DZHUS is a conceptual clothing and accessories label founded by Ukrainian designer and stylist Irina Dzhus in 2010. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Dzhus has had to flee her home and find refuge in the EU, working between Warsaw, Paris and Berlin.
Innovative pattern-cutting techniques, modular design, and multi-functionality are all house codes for the unisex European brand – categorizing themselves as ‘avant-garde yet utilitarian’ gender-inclusive wear.
All materials are vegetarian-friendly and ethically sourced, DZHUS won the 2019 Cruelty-free Fashion prize at Best Fashion Awards Ukraine and their eco project titled “Unpacking” was awarded a special prize at the Fashion Film Festival Kyiv in 2021. The internationally represented fashion house has collaborated on costume design for major films including ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Star Trek Discovery’ – which is no surprise considering their forward-thinking brand ethos and future-oriented design aesthetic.
DZHUS’s Autumn/Winter 2023 collection titled “TRANSIT” was presented at Berlin Fashion Week supported by the Senate of Berlin. A collection of multi-functional pieces that serve different climates, conditions, and uniforms, the show was a tribute to the hardships that Ukraine has survived.
Nothing was as it seemed on the runway, Irina Dzhus demonstrated the metamorphic nature of her designs during the presentation. Pieces in the collection were transformational in utility and function – nothing was engineered to occupy a single form; collars were modified into hoods, garments became accessories, and apparel adapted between different silhouettes based on styling. Cotton and knitwear are distressed and intentionally finished to fit the theme of moving from one state to another and differences in texture are seen in various sheer rayons and pleated details.
Here are some runway photos from DZHUS AW23:
With a consistent theme of the collection surrounding pockets and bags – DVHUS symbolically illustrates the familiar evacuation process millions of Ukrainians experienced simultaneously, taking only what matters.
“The war has divided every Ukrainian’s life into ‘before’ and ‘after’. As I think of my countrymen and countrywomen, who have lost everything and had to embrace new hypostases of themselves in order to survive, I want to portray those superheroes and their inevitable change in a symbolic way.” – Irina Dzhus
Below is some behind the scenes content from the DZHUS AW23 show.
Sydney Goldhawk is a Freelance Stylist currently living in Toronto.
With a love for all things vintage and runway, her perspective draws heavily from her fascination with the synchronicity she observes between modern aesthetics and references to the past.