As January fills Milan, Paris, London and New York with snapping photographers and sveltely polished models for Men's Fashion Week, Ukrainian photographer, Yurko Dyachyshyn, is creating a very different set of fashion photography images with the type of model typically overlooked by haute couture.
This is Slavik, Yurko's model and Ukraine's most fashionable man. Yuko noticed him wandering around Lviv in western Ukraine, always wearing a different outfit. Slavik is homeless and is frequently asking passersby for change. His outfits come from donations to the homeless shelter and whatever he finds in the trash. He changes his outfits every day and his talent for surprising and aesthetic pairings got Yurko's attention and his project, "Slavik's Fashion" was created.
Slavik doesn't carry around his belongs with him, preferring to travel the world lightly. Despite a friendship with Yurko, Slavik never revealed his personal history nor the circumstances that caused his homelessness. But, Yurko does note that Slavik may have a developmental disability.
Yurko says on his site, “Slavik says that you should care about health and keep away from those who could ruin your peace of mind… Slavik still has a sense of beauty, style and fashion and his suits are not random. It is not accidental that he changes them every day, adjusting them carefully to weather and season.”
A year ago, Slavik disappeared from Lviv. Frustrated by his failed attempts to locate his friend, Yurko created a second project, "Slavik Super Star." In this, Yurko creates collages from Slavik's portraits, incorporating them onto the covers of mainstream fashion magazines.
For Yurko's photographs of Slavik's fashion creations, check out his blog here.