5 Reasons You’ll Fall in Love With Vilshenko

3 years ago

Russia-born designer Olga Vilshenko knows a thing or two about making the most of little. Her earliest fashion memory is that of her mother crafting beautiful dresses for her and her family, all within the austere climate of the Communist regime. It’s a memory she no doubt holds dear. The London- and Moscow-based label’s clothes remind us that it’s ok to celebrate beauty in difficult times, which makes Vilshenko a timely addition to Le Mill’s Fall-Winter ’17 roster. Here’s why we’re convinced you’ll fall in love with her creations too:

She earned her first paycheque at 13 years of age.

Vilshenko, who was largely self-taught and trained by her mum, took a stab at making a dress and a trench coat for herself as a teen. She found an early taker in a friend, who was responsible for her first paycheque too. She later flexed her fashion chops at the Institute of Fashion and Art in Russia, and even London’s Istituto Marangoni.

She’s known to bridge the East and West in her designs.

Her first collection dropped in Spring-Summer ’11. The silhouettes were decidedly Western, but the details underscored her Eastern influences. Folkloric embroideries and embellishments render her creations particularly charming. In her latest Pre-Fall ’17 outing, she gives us dark florals, whimsical pants, and conversation-starting collars.

She has a soft spot for florals.

Not just in her collections, but in her everyday life too. Vilshenko is obsessed with nature. Her idea of a quick getaway involves spending time at her country house with her family; gardening, and tending to her veggies and flowers is top on her agenda. In fact, inspired by Zhostovo paintings – the Russian craft of painting on tin or metal trays – she created painterly floral prints for her Spring-Summer ’13 collection.

She’s Insta stalks, just like you.

Inspiration is always tucked in unexpected corners. Just like us, Vilshenko goes looking in all directions: music, flea markets, fabric exhibitions, films, and art. Every so often she finds it in people, women with a signature style, and she’ll go follow them on Instagram.

She has fans in the likes of Florence Welch and Miroslava Duma.

When you think of the Vilshenko woman, you think of someone who is equal parts confident and whimsical; whose wardrobe speaks volumes about her. That’s exactly the kind of spectrum on which you’d find stars like: singer Florence Welch, Russian style influencer Miroslava Duma, actor and indie-favourite Greta Gerwig and the force behind Man Repeller, Leandra Medine.

Perfect pairing @leandramcohen and the ‘Greta’ dress ??#regram

A post shared by Vilshenko (@vilshenko_official) on

Vilshenko Pre-Fall ’17 is available at Le Mill