Kyiv fashion: Take a peek inside a Kyivan socialite's boudoir

18:45 Nov. 9, 2016

Take a peek inside a Kyivan socialite's boudoir

Marina Ivanova's fashion collection (UATODAY/Emil Durov)

"Kyiv fashion-mongers of early XXth century cared more about cleanness of their outfits than about war" - fashion historian Marina Ivanova

The only Ukrainian fashion museum opens an exhibition of garments from the past epoch that expose style and beauty secrets of Kyiv fashion devotees.

Exquisite dresses for opera, promenade, house visiting and horse racing, garnished with pearls, ostrich feathers, moire ribbons and French lace had been exhibited at Ivan Honchar Museum to show what Ukrainian Coterie wore. 

Read more Ukrainian mens fashion 100 years ago - just watch it

The owner of the museum, fashion historian Marina Ivanova says that Ukrainian wealthy ladies took such watchful care of their garments that they even sent their underwear to France - just to get it cleaned and starched. It could help preserve expensive dresses and made them look like new for a longer time.


 The outfits presented at the exhibition have been worn by women who belonged to Ukrainian bourgeoisie, which made up to 7-10% of the population. The cost of a visiting dress at the beginning of 20 century could be 30-40 roubles, for instance, at the same time the price of a cow was 5 roubles. More sophisticated designs with beads, gold and pearls could cost up to 200-300 roubles.


The collection includes costumes which had been produced by early 20 century Ukrainian designers, but most of the garments were made in Europe and the USA. Marina Ivanova explains: "Ukrainian dressmakers tried to imitate Paris outfits and Ukrainian ladies loved abundance of sophisticated expensive elements in their garments."


The exhibition also displayed ladies' underwear; silk and cotton corsets, trousers and petticoats which were used by Ukrainian women to give their bodies the hour glass shape. Just the underwear could weight up to 2 kilograms.

The exposition also displays childrens outfits and ladies accessories such as hats, bags, feather fans and Ukrainian bridal wreaths.


Read more Discover the mesmerizing beauty of traditional Ukrainian crowns


The collection belongs to Ukrainian fashion historian, Marina Ivanova. Before becoming a fashion historian, Marina Ivanova was a dressmaker. Initially, she gathered the collection to demonstrate to her students what design methods 19 and 20 centuries' dressmakers applied. 

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