The “ABSOLUTE” collection is an authentic materialisation of Irina Dzhus’ reflections on a personal trauma. Having escaped the war and previously overcome a repetitive abuse experience, the Ukrainian creator has, suddenly, stumbled upon a seemingly safe private situation. A macabre rendezvous with the most sacred fears, resulting in a deep mourning for an unembodied life projection, forced her to turn on the already familiar survival mode and use the accumulated creative forces at their fullest as an urgent coping mechanism. Self-ironically enough, the visionary has utilised her ‘OCD-driven’ design potential in order to generate highly dialectical, multipurpose outfits, saturated with existential rhetoric.
ABSOLUTE: Naïve and Profoundly Structured
The silhouettes of the Autumn/Winter 2024 line are equally naïve and profoundly structured. Thematically, Irina Dzhus revisits her comfort zone, referring to modernist comics and gnostic narratives, attributes of social conformism, and gender representation speculations. The designer freezes her intimate memories in 2D-iconography-based outfits with encoded messages. Sustainable sartorial techniques and textile manipulations pay homage to the craft of kintsugi, as Irina shapes her sculptural apparel from fragments of pre-owned headpieces and scarves, playing around accessories-related subtheme in her personal story. When it comes to anatomic symbolism, the artist keeps a fragile balance between co-interfering fetishes and phobias.
The contraposition of black and white in the collection is softened with a range of ecrus as well as shades of nude and grey, whereas chromatic choices are deliberately neglected. The fabrics selection is rich in distinctive textures and conceptual finishes, such as a lacing with a cult leitmotif, a distressed-corset-inspired top with superstructures imitating a face profile, or a transformer jumpsuit constructed from 2 upscaled gloves holding together.
The key piece of the DZHUS AW24 (ABSOLUTE) range is an oversized men’s coat with an inset contrast silhouette of an embracing female figure, portraying the designer herself in her obsessive corelation with the enigmatic protagonist. This semi-supernatural counter shape is indivisible from the artist’s identity, a mirroring indicator of her existence, both a euphoric dream and a paralysing dystopia.