Serhii Yermakov. The phenomenon of the Ukrainian couturier


National Museum of the History of Ukraine, str. Volodymyrska, 2
08.09.2022 → 01.01.2025
Price: 100
Discount price: 50

Serhii Yermakov. The phenomenon of the Ukrainian couturier

Despite the horrors of war, Ukrainians do not lose their sense of beauty. In the museum, as in real life, the ugly and the beautiful are side by side. In May 2022, the institution resumed its work with the exhibition 'Invasion. Kyiv shot', which represents Kyiv region items destroyed by the occupiers. The war project and Serhii Yermakov’s exhibition are presented on the first floor, leading into the other. To see the exquisite dresses of Serhii Yermakov, you need to go through the hall, where the traces of the barbarian invasion collected by the museum staff and burnt striped undershirts of the occupiers are exhibited. This arrangement reminds us that Ukraine will win this war, and the beautiful will overcome the ugly 'russian peace'.

For most of his life, Serhii Yermakov struggled with a severe illness, which first caused the actual loss of vision and hearing, ultimately leading to his premature death on January 19, 2021. On June 19, 2022, the talented designer could celebrate 50 years.

During Serhii Yermakov's lifetime, he was considered one of Ukraine's most expensive fashion designers. He was and still is the only Ukrainian master who worked in haute couture or high fashion. Ukrainian stars wore clothes by Serhii Yermakov and still keep them. His works are precious works of art. Serhii Yermakov was invited to France and the USA with shows. He represented Ukraine in Europe, America, and Africa and was a laureate of many Ukrainian competitions. At the same time, he remained the only blind fashion designer in the world (at one time, the New York Times published an article about Serhii Yermakov with the headline "Blind Designer Blinded America"). The couturier sought world recognition not only for his talent but also for his native country. In one of the interviews, he claimed, "I don't want to be a great designer in Ukraine. I want to be a great designer from Ukraine."

The exhibition consists of two thematic blocks in two halls. The first contains items illustrating the life path and main stages of a couturier's work. The second one represents his works. Serhiy Yermakov's things are pieces of art produced in a single copy. They are made 80% by hand using precious varieties of natural fabrics. Mostly these are diverse types of silk: satin, duchess, muslin, and taffeta. Items are decorated with Chantilly lace and Swarovski crystals and pearls. Previously, these creations were seen only by a limited circle of fashion connoisseurs on catwalks.

The central image of the exhibition is the "Ukraine" dress surrounded by a collection of black dresses. The dress was created in 2017, but in this combination, the designer presented this model in 2019 at the Ukrainian Fashion Week show. The dress "Ukraine" is made of yellow duchess and decorated with a pattern embroidered with gold thread. According to the designer, this is a baroque ornament that symbolizes revival. The model represents the image of a pregnant woman. According to the author, pregnancy means the fulfillment of dreams about the future of the country, which must come true. Ukraine is associated with a sunny country, so the dress is yellow. However, temporarily, it's surrounded by black spots. This combination symbolizes the struggle between the sun and the night, in which the light wins. This prophetic symbolism of Serhii Yermakov inspires hope for our victory over darkness.