About the presentation:

‘Gerdany’ is a generic term for beadwoven neck adornments in Ukraine.

Gerdany-making flourished in Western Ukraine from the 18th century thanks to the mechanization process of fine seed beads and their accessibility. Now it is very popular and contemporary beadwork has blossomed into realistic flowers and one-of- a kind creations. However, folks in North America mistakenly lump big ‘korali’ necklaces under the gerdany label.

Since a Chicago fashion show was going to have several contemporary ‘korali’ necklaces, I wanted to show the audience different styles of beadwork from the past and their terminology to better understand today’s multiple strings of beads, crosses, coins, metal beads, Venetian beads used in contemporary statement pieces.

The ideal way to get an appreciation was to do a quick tour of ethnographic regions and see the unique folk costumes adorned in their full splendour. I zeroed in on the different styles of beadwork, metalwork and materials which are key to each region. Once upon a time you could identify the status of individuals and regions by style of costume and adornments.

See the histroic overview, “Adornments of Ukraine by region”, followed by close-up photos of the contemporary pieces projected while the girls were modelling on the catwalk. Because I photographed each piece for projection, I have excellent ‘eye candy’ to share!

About the Speaker:

Maria Rypan is an international designer and instruction book publisher recognized for her Ukrainian-style of beading and interest in global folk arts. Her work is featured in many beadwork publications. Since 1995 she’s been teaching internationally, produced a kit line and lectures on beading and global folk arts. Her research trips to Ukraine yield fresh material about folk costumes, adornments and trends. Maria taught master classes, showed presentations in Ukraine since 2010. Visit www.rypandesigns.com