Recently Ruby Assembly were invited to Matcho Suba‘s premiere collection, beguilingly called ‘Chernobyl’. When the softly glowing black envelope arrived and the invitation emerged with a yellow ‘nuclear’ insignia borne across it, we were immediately fascinated. Was it an ironic joke? How could the Chernobyl nuclear disaster possibly be integrated into a fashion collection? Today’s Ruby Assembly blog charts a wonderfully theatrical evening at the Woolshed Pub, where Matcho’s post-apocalyptic paen to the Ukrainian tragedy made jaws drop.

The Woolshed pub was pumping with Melbourne’s most fashion-forward guests excited to see Matcho’s ‘Chernobyl’ dream realised. Instead of a runway, the models posed against a tableau of post-apocalyptic antiques including gas masks and prosthetic limbs. The models were truly a standout, bringing the multi-textural, frightening collection to life. They wore disturbing ‘babushka-style’ makeup which looked like painted-on masks , and the Miss Fox black bespoke nails/claws added extra drama to all their movements.

An example of the ‘mask-like’ makeup, scary nail/claws and bespoke head-pieces. Disfigured dolls as necklaces, headpieces etc. all harken to the generational destruction that Chernobyl visited upon Ukrainians and their neighboring states.

Leathers, see-though knits and chiffons were sewn together like fashion Frankensteins. The face-masks added a quasi-medical quality to the performance of the models. Despite the horrors the collection referred to, many pieces in the collection itself were quite wearable and would make for excellent additions to a winter wardrobe.

This particular model was amazing. She used her hands and eyes to great effect. The baby leg necklace may have also added to the generally threatening ‘Baba Yaga’ appearance.

Congratulations Matcho on executing a dynamic collection with a robust and difficult theme. The narrative was strong, and the attention to detail (makeup, theatrical movement, music, multimedia)  made this particular show one that will stay etched in my consciousness.