Mila Povoroznyuk, a young girl from the Ukrainian city of Vinnitsa, has shunned jeans, and all other modern clothing for the long dresses and intricate ensembles of the 19th century.
Nowadays, fashion trends change faster than ever before, but instead of trying to keep up, Mila Povoroznyuk decided to go back to a time that will never go out of fashion – the style of the late 19th century. For the past few years, she has replaced her fairly mundane wardrobe with vintage attires, including long dresses, corsets, all sorts of elegant hats and footwear from the late Victorian Era. Even though getting dressed every morning is much more of a hassle than it used to be, Mila says it’s worth it, as the vintage style makes her feel much more comfortable.
“First I started wearing a vintage blouse, then a skirt, and somehow such vintage clothing items gradually started filling up my closet,” Mila Povoroznyuk told Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda. “And I noticed that I increasingly chose them in everyday life, over my regular wardrobe. I felt more comfortable, more confident in such clothes, and now I practically dress like this every day.”
Mila has always been fascinated by vintage fashion, and 12 years ago she got into a historical reconstruction club whose members were passionate about medieval knightly combat. This gave her the chance to sew costumes for various festivals and battle reenactments, using all kinds of old engravings and paintings as a guide. This allowed her not only to study the history of fashion first-hand, but also learn how to sew all sorts of garments herself.
Mila Povoroznyuk’s vintage wardrobe currently numbers over 100 items, from various time periods, but most are inspired by the fashion of the late 18th century and early 19th century, a time when, according to the young Ukrainain, women looked “healthy and beautiful”, didn’t plaster their faces with layers upon layers of makeup. Even lipstick was only rarely used.
You would think that the most uncomfortable garment in Povoroznyuk’s wardrobe would have to be the corset, but even though she wears one every day, the young Ukrainian says it’s not hard to wear at all. That is partly thanks to the fact that it’s a custom-made corset designed for her particular frame, so it’s actually quite comfortable. At least it doesn’t come close to her long dresses, and her stockings. They get dirty very easily, so she always has to have a spare pair of white stockings with her, just in case.
Mila finds a lot of blouses and shoes in second-hand shops, and she sews the rest of the clothes herself, taking inspiration from old books. As for the accessories, she finds vintage items in personal collections of likeminded enthusiasts, and buys them from flea markets.
Mila Povoroznyuk has been dressing almost exclusively in vintage attires dating back to the 19th century for the last two years, and calls herself the “vintage lady”. She has been making sewing tutorials and photos of her vintage wardrobe online, and has built an impressive following on Instagram.
Mila Povoroznyuk’s willingness to shun modern fashion for the elegance of a bygone era on a daily basis is not unique. In the past we covered Sarah Chrisman, who dressed and lived like she was living in the 18th century, or this English couple who have been living their lives like in the 1940s.