My Ukrainian heritage is a constant source of inspiration. Sometimes it might just be the work ethic. I have been known to work with clients on projects I think are important even when they ultimately cost me money. But other times the inspiration is bit more obvious.
Today, I am sharing photos of my new Ukrainian inspired jacket. This jacket is made with Argentinean cognac calf leather and American gold suede leather. The embroidery was created by hand from traditional Ukrainian patterns. I chose this design because I could tweak the pattern to the Maltese star. (Watch the work in progress videos and images on Instagram stories here: Sewing Embroidered Leather Jacket)
This jacket was practice before creating the final commissioned embroidered and leather jacket. (I MUST give credit to my best friend for coming up with this idea and making this project possible for me!) The second jacket will have a different design and made with soft lamb leather.
Ukraine boasts the glory and bounty of the Carpathian Mountains. The land is one of the richest regions on earth, and the colors of nature influence almost every aspect of religious and social culture, including the colors of the nation’s flag!
One of the most striking examples of this is seen in Ukrainian kilim design. Geometry and color celebrate the natural world, and if you have ever been to Ukraine you know these are not exaggerations!
Kilim designs have been around for centuries and perhaps longer than we can determine from historical accounts alone. The practice of weaving and embroidery was shared as Ukrainian artists and manufacturers were open and eager to prosper and spread beauty. There are interesting claims that Native American designs that in some cases look identical to the kilim style were actually inspired by the Eastern Europeans/Ukrainians as European newcomers to land of North America commissioned Native Americans to replicate the style.
As a Ukrainian, I am delighted by fact that people continue to be moved by beautiful garments. Dressing well is devotion to design and tailoring, and I believe that what is truly beautiful will always survive the culture it was born in. The beautiful things people make will live on forever with those who have eyes to see how beauty fills human life with dignity and meaning.
I once walked into a bar wearing my jacket and a woman referred to it as a sign of “cultural appropriation.” Not only is this likely historically inaccurate, but it made me think. The elements of fashion that are born from an authentic desire for what is good, true and beautiful deserve to survive and pass through different cultural interpretations. People don’t make beautiful things to separate themselves from other people; it’s a way of sharing the joy of living and the pride of human dignity. Would I be upset if I saw Ukrainian kilim designs on people who clearly don’t descend from the people of the Carpathian Mountains? How could real beauty ever inspire bad feelings?
But for now, I am still a Ukrainian wearing a Ukrainian jacket!
If you want to order a custom & hand embroidered leather jacket, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Prices start around $1,000.
Leather embroidered jackets will be posted on the Anagrassia website when the lamb leather sample jackets are finished.