Ania Kuczyńska is Poland’s most recognizable designer for a reason. After years of working in the industry, her signature style is distinct. Her fashion is consistent, and that’s why she’s leading in Polish fashion game. Aware of her ‘trademark’ pieces, like her take on the little black dress, or Warsaw’s street-style favourite Shanghai totes, Kuczyńska’s eponymous attitude is beloved by her intellectual customers. But don’t think she’s resting on laurels.
The newest autumn-winter 2016 look-book (presented off the schedule), entitled ‘East’, might be dubbed as one of her most refined collections to date. At the first glance it’s very stern, definitely moving away from girlie sweetness which we know so well from Ania’s past collections. Mostly kept in black, with contrasting denim accents, the collection glances at the craftsmanship of the past. With nods to traditional ‘dress-code’ of Polish noblemen from 16th-17th century, AW16 is a contemporary look on elegance of historic silhouettes. Some of the names of new season’s items – for example ‘Baikal’ for a bomber jacket – make it visible that the collection is rooted in Slavic references, which aren’t too cartoonish or literal. The designer’s vision is always open for interpretation, leaving some mystery for the viewer. I, for instance, feel a connection between those incredible black coats and turtlenecks, and Paweł Pawlikowski’s masterpiece, Ida – a story of a nun who discovers her Jewish origins, and seeks the truth about her family. The black-and-white aura of this film goes hand in hand with Kuczyńska’s elusive woman.
Sonia Rykiel has passed away today in the morning, leaving the world of fashion cry.
Throughout her career, Rykiel was called ‘The Undisputed Queen of Knitwear‘, while her fashion – the quintessence of Parisian chic. Her thin jumpers left the neck uncluttered, giving French women comfort of ready-to-wear and a sense of freedom. Sonia’s timeless designs were expressed in every possible version of knitwear, from the warmest mohair to the softest jersey. During her first successes in the 60s, her brand’s tricot pieces absolutely differed from old, heavy silhouettes. Also, she created the myth of St. Germain girl – a Parisian femme, who lives on the Left Bank (very likely next to her first flagship store on Boulevard du St. Germain, opened back in 1968) and lives her effortless, care-free life. But most of all, Sonia Rykiel’s fashion was frivolous, feminine and relaxed, and it brought happiness to the clients and the industry. Her legacy still does.
Current creative director of the house is Julie de Libran, who succeeds in continuing Sonia’s legacy. As for a little cheer-up – Libran’s furry tote from her recent autumn-winter 2016 collection. At least, we are sure that Rykiel’s label is in good hands.