Less like a traditional fashion show and more like an art performance, Irina Dzhus' presentation at the Kabbalah Center, set against a backdrop inspired by the Last Supper, was truly unique. Throughout the presentation of her collection “ANTICON,” the Berlin Contemporary winner was ever-present, reading texts written on the legs and arms of the models, dancing, and – in a manner characteristic of her and her brand – transforming her versatile and emotional designs live.

The Ukrainian designer transformed a look consisting of a white bandeau top and slim-cut trousers into a restructured halter dress in rainbow colors with paw appliqués. She also sculpted the brim of a floor-length coat into a halo-like face covering.

Every detail of your looks carries a profound message. What inspired you to create "ANTICON"?

The collection explores the "Utopia codes" created by humanity to achieve happiness, while also addressing sociocultural conformism and personal existential traumas. It delves into the correlation between the natural desire for self-discovery and the urge for homecoming. The collection also explores the essence of home, the spectrum of its meanings, and the determining factors, particularly from the perspective of migration and adaptation.

What stands out this season, from a fashion perspective?

We desaturate the rainbow and encode it in blank, quilted surfaces. Leaving the garments’ outer layer pure, we embellish pockets and lining with rhinestones and jewellery, commemorating my  own experience of escaping the war through a tribute to the heartbreaking Holocaust stories. The labyrinth leitmotif is dedicated to the Sinai wanderers driven by a spirit of homecoming.

Unexpectedly vibrant colors emerge in the rainbow gradient on the underside of the unisex looks. Why?

This 'secret' splash of pigments amidst the total white collection carries a life-asserting message, suggesting an insight as a route to home, joy, and therefore, fulfillment. 

 What are your favorite pieces? 

While white sartorial trousers transform into an iridescent corset, questioning gender-focused tailoring, we incorporate wearability into homeware objects. A tablecloth set with serving appears to be a flat-cut cape, while the crockery functions as sartorial details. Finally, a multisegmented-star-shaped oversized necklace is rearranged into either an edgy hat or voluminous modular sleeves referring to the colour circle.

Did you work on a special collaboration this season? 

As a brand with a Ukrainian soul, we consider it our duty to support our people with jobs in this challenging time. Thus, despite the label’s relocation to the EU since the beginning of the war, our collection was fully produced by Ukrainian craftswomen. The same priorities rule when it comes to collaborations, and most contributors of DZHUS’ collection have either have Ukrainian roots or work remotely from Kyiv.


DZHUS is a Ukrainian conceptual brand internationally known for its multi-purpose outfits, made of cruelty-free materials. Designer Irina Dzhus’ pattern-making innovations help minimise physical shopping and create a versatile yet sustainable wardrobe from a few transformable garments. Since the war began, DZHUS has relocated to the EU and has been donating 30% of its profit to Ukrainian animal rights organisations.

From the day of its launch in 2010, DZHUS is a vegetarian-friendly brand and uses only ethical materials. In 2019, DZHUS won the Cruelty-free Fashion prize at Best Fashion Awards Ukraine. Short-listed for the International Woolmark Prize back in 2015, DZHUS is now stocked at concept stores in Japan, China, Belgium, Portugal, USA, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Australia, and sold online worldwide. Initially designed as womenswear, many of DZHUS garments have unisex aesthetics and fit. Among the brand’s clients are American avant-garde musicians Zola Jesus and EYIBRA, and Ukrainian stars Onuka and Jamala, the Eurovision-2016 winner. The fashion house has collaborated with The Hunger Games and Star Trek Discovery as well as leading beauty brands: Saco, Davines, La Biosthetique. DZHUS has been featured in the top international press: Vogue, Dazed&Confused, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, Elle, Elle Decoration, Cosmopolitan, L’Officiel, Kaltblut, ASVOF, Dezeen, and many more.

DZHUS collections have been presented during Paris Fashion Week, Berlin Fashion Week, Ukrainian Fashion Week, Milan Design Week, International Fashion Showcase London, Brussels Fashion Week, Helsinki Fashion Week, Vegan Fashion Week in Los Angeles, Milan Design Week, Vienna Design Week, Dutch Design Week, Designblok Prague, Feeric Fashion Week in Romania.

All images, brand descriptions and further information are available at the official Berlin Fashion Week MEDIA HUB.

Runway Pictures: © Boris Marberg

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