a reputation of an intellectual and sitting in public places with a book in one’s hands has come into fashion in Europe in the last three years.
The ground floor boasts a replaceable exposition of photo projects by the best models of the L-Model Agency, one of Ukraine’s oldest. On the whole, Fructopia’s position is clearly focused on both amateurs and professionals in the fashion business.
The opening gathered an impressive set of guests. The organizers invited a complete Areopagus of Ukrainian journalists competent in the sphere of fashion. Nina Morozova, chief editor of Elle’s Ukrainian version, honored the party with her presence. As usual, designers Liliya Pustovit and Oleksiy Zalevsky were in the spotlight. The appearance of a screen star Ruslana Pysanka arrested attention of respectable gentleman, disappointing a group of young models awaiting compliments from them.
Selected guests were presented with club cards. There were no fashion shows at the party, since there were plenty of guests wearing well considered costumes, and a successful renewal of the vanity fair alone after the summer dead season was enough to draw their attention.