ten30: the Ukrainian girl

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Photo: Grant Alexander McDonald


Photo: Grant Alexander McDonald

 Ginger Clark

It all started with a booklet entitled “the Ukrainian girl”, containing text on different sheets of paper tied together with a slither of printed fabric, which announced ten30’s S/S 2011 show. This in itself was quite frankly enough to whet anybody’s appetite for the event, which didn’t disappoint.

The show took place at the Flying Duck Club in the city centre on Saturday evening, but instead of the usual file of models strutting down a catwalk, single dancers emerged into the central space around which the spectators had gathered. Each dancer appeared alone and moved amongst the columns to the eerie music, which contrasted with their use of classical ballet techniques such as pointe. The four dancers ultimately appeared together, as a quartet united through the same dance moves, which brought the show to a close in a coherent finale.

Presented over simple black dancer’s leotards & tights, the collection was quite eclectic whilst remaining close to the idea of “the ukrainian girl” through the use of beautifully embroidered & printed fabrics. The clothes ranged from a bolero, echoing back to the previous collection; a black silk top trimmed with red; patterned dresses, evocative of the Eastern European… It’s impossible to overlook some very comfortable-looking hareem-like pants of thick jersey: a black pair flashed a little colour at the ankle, with cuffs of the patterned “Ukrainian” fabric, whereas a white pair were printed with pale streaks of pink. Whilst quite sporty, due to the fabric and the cut they showed definite potential to be dressed up. This probably sums the collection up: in combining a sense of folklore with modernity, the garments showed countless possibilities in how they could be worn.

The use of dancers as models simply highlighted the different qualities of the garments, not least because they weren’t the usual towering girls, but petite and muscled. It produced a completely different effect as the clothes adapted to the moves of the dancers.  Some of the shift dresses sat quite stiffly, holding & thereby displaying the shape of the collar for example, in contrast to the black silk top which melted in with the body movements of its wearer. 

The show, in combining performance with fashion was a brilliant and imaginative way to exhibit the beautiful ten30 creations. And for anyone who regrets having missed it, or for those who now want to get their hands on the clothes, the website shall be up & running soon…


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