Every collection by Lviv-based designer Oksana Karavanska is like materialized Hutsul music, myths, and legends. However, Oksana finds inspiration not only in the Carpathians, but also the Balkans, Tibet, and India. In her latest collection (winter 2004) presented at the Fourteenth Fashion Seasons Pret-a-Porter Week, Gypsy motifs were the most pronounced. One has to admit, all this looked quite original. Imagine how original can one combine pronouncedly urban clothes with barefoot models, clinking with complicated ligatures of bracelets on their ankles. Add here the saturated and deep monochromatic colors of the fabrics: if it is fall sun, then very sunny, if winter skies, then very blue, if snow, then very white, etc. The effect was really stunning.
However, most surprising is the fact that the collection started by accident or, one might even say, woe. Oksana says that she suddenly slipped and fell on the floor in her own apartment. The fall was so unfortunate that it resulted in a most complicated leg fracture. The leg was put in plaster, and Oksana spent six months bedridden. “Maybe I should have had some rest and sleep it out. However, I was uneasy. My ward turned into an office and my leg was put into a Yelizarov apparatus instead of the traditional plaster. Under the influence of the painkillers I was loaded with, the apparatuses turned into gigantic bracelets, tissues — into colored fabrics, and healthy bare feet jumping over the fire — into a mania, which regenerated into a concept growing into a collection,” Oksana says not without a touch of humor. Moreover, she is cheerful and buoyant (which, incidentally, is felt in her collection), though she still walks on crutches, and her leg is still in the apparatus. Still, it seems that rest is really counter-indicated for Karavanska. I would like to wish her a speedy and complete recovery and that she make more interesting collections. Certainly, she should better have another reason to create them.