Photo by Mariya Nicole
New York Fashion Week has come and gone. From September 4 through September 11, the city of New York buzzed with the frenetic energy of fashion shows, post show events and fabulously dressed fashion lovers. But the show that we all missed was that of emerging Ukrainian fashion designer Elena Rudenko.

Left photo courtesy of Elena Rudenko

Brand spanking new to New York, this Kiev-born women's wear designer was unable to send her Spring-Summer 2015 designs down a runway. But fear not fashion aficionados, she invited Fashionlingual to her studio to give us the scoop on her latest collection.

Photo by Mariya Nicole
She describes her SS 2015 collection "Up in the Air" as quite different from her previous collections. "I was moving [from Kiev to New York] while designing this collection, so it is simpler. This one has less prints, which are my style," said Rudenko as she glided gracefully around her design studio to compare the collections.

Photo by Mariya Nicole
And by prints, she really means prints. Large, small, colorful, all kinds of prints. She says that her native Ukraine plays a large role in her designs

"My Ukrainian heritage can be seen in the intricate embroidery. My seamstresses are all Ukrainian with the skill to bring my designs to life," said Rudenko as she shared how she taught them how to use Skype to communicate despite the time difference and distance.

Source: SS 2014 (Left) FW 2014 (Right) 

In addition to her heritage, nature plays a large role in her design process. Not only does she opt for naturally derived fabrics like silk, cotton, wool and natural viscose in her designs, but she also looks to Mother Earth for inspiration.

Take the SS 2015 collection as an example. The colors are all reminiscent of natural landforms and bodies of water: tans from landscapes, greens from plants, blues from the ocean and vibrant colors like yellow and orange from the sun. 

“The degradé found in the collection is like the gradient created by mountains,” explained Rudenko as she compared the soft color changes of an aerially photographed mountain range to the ombre trims and accents. 

Her pieces are seemingly simple in design but some of the most beautiful features can’t be truly appreciated until touched and explored. I'd compare her designs to a secret, only to be known or discovered by the wearer. A dark colored cocktail dress in a simple silhouette comes alive at the flip of the hem with a playfully patterned silk lining, while others discretely transform with detachable arms or collars. These unexpected details add a thoughtful spin on an everyday item of clothing. 

“I want to capture women when they glow with beauty. It emanates from their eyes,” said Rudenko while sharing how the hidden details add playfulness that women can feel confident wearing.

Photo by Mariya Nicole
She strives to design clothes that are practical, wearable and universally flattering for women of all ages. Rudenko says that New York and its women are everyday design muses.


"New York women inspire me. They are layering experts and are ageless with an air of elegance and sophistication. When you look at them from the back, you cannot tell their age," said Rudenko before presenting as example 83-year-old model Carmen dell'Orefice.

Rudenko explained that while designing she is mindful of the woman who needs to transform her look for different responsibilities. She understands women's need to transition from work to play while wearing multiple hats.

"All women are the same despite their careers. Many multi-task being a great mom, having a successful career and being independent while also desiring to remain beautiful and attractive," said Rudenko.

Photos courtesy of Elena Rudenko

And just as women multitask, so do Rudenko's ready-to-wear creations. Take the above pictured garment from her latest collection, it transforms quickly from a dress into a cropped top and midi skirt. What gal on the go couldn't use that while riding in a taxi from the office to happy hour?

Photos courtesy of Elena Rudenko

From paper plane inspired skirts to cascading pleats of color, this collection is sure to capture our inner child's wonderment and cause our imagination to soar "Up in the Air" through the clouds. And whether drawn from the brightness of day or the mystery of night, this collection will leave women everywhere feeling beautiful in their own skin.

And to close, here are 5 fun facts about Elena Rudenko:

Click here to read this post in Spanish.

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