Originality is more volatile a currency in fashion than bitcoin. Even before @diet_prada began shaming the industry on the daily, the notion of first, breakout, pioneering was merely a PR baton. Designer Jean Gritsfeldt broke “Ukrainian Internet” by presenting his fall-winter ’18 collection at a Kiev skating rink during Ukrainian Fashion Week. I want to tell you about it with zero shade. Some of it was delightful, some unremarkable, all of it worth noting as an Olympic effort in non-conformity. Which is a taller order than originality in all of Styledom.
Moncler did it in Manhattan’s Central Park, Intimissimi at the ancient Arena di Verona, and my spirit animal Johnny Weir headlined several Fashion On Ice tours. The show concept is not novel, but neither is … the runway itself?! Kudos to Jean for pushing the envelope on his home turf! Previous shows included strutting down an actual airport runway and swinging under the circus dome. An ice presentation during the Winter Olympics is at once savvy and a gamble. Figure skating = hit or miss fashion. Half the looks championed Gritsfeldt’s signature mix of unabashed glitter-hunger, a cheeky approach to standing out as the antidote to existential angst, and just enough common $en$e to balance the books. The winning part of the free program. Competing hockey team scarves assembled into unisex tops and bottoms will buoy his street-style cred. Meanwhile, it’s the pixelated iceberg sweaters and the frost-friendly coats that will quietly sell, sell, sell.
The other half of the collection… “Ice Capades called. They want their wardrobe back!” An all-too-easy joke to make, but the designer willingly offers it as sweet collateral damage. Gritsfeldt is a showman, first and foremost. His Instagram sports an ARTISTIC DIRECTOR | FASHION | DADDY DJ | TV-HOST | LIFESTYLE GURU label. Yes, in all-caps. I’ve met Jean at an event once. You can’t fake a smile that lights up a room. These clothes are a part of the Complete Gritsfeldt Experience: building a business in times of domestic strife, not compromising on one’s zany vision to chase market expectations, infusing one’s work with positive-only vibes despite steady public demand for the drama. Jean Gritsfeld is a
thirst trap a Ukrainian fashion medalist. There is nothing diet about earned pride.
Now about that Thirst Trap Alert. To meet Jean “in person”, scroll down.