Culture - Ukraine
NL Vyshyvanka: where Dutch design meets Ukrainian tradition
Jennes de Mol, ambassador: “I enjoyed watching the Vyshyvanka’s on the Ukrainian National Day, just after I arrived. I love the idea of “tradition of innovation and innovation of tradition”. As an ambassador it is my role to constitute a bridge between The Netherlands and Ukraine, and this project brings all these aspects together. I am very happy with the outcome. It symbolizes our appreciation for the beautiful Ukrainian tradition to which we wanted to add a flavor of Dutch innovation. And I am really very pleased with this cross over and will wear this Vyshyvanka with pride.”
The creation of our Netherlands’ style Vyshyvanka started with a cooperation project between the Dutch designer Emily Hermans and local designer and manufacturer of ethnic clothes Edelvika. What began as a webinar devoted to trends in use of different patterning techniques on textiles, eventually ended up with the development of a unique design of a traditional and yet modern item of clothing.
Embroidery patterns and colours of the Dutch island of Marken, the symbolism of the chosen images and the typical Ukrainian motives and embroidery techniques were harmoniously combined in a coherent picture, complementing each other.
On Vyshyvanka Day, the 21st of May this year, we are proud to share with you the outcome of this inspiring intercultural cooperation project and hope that it will find its special place and meaning in your own Dutch-Ukrainian story.
Vyshyvankas – traditional embroidered clothes – have always been national symbol, pride and authentic feature of Ukraine. The country is famous throughout the world for its highly artistic embroidery. Every region of Ukraine has its own special Vyshyvanka which is unique in techniques and patters. For example, Hutsuls who lived in Carpathians decorated their shirts with geometric shapes and floral patterns. In Ukrainian embroidery, three colours are basic: black, red, and white. Yellow, blue, and green are supplementary. The Vyshyvanka is used as a talisman to protect the person wearing it and to tell a family story.
The history of the Vyshyvanka dates back to the 5th century BC, and yet it still has a modern context. The first person to introduce embroidered shirts into modern outfit was Ukrainian author Ivan Frankó. He wore a vyshyvanka under his jacket and combined it with modern attire. Ivan Frankó wearing embroidered an shirt and a jacked is portrayed on the Ukrainian 20 hryvnyas (UAH) bill.