The Dress of the Summer? Vyshyvanka, A Traditional Ukrainian Costume

There are still 34 days left of summer and yet, the dress of the season’s been pretty clear since day one. It’s not from Reformation or Zara, it’s not strapless, and it’s not even very short; it’s a traditional Ukrainian costume called the Vyshyvanka.

For real. Fashion fell for designer Vita Kin in Paris last season, where buying teams from Net-A-Porter and Matches, bloggers like Leandra Medine and editors like Teen Vogue’s Amy Astley Instagrammed images of themselves wearing the bell-sleeved linen dresses, one after another, from the Kiev-based designer’s suite. Medine wrote, “I met and saw a new designer called Vyshyvanka by Vita Kin, who makes these incredible, traditional Ukrainian dresses which I plan to never not wear again.” Eventually, Net-A-Porter stocked a handful of the looks. They sold out in 30 minutes. Then Matches got a few. And they sold out in minutes. Basically it’s really, really hard to get your hands on one of the billowing silhouettes, some of which take up to three weeks to make (three weeks for one, that is), but when you do, you won’t want to take them off—at least, that’s the impression we’re getting from the fashion pack’s Instagram feeds.

“Ukrainians have a unique method of decorating clothing with embroidery, and that’s always impressed me,” Kin told Vogue earlier this year. “I adapted this ancient heritage into a modern context, adding a seventies vibe, when clothing was more relaxed and friendly. It’s a bohemian eccentricity in a very luxe execution.”

To Bazaar, she added, “Embroidery, macramé and appliqué are my passion." Luckily, from Mykonos to Manhattan, a lot of people are quite passionate about wearing the results of Kin’s own enthusiasm.

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