Despite confinement, Natasha Zinko managed to make her spring 2021 deadline and present the finished product as part of London Fashion Week’s online schedule.
This is in many ways testament to her resourcefulness. While in isolation in her native Ukraine, she hired a small group of local creatives and seamstresses, while also working at a distance with her London workshop. She also had the added creative input of her son Ivan, who had already been dipping his toes in design the past few years but was able to add more of his input while in quarantine – in between home schooling and online exams.
The collection, dubbed “Sober from the Heart” and spanning men’s and women’s looks, had an optimistic, youthful outlook, reflecting Ivan’s touch.
“I see videos of people drinking and wonder why do they need substances to feel cool? It’s contradictory, because you’re meant to feel cool when you’re most yourself,” said Ivan, chatting over FaceTime from Ukraine.
With that in mind, he embarked on a journey for true freedom of mind with his mother. Along the way they picked up a mishmash of references ranging from peace signs, hippie flares, bright paisley or heart prints and plenty of cowboy references — an ironic nod to what the American dream stood for.
It made for an upbeat and streamlined range of easy pieces, as in a poppy-print minidress, an oversized striped suit, or a cool pair of patchwork jeans crafted with repurposed fabrics.
“This collection had the least [outside input] involved, so it’s straight from the heart. We really used the time to read, discuss, rewatch movies and dance,” said the mother-and-son duo, finishing each others’ sentences and quoting Tarantino movies, the dance scene from “Pulp Fiction” and the novel “Fear or Loathing” as quarantine highlights that fed into their design process.
This is chapter one of the “Sober” range with more to come, while Zinko is maintaining a flexible, test-and-learn approach when it comes to the new, online presentation format.
“We should treat it as a book, you see what happens and if you don’t like it you put it down,” added Ivan.