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The Real Fashion Police Are Out in Ukraine!

Ukrainian nationalists go off the deep end — again

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Take one orange and black designer dress and some hyper-sensitive Ukrainian nationalists and what do you have? Why, Putin is now a dress designer of course! He most certainly is a man of many talents.  Passing the Louis Vuitton shop in Edinburgh today, I thought immediately of him when I saw this:

The dress was featured on the cover of last month's Elle Ukraine magazine, worn by actress Michelle Williams:

It was all too much for Ukrainian nationalists as it bore too much resemblance to the St. George's ribbon — a symbol of valour associated with the Great Patriotic War.  And as World War Two now signifies Russia in the minds of many Ukrainians — which equals evil — black and orange are really not the colours to be worn in Ukraine these days.  Forget high fashion, forget Louis Vuitton's latest spring collection based on this very colour combination: The new Ukraine is now a country of freedom for all, but heaven help anyone who wears black and orange!

This scandal represents the very essence of the contemporary Ukrainian mindset — anti-Russian to the point of paranoia. In their desire to westernise their country and integrate into Europe, Ukrainian nationalists are conversely driving their country away from western concepts of freedom of speech and democracy and transforming their state into an autocratic version of what they think Europe is. Nothing good will come of rejecting the history the St. George's ribbon represents or the neighbour with whom it shares this rich past.  And after all, it's just a dress!

Johanna Ganyukova is a graduate from the University of Edinburgh in Russian Studies and is currently completing an Msc at the University of Glasgow in Russian, Central and Eastern European Studies. She is RI’s Russian Media Editor

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