Ten30 have created something truly unique with their fourth collection, The Ukrainian Girl. Not solely with the result, though the garments are stunningly-simple and gorgeous in their own right, but with the inspiration for the range.
You see, the Ukrainian girl after whom the collection is named doesn’t actually exist. She’s a fictional 24-year-old girl called Abigail - half gamine, Eastern-Bloc goddess and half English rose. Yes, I did just say fictional!
Alan Moore, designer behind Ten30 who was recently awarded Best New Scottish Designer at the Scottish Variety Awards, explains that Abigail – a.k.a The Ukrainian Girl - acts as an imagined inspiration and represents a mixture of his experiences and aspirations:
"My influence for this collection was born from my intrigue of Ukrainian pysanka, European ballet and 90's Versace. This range afforded me the opportunity to combine the most interesting features from all three to create a contemporary ready-to-wear collection,” said the 24-year-old designer.
“I’ve been developing Abigail’s story and character for many months now. She has her own blog and Facebook page giving her a virtual persona. I want people to understand my designs through her eyes, as she is the pivotal point for the collection.”
Brilliant and baffling though this explanation may be, there’s no denying the beauty of the pieces he has created using the imaginary Abigail as his muse:
A Luxurious shift dress cut from Persian-style printed silk and adorned with a Peter-pan collar – detail of the moment, it is all about collars for spring – is a personal highlight.
A similar print is used for a surprisingly demure calf-length skirt, which conjures connotations both of the 90s Versace influence Moore mentions, but also reminds me of Christopher Kane’s latest nostalgic AW11 collection:
But there are also more wearable, everyday pieces present too, including a Breton-striped t-shirt, harem pants and pure wool boleros, all printed and hand-made in Scotland.
Cathy Black, head of textiles at Scottish Enterprise who provide industry support to textiles designers and companies in Scotland, said:
“Since graduating [from Glasgow School of Art], Alan Moore has created beautifully-designed bespoke garments and a number of successful capsule selections. The Ukrainian Girl, his second official line, is a beautiful mix of contemporary print on quality fabric.”
What is most striking about this collection, after the high-caliber craftsmanship and quality of the pieces, is the obvious fact that Ten30 are prepared to commit 110% to their inspiration without diluting it. A fictional Ukrainian girl might sound peculiar, but she has acted as muse for a dynamic and intriguing collection of garments which showcase Ten30 as a brand to watch for the future.
I unfortunately couldn't make The Ukrainian Girl debut catwalk show so could only review the collection via the press shots. I'd have loved to have seen some close-up shots of the prints and details, but on the other hand I do love the contrast between the gritty urban setting and the clean lines of the pieces in the lookbook shots.
Here's a few snaps of the show:
Hot stuff. Loving the quirky makeup, styling and presentation...
What do you guys reckon?