“Ukrainians must change their attitude towards NATO” – encourages the famous Ukrainian designer Olena Dats. Together with the Institute of World Policy, she has developed a Euro-Atlantic collection, presented at Ukrainian Fashion Week.
The colors of the Alliance, blue and white, are dominant in this collection. Many of them are decorated with the wind rose, the symbol of NATO.
[Olena Dats, Fashion Designer]:
“The theme of unification between Ukraine and Europe is very important to me. This was not a spontaneous decision. I have been thinking about this a lot, working in Europe, knowing what kind of connection we have and how we can cooperate with each other.”
For this collection, the designer ordered natural fabrics from France, Germany and Italy. Here Ukrainian style is combined with European silhouettes.
[Olena Hetmanchuk, Director, Institute of World Policy]:
“We were invited to acquaint her with the appropriate symbols. We had to explain to her what the current situation is and how the subject is perceived.”
According to a survey conducted by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, only 21 percent of Ukrainians support NATO membership.
Although many of the attendees admired the designs, it turned out that few of them contemplated the political implications.
[Olga Krymova, Fashion Show Attendee]:
“I didn't think about it.”
[Lia Zotova, Fashion Show Attendee]:
“Well, what to say, I have not thought about it yet.”
The show was attended by many diplomats and for some the theme of NATO was engaging.
[Volodymyr Ogryzko, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs]:
“Let's see whether we want to live in a normal, civilized country, or whether we want to remain in this post-Soviet system, where the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.”
It is too soon to tell whether or not this collection will change the attitude of Ukranians towards NATO. However, one thing is clear – speaking about NATO is already fashionable.