From Lviv to the Louvre
October saw Lviv designer Oksana Mukha continue her rise through the ranks of the European fashion world with a wellreceived show of her 2010 collection at the prestigious ‘Carousel du Louvre’ fashion show, a gala event which is hosted each year at the legendary Parisian museum. The collection which went on show in France features a total of 130 wedding dresses and evening gowns in the elegant style for which the Lviv designer is fast becoming famous. Ms. Mukha was the only representative of the Slavic fashion world to be invited to participate in this prestige event, making it the latest accolade in a rollercoaster ride that has seen the West Ukrainian style guru develop from family-run backstreet operation to global brand name.
A native Lvivite, Oksana Mukha attended the city’s venerable Academy of Arts and first set out to make a name for herself in the post-Soviet fashion world armed with little more than a sewing machine and a rigid belief in her own talent.
Soon Ms. Mukha’s entire family became involved in the different stages of production as new collections were produced and the list of famous clients and Mukha brand admirers began to grow. Today Ms. Mukha’s fashion empire employs more than one hundred seamstresses and other specialists. She launched her brand in America earlier this year and expects to continue her international expansion with the opening new boutiques in Italy and Sweden. At present the Mukha brand is represented internationally by boutiques in countries including Belgium, England, France, South Africa, Poland, the Baltic, Germany and Russia.
Mukha creations are recognisable for their use of exquisite materials and ornamental accessories. It is not uncommon to find a Mukha wedding dress decorated with the finest French lace or dripping in pearls and Swarovski crystals. Such ostentatious charm has long been popular in the consumer catch-up culture of the post-Soviet world, but there is increasing evidence that this kind of extravagance is also becoming
increasingly fashionable throughout the West. While Ms. Mukha’s evening gowns are the last word in cocktail terrace chic, it is her wedding dresses which have caught the imagination and given the brand its iconic image. The Lviv-based designer often produces tailor-made creations to order for VIP customers and is famed for her attention to detail and efforts to make each creation reflect the personality of its future owner.
The designer herself is an incurable romantic who says of her work: “it is my job to provide brides with divinely inspired dresses. Every lady’s wedding dress should be unique and should make a statement about how you view your future life. A wedding dress is a once in a lifetime item so this is not an occasion when you should give any thought to economising on beauty.”