Pin It
img727

Reinventing Ukraine’s traditional flower wreaths


TextAnastasiia Fedorova

In a new shoot for Dazed Beauty, Kristina Podobed and Genia Volkov subvert the traditional beauty of the vinok – crowns of wildflowers and ribbons that hold a special place in Ukrainian culture

The vinok, the traditional flower wreath, occupies a special place in Ukrainian culture. Flower crowns exist in many countries (and has recently become a staple of global festival fashion – for better or worse), but the Ukrainian version is probably one of the most instantly identifiable. Adorned with colourful ribbons, the vinok is a voluminous arrangement of fresh flowers — often wild ones, like camomiles, poppies or cornflowers — which dates back to ancient times but has survived through the centuries to become a part of Ukrainian pop culture. For Dazed Beauty, photographic duo Kristina Podobed and Genia Volkov have reinvented the traditional headdress for the new generation.

Traditionally, flower wreaths were worn by unmarried young women and came to symbolise youth, love and beauty. On the Slavic holiday of Kupala Night, which marks the Summer solstice, flower wreaths are thrown in the lake as a way of fortune telling for future marriage.

“The vinok for me is a very powerful symbol of Ukraine, which never gets old,” Kristina adds. “It is a very feminine topic and has interested me for a long time. At school, we used to have performances when one had to wear a traditional Ukrainian costume, and girls wore wreaths. Each girl had a different one, and it could even be a source of envy.”

As part of a traditional Ukrainian costume, the vinok is widely cited and reproduced down to cheap plastic versions bought and sold all over the country. But its wild and natural beauty has recently had a resurgence, thanks to the young generation’s interest in Ukrainian heritage. Following the revolution of 2014, the vinok has become one of the symbols reinvented in the search for new expressions of national identity – alongside the traditional embroidered shirt vyshyvanka and Ukrainian flag (particularly present in the radical work of fashion designer Anton Belinskiy).

“We are very interested in the cultural and religious heritage of our forebears and the territory where were born and live,” Genia and Kristina add. Their take on the vinok is part of the broader research into Ukrainian culture. 


Photography: Genia Volkov and Kristina Podobed
Set design: Sasha Plavinska 
Model: Rostok Smirnov

Read Next
Erik Pascarelli
Hairstylist Erik Pascarelli creates the most magical technicoloured hair hair stylist
Laith Ashley
Model Laith Ashley on his grooming regime and trans male visibility Beauty Feature
Kaia Gerber Valentino
How Guido Palau shaped a history of runway hairstyles Icons
Rupi Kaur
DAME is the tampon brand helping you cut down on single-use plastic Beauty Feature
8e9e26e0-55c7-11e9-a3ae-f2742b367090_image_hires_1
Critics are calling China’s new shareable make-up booths unhygienic Beauty news
52319417_1940135929429040_8849537785116916632_n
This tattoo artist creates freckles in the shape of your astrological sign Beauty Feature
685A0B10-731B-4A74-982F-11C7FEFBC7A9
How having a twin changed my beauty identity Beauty Feature
Screen Shot 2019-04-16 at 19.12.52
Rags, riches & rivalry: The rise and fall of beauty mogul Helena Rubinstein Making Up The Past
Hailey Bieber
Hailey Bieber Beauty might be the next celebrity make-up brand Beauty news
Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner
Pucker Up:The KKW x Kylie Fragrance is here Beauty news
Sam Bryant Jean Paul Gaultier
Capturing the absurd with make-up artist Sam Bryant Spotlight
Rihanna weed
420: the best in weed inspired nails The Nail Files
54277417_382463945669725_5678124066249135817_n
These are the best bums on Instagram Beauty Feature
Byredo Sundazed
Byredo announces new Sundazed perfume Beauty news
Fluide
Fluide: The gender-neutral make-up brand paving the way for inclusivity Beauty Feature
PCOS Hailey Wait
We need to talk about PCOS and hormonal acne Beauty Feature