Fashion designers from Slovakia have definitely a sweet spot in my heart. I think everyone working in fashion would tell you that. I found my love for it in the last couple of years, when I noticed that our designers started producing creations that are on a truly global level. Of course, there are also top players of fashion in Slovakia that have been on top for around two decades already. What I mean however, are the young artists or school graduates that oftentimes surprise much more than those good old familiar players.
The best way to observe the work of the young fashion blood is at Fashion Live. This event happens once a year and I make sure to always attend. Too bad it’s only yearly though and not every season! On the other hand, I am glad we also get to have some sort of “fashion week”. All the other events of this kind, got kind of stuck somewhere along the way and remind more of post-communist era, than anything else.
For me, Fashion Live is always a huge experience. I spend the whole three days more or less around photographers, from where I get to document the shows that caught my eye. I usually take around million pictures and then need to take some time to come back to them. That way, I make sure to select only those that left that WOW effect on me. This year, it was definitely the following four.
I wasn’t familiar with Patrik Haaz before and it seemed like no one else has heard about him either. I’ve arrived at his show 5 minutes after its start and the only spot I could find was standing behind the photographers. There was also a bunch of older ladies standing there, commenting the whole show. Not only commenting – they knew everything about every single look – where the fabric is from, how long it took Patrik to create it, what went smoothly or what issues he faced. I was standing right next to them the whole show and I couldn’t wrap my head around who these women could be. So I caught Patrick after the show and asked him straight up, which fashion heaven is he from. Believe it or not, Patrick is actually employed in a fabric shop called Koloria and these women are his colleagues (!!!). He has never studied fashion design and is purely self-taught fashion designer. He has a clear mindset about who he is and where is his work heading to, which was very clear from the show. A consistent show, carrying a 70s vibe with perfect styling and perfect outfits. I was speechless. I’m not quite sure if any newcomer on the Slovak scene has ever surprised me this much. Most of them don’t reach his level even after some years. Bow down. You will definitely be hearing from this guy very soon!
I’ve met Pali a couple years back, when he was still part of the fashion design trio from VSVU (Academy of Fine Arts and Design) – “Atelier 343” (Studio 343). He works solo nowadays and this was his first ever solo show as an author. His creative progress is evident year by year and this year’s show truly projected, if I dare to say, a creative maturity. Minimalistic in colour, the collection called “Vale of Tales”, consisted of only two colours – black and white. It was focused on the shape and the craft work of the pieces. The only expressive moment was a graphic piece by Patrik Garay, which Pavol and Patrik have specifically designed for this show. It shows an upside down tarot card of Sun, where the clouds are blocking the sun rays. So even the white pieces from the show were quite dark. Pali was always focused on men’s fashion, however this year he incorporated three women pieces.
It was gloomy, dynamic, dark. We watched the whole thing in one breath and it was one of those shows, where everyone is quite for the next three minutes after it finishes. I still have goosebumps up to my ears, just writing about it.
Boris has been the top player on our small Slovak fashion grounds for quite some time now and has always been part of the fashion elite. He doesn’t fail to surprise us. His show has been the last show of the event every year now and there’s usually an hour of waiting time for it. Everyone keep saying that there is no way he can top his last year’s show and yet… He sure can!!!
The foreplay of Boris’ show was very long. It was thrilling, bit confusing and quite psycho. Suddenly a bunch of hospital staff has arrived on stage and it took us all quite a while to catch the drift of the show. The thrill was increasing and it peaked when one of the main nurses slapped the other one. Shortly after that, the show has started and you weren’t quite sure if you are at a fashion show with Slovak top models or at some mental institution. Well, it was kind of both.
Boris has worked on this collection for years. The models, wearing ethereal looks with bold jewellery details, were walking very slowly, with empty gaze. Some of them were so out of it, one had to wonder whether they haven’t took some Rohypnol and vodka before the show.
The show was showcasing the stories of women that you can find anywhere these days. Women living in golden cages, frustrated, women that have everything, while also having nothing at all. Women so unhappy that the only way for them is a mental institution, where they would finally have time to figure out their life and forget about that, which doesn’t serve them.
We have consumed this psycho theatre in one breath as well. To top all this of, after the last model have left the catwalk, a huge wooden gate that she walked through has fallen. Definitely an unplanned but fitting surprise. Quite symbolic, isn’t it? I think so, ha!
I love this event. It never fails to leave a huge mark of different emotions and creativity on me. It serves as a source of inspiration for me for the coming months.
I can’t wait to attend the next one happening soon – Oct 4-6 in Prior in Bratislava <3
All photos by me.