Ukrainian designer Katya Bakhirka, our volunteer and owner of Bakhirka Apparel brand, has long been involved in “Kvartira’s” life.
Two years ago, she was invited to “Kvartira” by Nina Mikhailuk, the executive director of Alma Mater Foundation, which supports art innovations, and who established and created the space on the Moika River. Katya became a participant in the costume designing, participated in the creative processes of the theater, and now, at a transitional moment for the project, her brand Bakhirka Apparel joins the collaboration with “Kvartira”. It was decided to develop a clothing line for the creative team of the project – actors with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and professional actors.The principle of Bakhirka Apparel is “life as a constant seek for a sense of belonging” – the designer’s passion for experiments is consonant with the ideas around which life was built on the Moika 40 during these two years. This summer, Katya is creating a line of sweatshirts in collaboration with Nina Mikhailiuk, with an active participation of the inclusive and creative team of “Kvartira”. The idea of the collection is relevant: freedom and boundaries, identity and awareness, frameworks that we build for ourselves and in which others place us. The working title of the collection is kvartiraBakhirka.
The daily routine is on the wall. Video communication is almost settled: Katya Bakhirka is online. The meeting is led by Nina Mikhailyuk, Director of Alma Mater Foundation
Kate is interested in learning all about “Kvartira’s” artists, and most of all she is interested in the creative way of the guys with ASD, their achievements and thoughts
“Kvartira’s” artists listen carefully and ask questions – what is it like to be a successful woman?
Unisex tunics made of natural fabric, with a hood and long sleeves give comfort of personal space. Actors with ASD will make drawings for prints. Each element of the collection will be supplied with a label with a small story told by the author of the print – this will continue the tradition of the “Factory of Histories”, a storytelling workshop for people with ASD started in “Kvartira”.
The long sleeves will be made from 100% organic cotton: the plants are grown without pesticides, the yarn is processed in accordance with the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). The fabric contains algae fibers. The fabric is treated with peppermint oil.The artists will demonstrate the clothes at the first fashion show in their lives. We are planning to hold a fashion performance on the shore of the Gulf of Finland on August 11, 2019, on the day of the end of the traditional summer inclusive residence of the Union of Theater Workers. The creative process at all stages will be captured on film and video, images from it will be included in the documentary film about The Apartment, which is being shot by our permanent operators Dina Veriutina and Vladimir Averin.
In autumn 2019, tunics will be available in fashion stores in St. Petersburg. Funds received from the sale of copyrighted tunics will be transferred by Alma Mater Foundation to fees for artists with an autism spectrum disorder.
Creation of works, fragments of which will appear in the collection of long sleeve shirts by Katya Bahirka
Professional actors draw together with their wards – actors with ASD
All settled down at the table, where the famous “Kvartira” tea parties usually take place
To come up with prints for the capsule collection is not an easy task. The artists call inspiration for help
The director of Alma Mater foundation Nina Mikhailuk sets up novice designers positively: “Everything will be fine, everything will work out”
Finally, the sketches are ready. Katya Bahirka will soon choose from them what will form the basis of the collection. Hopefully, no attempt will be in vain