How My Favorite Ukrainian Designer Was Able to Make Her Stunning New Collection

Over the years, Anna October’s designs—including her signature nod to lingerie, delicious knits, and knack for a dreamy color palette—have charmed the fashion world, myself included. October is one of the many brilliant designers who call Ukraine home, and as such, she has had her business completely upended by Russia’s invasion and the ongoing war. Amid horrifying devastation, October has created a platform called Bettter.Community in partnership with Vogue Ukraine Fashion Director Julie Pelipas. The idea is simple: a resource to showcase and support the Ukrainian creative community so they can continue to find work (and some dignity and normalcy) in this time of crisis. October has also been able to press forward with her own collections thanks to her and her team’s ingenuity and grit as well as contributions from the international fashion community. 

For Anna October’s Resort 23 collection, French fashion brand Celine donated deadstock fabrics. (The line is also known for its sustainable ethos.) October created the collection with a Ukrainian refugee tailor in Paris-based Institut Français de la Mode, and the rest was produced in the brand’s atelier in Ukraine through Zoom. The brand’s press release describes the collection as a wardrobe for a woman living in a big city without any trace of rusticity or romanticism. October’s own experience of having to unexpectedly move to another country undoubtedly influenced the clothing. It’s decidedly tougher than collections past. Though, it’s still infused with the beloved bra tops and corset details that are part of the brand’s DNA. Fringe and patchwork details stand out—as do knitted tops handcrafted from crocheted napkins by the community of Ukrainian women. The clothing is stunning on its own, and it’s even more meaningful once you know the backstory. Scroll down to take in the collection, and while you wait for the resort 2023 collection to become available, make sure to shop Anna October’s site. The Innocence Blouse ($380) is a personal favorite, but everything from the brand is so special. 

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