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Victoria Yakusha presents an eclectic ensemble of CONTINUUM in Milan

Victoria Yakusha presents an eclectic ensemble of CONTINUUM in Milan

At Milan Design Week 2023, the Ukraine-born designer brought together five different visionaries to share diverse perspectives—united by the concept of CONTINUUM.

by Anushka Sharma
Published on : Apr 25, 2023

It is only fair to say that Milan Design Week, with voices of design traversing the globe, is the world’s most influential exhibition in the world. For creative industries, participation in platforms such as this becomes essential for global visibility and entering new markets. International exhibitions akin to the design week also harbour the craft and innovation of otherwise fragile economies—providing an opportunity of transformation and fortification. Ukraine, a land that endured the agony of war, relies in certain ways on its artistic community for revival—a call that resounded in Milan Design Week 2023.

Ukrainian-born designer and architect Victoria Yakusha mustered five creative visionaries who shared diverse senses of worldviews—the primary key of the crafts laid in a cultural code, the spirit of freedom and respect for our planet. With an undeterred commitment to the language of craftsmanship, the creators transported the knowledge and the traditional roots to the modern day in an exhibition befittingly titled CONTINUUM. The live installation combined time and space and culminated in an intersection of the past, present and future. “Timeless is a new demolition; new dimension means purity—the purity of design, the purity of the mind, the purity of the choices we are making in life,” reads a statement by FAINA, a furniture, decor and lighting brand by Yakusha. Each of the five participants communicate to the audience with their own mediums: design, fashion, craft, culinary and perfumery.

Entering the space, the visitors encountered a deeper awareness of their condition, allowing them to concentrate more on their senses—a space where one loses time and CONTINUUM prevails. Located in the heart of Milan, the exhibition gradually revealed various performances throughout the design festival. The exhibition space became a place of creation, production, exchange and experimentation dedicated to design; each of its sections was independent and exuded a unique spirit dedicated to the special craft. Curtains that divided the space led visitors through a place where the reality of making things with your hands intersects with the new technologies. The divisions metaphorically represented the differences between each oeuvre and acted as gateways from one world to another. “Through a combination of different artworks and impact on different senses CONTINUUM gives us the exit to the future, a space where there is an intersection of united artists, who produce a pure product, because each of them is in a dimension of purity,” says Yakusha.

FAINA by Victoria Yakusha

Yakusha, the conceptualist of the exhibition, reiterated the ethos of her brand FAINA that has brought it to the forefront of modern Ukrainian design—primitiveness, archetypal forms and traditional Ukrainian crafts passed down through generations. The MOVCHUN furniture collection that derives its name from the Ukrainian term for ‘keep silence,’ revealed the interaction between human beings and nature through contemplation. “Silence is what slows you down to feel the connection between human and nature to keep you grounded with their heavy shapes,” the furniture designer shares. SLUHACH furniture collection, on the other hand, is a derivative of the Ukrainian word translating to ‘to listen.’ The furniture design unearthed the ability to listen and feel everything through lamp designs evocative of locators that listen to the surrounding world.

SOLOMIA. Reshetylivka Craft Studio

SOLOMIA. Reshetylivka Craft Studio has established its position as a practice that nurtures traditional Ukrainian crafts of weaving and embroidery in collaboration with hand-weaving craftsmen from the central region of Ukraine. The weaving technique is passed down from generation to generation, affirming that true art exists in time and is created in purity. As part of CONTINUUM, the studio contrived an experience of the mystery of creations. Visitors got an opportunity to touch the ancient craft of weaving at master classes that were organised throughout the exhibition. Under the guidance of craftswoman Galina Shiposha, visitors were introduced to the tools and techniques needed to create textile designs alongside the basics of craftsmanship—yarn preparation, distinguishing between different types of weaving, and practical weaving.

Dinara Kasko

Dinara Kasko is an architect turned pastry chef from Ukraine, translating her knowledge and passion for architecture into patisserie wonders. The desserts she sculpts are no less than intricate creations of architects, only, in this case they are edible—an intriguing body of edible art achieved by combining computer modelling and cooking. Kasko believes that in the future Patisserie will be better, more unusual and with an enhanced quality; she invents singular moulds to realise this idea of Patisserie of the future. Partaking in the exhibition with a pure state of search, experimentation, and creativity, the chef recreated the taste of the future for the audience to experience. Her decadent compositions pursued an answer to the question: how does the future taste?


DZHUS is a Ukrainian conceptual brand known globally for its multi-purpose outfits made of cruelty-free materials. Its founder Irina Dzhus, Ukrainian designer and stylist has developed innovations to help minimise physical shopping and create a versatile yet sustainable wardrobe from a few transformable garments. Many of their designs revolve around pockets and bags, alluding to the evacuation process countless Ukrainians went through, having taken only the belongings they could carry. The pièce de résistance is a bulletproof-vest-inspired overall that morphs into a colossal coat with a sheer hood—an allusion to an angel-protector of the unbreakable nation. DZHUS performance at CONTINUUM involved an unparalleled, immersive experience, as the designer herself showcased a metamorphosis of universal wardrobe items in front of an audience.

ARBORETUM by Vlad Zvarych

Vlad Zvarych is a Ukrainian perfumer, collector, conceptualist and critic. He is an ideologist of the revival of modern Ukrainian perfumery. His unique sense of the olfactory has manoeuvred his journey as a curator of olfactory projects and the founder of his perfume brand ARBORETUM. In CONTINUUM, Zvarych presented his new perfume dubbed Serpanok, Ukrainian for ‘haze.’ In Ukrainian archetypes, haze symbolises the beginning of something radically new, making the fragrance an epitome of the code of national identity. “The haze reminds us of the morning light that overcomes the darkness,” the designer explains. The bleached linen recalls purity and is associated with white colour in Ukrainian culture.

CONTINUUM was an installation of many different performances, each engaging the human senses in various ways to form an experience of a moment. The visitors indulged in a journey that stimulated their sight, touch, olfactory senses and their taste buds, along with interactive sessions of tapestry weaving and cooking. How will the moments be experienced in future? What is the smell of the future? These questions became the cues for the compelling show—crafting an unprecedented experience that is a cumulation of the plausible answers.

STIR’s coverage of Milan Design Week 2023 showcases the best exhibitions, studios, designers, installations, brands, and special projects to look out for. Explore Euroluce 2023 and all the design districts—5Vie Art and Design, Brera Design District, Fuorisalone, Isola Design District, Tortona District, and Milano Design District—with us.

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