Ukraine

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Vira Nakonechny avaUkrainians even in the 21st century take great pride in their embroidery. These are considered high art and filled with themes that are deeply symbolic and meaningful. One of the famous Ukrainian artisans is Vira Nakonechny. She is skilled in many folk crafts, including embroidery, weaving, beading, folk costume reconstruction, etc. She is a woman that doesn’t even live in Ukraine, wasn’t born in Ukraine, and visited Ukraine for the first time at a rather mature age, but she’s Ukrainian by descent. And, living in the US, she teaches people how to do Ukrainian handicrafts.

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Cradle avaIn Ukraine, children traditionally wore embroidered shirts from a very young age. The patterns served as the protection from evil. Most of the time, children were dressed in a shirt and nothing more – only at the age of 3, 10, or even 15 (depends on a region of the country), they added skirts, trousers, belts, and other garments. We’d like to show you some of the embroidered pieces of clothing used by Ukrainian kids at the beginning of the 20th century.

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Male costume avaVintage men’s clothing in Ukraine is rather hard to find. Most of such garments didn’t survive till these days, unlike female costumes (of which there are plenty). We would like to show you 12 authentic male outfits from the end of the 19th – the first half of the 20th century. The garments are stored in The Ukrainian national center of folk culture “Ivan Honchar Museum” and in private collections. You can find some pretty interesting and opulent pieces here. Also, there are several typically masculine accessories to supplement the costumes. Enjoy!

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Ukraine avaUkrainian traditional costumes from western, northern, and north-western regions of Ukraine are very colorful, bright, and sophisticated. In this areas, proud-spirited and honorable people traditionally lived, and their costumes are like that as well. We are glad to share with you several photos of female folk outfits from the mentioned Ukrainian regions. You will also find out how different garments and jewelry pieces are named.

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Earrings ava2The jewelry makers in Kievan Rus’ were amazingly skilled. And their production was in a great demand. You can’t imagine the finished outfit of a local woman without jewels. We tried to gather as much interesting info about jewelry pieces of Kievan Rus’ as possible. From this article, you’ll find out what is skan’ and zern’, what jewels did Medieval people wear, and what designs of jewelry were the most popular. Also, you’ll learn why stone-set rings of the period lost their stones so easily. And much more.

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Embroidery avaUkrainian traditional embroidery is one of the main clothing crafts in this country. It is said that embroidering can increase person’s energy field and thus, helps to maintain good health. People in Ukraine really believe in that, especially those who have spent decades practicing this craft. Yuriy Melnychuk is one of the few men in Ukraine – because most Ukrainians consider embroidery to be women’s work – who became a skilled craftsman. He embroiders, teaches other people how to do it, and gathers his own collection of vintage samples of embroidered costumes and embroidery patterns.

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Necklace9 avaUkrainian folk costume is always complimented with such jewelry pieces as necklaces. And traditionally it is normal to mix and combine different kinds of necklaces, no matter what the shape, material, or price of them is. Brides even covered their neck, breasts, and stomach with various necklaces – from the chin to the waist. Despite the lack of a united style, Ukrainian vintage jewelry sets look very beautiful and balanced.

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bag avaUkraine has some cool traditions regarding folk accessories, especially bags. Ukrainian traditional handbags, shoulder bags, and purses are diverse, bright, and richly decorated. Each of them has its own purpose. Today, it is hard to imagine that a man and a woman can share one bag. But in some regions of the country, folk bags are unisex and still stylish.

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Vytoky avaIt’s not often that the folklore and traditional costumes are presented at the Fashion Weeks around the world. Most of the designers strive to invent and show something new, to shock and surprise the public. Though, one of Ukrainian Fashion Weeks presented the vintage folk clothes and got really good feedback. Sometimes the latest clothing trends and old clothing traditions get intertwined or merged pretty nicely, don’t they?

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necklace avaThe national costume of Ukraine always includes a necklace. In old days, the rings, earrings, or bracelets were traditionally less common. But a necklace was a must-have and an integral part of any attire – festive or daily dress. It served not only as an embellishment but also as a protection amulet and a mean to show the status and financial capability of the wearer. The Ukrainian tradition of using various necklaces is rich and exciting.

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Costume Lviv avaUkrainian traditional clothing is rather diverse. The festive outfits are always colorful and rich in embroidery and bright decorations. But there are certain regional features that help to distinguish the attires according to the area of origin. Here you are the collection of the folk costumes from different regions of Ukraine that belongs to the Museum of Ethnography and Crafts in Lviv (western Ukraine).

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Ukrainian embroidery2 avaFor Ukrainians, embroidering is very symbolic. Only women used to embroider because this process was considered sacred – though, today anyone can do it. When a woman is embroidering she scribes the life she wants for the owner of the piece on the fabric. Hand embroidering is a process similar to the meditation. In Ukraine, people believe in the power of embroidering and know how to use this power.

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Ukrainian embroidery avaThe tradition of making and using embroidery on fabric in Ukraine is very ancient and strong. Many pieces of the national costume of this country are embroidered (like embroidered shirt called “vyshyvanka”), as well as festive towels (called “rushnyk”), tablecloths, toys, and other household items. There are over 250 embroidery stitches used by the craftswomen. Every region of Ukraine has its own patterns, symbols, traditions, colors, and techniques of embroidering.

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Fashion show avaMany modern young people in Ukraine are fond of the national costumes of this country. Of course, you can buy a modern embroidered shirt called “vyshyvanka” without any efforts at all. But in Ukraine, today it is prestigious and stylish to have a full set of authentic clothing: a shirt embroidered by a great-great-granny, garments made from a homespun cloth, vintage hand-woven pieces, etc. Here is a nice modern fashion show of vintage Ukrainian outfits organized by several students. All the costumes were collected in different villages around the country piece by piece.