If fashion could be a tool of diplomacy (#JackieO), then Russian government should seriously consider immediate major investment in Sonya Monina. This designer hails from the heart of the contested-controversial Crimean peninsula and she is amazing, awesome, ambassadorial 🙂 On her site, she describes her style as neo-universe and urban-cosmic casual so she might not care for cultural wrangling. All that aside the Forward to the Future S/S 2016 collection presented at Belarus Fashion Week in Minsk was damn-near perfect (in general, from a designer anywhere, and in particular from one in contemporary geopolitical clusterf*ck of Crimea).

The white linen and pastel colored cotton works in fantastic juxtaposition to all the camouflage drapery of militarist bravado in the region. Most looks are constructed as patchwork of asymmetrical pieces, rough hemlines showing. The crumpled quality of fabric invokes an image of discarded map drafts. The selfie-stick shtick within the runway presentation is at once an ironic comment on gilded metrosexuality and a sinister nod towards surveillance culture. This collection bridges the conceptual gap between United Nations -inspired gorgeousness by Miquel Sway and poignant brutalism of Bata Spasojević, both reviewed here recently.

Sonya Monina and her vision for menswear make so much sense. Except zippers on knees. Even if queering up the lens, still… why?!! Nevertheless, the white demarcation line on faces of models calls for surrender to fashion propaganda instead of warmongering. I’d like to annex a few of these looks into my wardrobe. No referendum needed.


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