Celebrating Ukrainian Fashion & Culture

Celebrating Ukrainian Fashion & Culture

Have you ever thought about doing something but for whatever reason you didn’t take action? Then somehow that idea is presented to you by someone else asking you to take part? It’s an incredible experience when the universe listens to your thoughts and somehow makes that path for you available. This happened to me the other week when Mariya Halushka messaged me asking to take part in a Ukrainian fashion shoot. I had been thinking about asking Mariya to do the exact same thing but life got in the way for me. Mariya did all the planning for outfits and she came up with unique concepts that relate to Ukraine’s history/fables/and culture. Who better would know this than a Ukrainian themselves?

This shoot represents the beauty of Ukraine and it’s culture in a time of an unjustified war. It’s the perfect time to celebrate Ukraine’s identity and the country’s unique but important presence in the world’s economy. Recognizing Ukraine as an independent and strong country is more important than ever now.

Mariya put together a team for this project. Our makeup artist was Masha Glow. She really did a full spectrum of makeup for this session. Hair was done by the talented stylist Cassandra Thibodeau. She incorporated hair extensions seamlessly and it really added the volume we needed for these looks.

Our first look was a traditional Ukrainian look. Mariya and her mother created the blouse; her mom sewed it together and Mariya did the embroidery, which she said took her two years to do with her busy student life. We also incorporated yellow and blue ribbons in Mariya’s hair that represent Ukraine’s national colours as seen on the flag. Props used were a bouquet of wheat which Ukraine is known to grow and harvest. I chose a light beige background colour because I find it a soft and not too distractive.

Next, we wrapped Mariya in Ukraine’s flag. Masha darkened the makeup look and Kassandra added yellow flowers into Mariya’s braid. I switched the background to grey and made the lighting more moody.

Mariya put together a colourful flower crown that she matched with her Ukrainian blouse. We chose a dark Burgundy backdrop to bring out the red in her blouse, the rosy blush on her cheeks and the red flowers in the crown. This crown was heavy to wear but Mariya was a trooper.  I wanted to capture her innocent side with these shots.

Our final look that my team put together represents the resilience and strength of the Ukrainian people. The bravery that Ukrainians have shown throughout this war is astonishing. To establish this look, Masha added fake blood and dark smudges. She also darkened the lipstick colours and eye shadow. Kassandra added lot of pieces of sticks and added more messy volume to Mariya’s hair. Mariya is wearing a traditional Ukrainian shawl and has a stick halo resting on her head. She is also holding a pile of sticks.

To check out more of my team’s work, click the links below:

Mariya Halushka– Model – https://www.instagram.com/m.hlsss/


Masha Glow – Makeup artist – https://www.instagram.com/masha.glow/


Cassandra G. Thibodeau – hair stylist – https://www.instagram.com/cassandraguertin/


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