KamenskayaKononova Spring/Summer 2012

Up ‘n coming designer duo from Kiev opted to premier their new collection at Aurora before showing it to their devoted Ukrainian fan base. The pressure of this ambitious move was evident in the collection’s large scope both in terms of concepts and number of looks. Listed inspirations included intricate wirework of Japanese-American sculptor Ruth Asawa, alternative literary worlds of Jorge Luis Borges and contemporary architecture. All were evident through the up-and-down course of an overall impressive show. Asymmetrical silhouettes, rough cuts and flowing volumes, interwoven transformer-pieces, all in earth-based eco-colors… It was a classic case of too much of a good thing. Many young designers hide behind “clean and simple” aesthetic due to limited construction abilities. When it comes to craftsmanship, KamenskayaKononova clearly have nothing to fear. Off-white dresses that opened the collection were masterfully pleated. Polkadot lining on green dresses and coats was wonderfully complimentary. They handled color very well, storm cloud gray and earth brown being among the strongest matches. However, some of the decisions appeared extraneous: overgenerous folds, odd cuts, misplaced inserts, out of context sequins. Unfinished ripped hems distracted from the otherwise precision and complexity of implemented concepts.  

Shoe selection also left a strong mark. As the first model made her way down the catwalk, shoes attracted and kept the attention of much of the audience. All kinds of experimental heels, suede boots of collapsed and draped sides, fascinating prints and cuts on leather. The shoes deservedly competed for attention with garments and in a few cases patently won. Despite appearing uneven from look to look, the collection clearly exhibited exciting brand potential. KamenskayaKononova would do well with a bit more focus. Imagination is an ecological resource, too. As such it is to be used wisely.   Alexey Timbul
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