A.W.A.K.E. MODE Resort 2023 Collection

Born in Moscow and raised in Belgium, where she is a citizen, Natalia Alaverdian started her label A.W.A.K.E. Mode10 years ago. A Putin-critic who took part in pro-democracy demonstrations in support of Alexander Navalny last year, she has since helped several loved ones leave Russia. Furthermore, she said when we spoke: “My stepmother is Ukrainian and I have family in Kyiv and Luhansk. And friends. They are all suffering there, it is a nightmare—it is not only their livelihoods at stake but their lives and their way of life.”

Matters of fashion feel facile alongside such factors. Alaverdian, who is of Jewish and Armenian descent, is carrying on. The brand has just been announced as a newcomer on the official schedule at this September’s Paris Fashion Week (although she has presented unofficially there before) and this resort collection is on offer now. All the proceeds from the Ukraine flag-colored boots sold from this collection are being redirected to charities working in the country as it continues to repel Russia’s invasion.

The collection was consistent with Alaverdian’s decade-developed back catalogue of witty innovation. Faux-fur hemmed coats, slouchy crepe pants slit at the knee, paneled maxi-skirts in patches of upcycled denim, and similarly upcycled banana-leg jeans were all cut to look intriguingly unconventional. A sleek midi tank dress with paneled embellishments was styled north of some faux fur moon boots, while fit-and-flare pants in gingham were worn against yanked-neckline tailoring: both looks exemplified Alaverdian’s archly askew approach.

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