Delightful. Magda Butrym AW20

Whether it’s one of her statement cocktail mini-dresses or a pair of zebra-print boots, Magda Butrym’s pieces carry an undeniably cool attitude that is a mixture of the 80s and 90s chic. What makes me even more excited about her pieces is that they’re beautifully crafted in Poland, embracing the nearly forgotten, local craft experience. With every season, Magda’s work becomes more and more signature and distinct to her style. And she also expands her line-ups. For autumn-winter 2020, the Polish designer offers the complete wardrobe, from boxy overcoats to tiny corset tops trimmed in crystals. The black, leather coat with shearling collar is a dream, just like the floral dresses made from glorious, meaty velvet or the incredible sequinned garments (those are just some of the details I had a chance to experience at her showroom in Paris). Butrym’s clients – and that fan-base steadily grows – will be pleased to see that the label introduces sunglasses this season, made in collaboration with Linda Farrow. Delightful.
Collages and showroom photos by Edward Kanarecki, look-book photos by Sonia Szóstak.

Slavic Romance. Magda Butrym SS20

For spring-summer 2020, Magda Butrym does her thing in the best possible way. The Polish designer looks at the East through her own, idiosyncratic perspective, creating the modern-day “Slavic romance” – even suited for a client who not necessarily has much to do with the region. Her signature, sharp-shouldered silhouettes beautifully define her mini dresses and vintage-y tailoring (just take a look at the masculine, silk coat in polished white to see the sharpness I’m talking about). Florals take center stage, either as reworked folk prints or an incredible 3-D sculptural bodice that stands away from the body to resemble a rose in full bloom. The pleated, long-sleeved dress in bold pink is equally appealing. Butrym’s love for folk is never too literal in her work, but the previously mentioned Slavic romance she manages to incorporate in her fashion is always charming and heart-warming (especially for Poles like me who really wish Polish labels embraced its local heritage – without falling into folklore clichées, of course).

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Folklore, Revamped. Magda Butrym AW19

Magda Butrym no longer needs an introduction in the industry. At her core, the Polish designer stands for two things: local hand craftsmanship and fashion that’s playful, yet sophisticated. Her autumn-winter 2019 offers plenty of her signature floral mini dresses in updated silhouettes and statement, 80’s tailoring. But there are also new additions: one of the blazers has a huge black flower attached to it, making the look fantastically exagerrated, but not ridiculous. The handwoven oatmeal sweater is another highlight – it’s backless and comes with waist-cinching ties. As Butrym told Vogue, she’s “inspired by the romantic East”. Well, just look at the pleated silk frock covered in a folk-inspired poppy print and you will get it right away. Each Magda Butrym design is created in an old Warsaw home, where Butrym and her brother have carved out their family business in the old Polish style. She’s a leading Polish designer with countless retailers world-wide, but at the same time she stays where her home is, and consistently fuses her local surroundings with current obsessions, like cowboys or Dolly Parton, in her work.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki, photos Bibi Cornejo Borthwick.

Małgosia Bochenek

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She’s mystical, she’s nature, she’s primavera. Inspired by woman and womanhood, Małgosia Bochenek embraces those who live in harmony with the rhythm of nature and it’s cycle. Delicate fabrics, feminine frills, transparencies and flowery patterns – yes, designs for real goddesses. That’s the vision of a woman according to Małgosia, whose new, namesake label has just kicked off (specifically, on the first day of spring). And I’m more than happy to present you the campaign I’ve been working on with her and Paulina Pajka, the photographer. Hope you will enjoy those witchy, sun-drenched and Goddard-inspired collages.

See her site as well!

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Collages by Edward Kanarecki.

Natalia Siebuła

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Polish fashion used to be something of an underrated, rather oblivious niche. Today, however, we’ve got such incredible labels like Natalia Siebuła that steal the hearts of local customers. The visuals from her spring-summer 2018 look-book (by Piotr Czyż) make you drool over everything: from the pleated polka-dots skirt with pastel-pink inserts to the cotton shirts printed with Małgorzata Jagielska’s illustrations. The collection was photographed in an UFO-resembling train station in Kielce. Opened in 1984, it was seen as one of the most modern bus stations of its kind in Poland. Although today it’s no longer as appreciated as it used to be, the place works as a delightfully contrasting background for Siebuła’s feminine, yet not overly saccharine clothing.

Le Nuvole. Ania Kuczyńska AW17

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Ania Kuczyńska‘s autumn-winter 2017 collection, elusively titled Le Nuvole (meaning ‘clouds’ in Italian), is a minimalist heaven at the first glace. But is it just plain minimalism? The Warsaw-based designer is known for encoding various references and  personal obsessions in her sharply cut, yet tactile garments. This season, it was a nod to her beloved Italy. Don’t associate that tip too superficially, though, as there is nothing like cliché in Kuczyńska’s creativity. Morning black coffee served in Palermo; a glass of Sicilian wine (well relates to the burgundy colour of the must-have ballet slippers); the shade of navy that resembles the Italian, night sky. Then, there’s also Monica Vitti’s ethereal grace in those silk dresses and feminine blouses. The 3/4 skirts ooze with a Luca Guadagnino film sensuality – yes, think of Tilda Swinton’s character in A Bigger Splash. The expressive silhouette of Ania’s new season pieces reflect the motion of Tarantella  – folk dance in the Southern part of Italy, characterized by a fast upbeat tempo. Although that seems like quite a lot for one collection, Kuczyńska pulls it off like no other, keeping it true to her style. The mood, the texture, the silhouette – Le Nuvole is what you call eccelente, in every aspect.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki, feauturing Wojciech Plewiński’s shot from ‘Italia ’57’ series.   Photos by Stanisław Broniecki, beauty by Marianna Yurkiewicz.

Object of Desire. MISBHV SS17

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I can sum up my love to MISBHV in this simple way – Russians have Gosha Rubchinskiy, Western Europe has Vetements, and Poles have Natalia Maczek‘s label. So, you’ve guessed right, seeing a Polish brand having a presentation in New York makes me super, super proud. MISBHV, a label that since its very beginnings caused longing desire in my, and my friends’ hearts. Maybe that’s why spring-summer 2017 collection for women is entitled “Object of Desire“? Before, MISBHV’s main focus was on menswear, but the success of HARD CORE or WARSZAWA sweatshirts among women meant something – it was high time for a new chapter.

For her first New York show, Natalia openly admits that she was obsessed with the idea of a 17-year-old girl from 00s, who loves disco. The naive character of this girl contrasts with rough party raving and the character of techno music – she wants to look her best, trying out unconventional combinations made up of her teenager clothes. Zirconia embellished crop-tops, pink chokers in leather, raw-cut t-shirts resembling heavy-metal concert souvenirs – this is the world of MISBHV, based on nostalgic fashion horrors and DIY styling. Denim pieces, like the elongated pants or laced-up slit skirt, are my absolute favourites. Of course, I can’t be too saccharine – it’s fairly noticeable that MISBHV isn’t far from today’s most relevant aesthetic (the uglier the better). But, I don’t mind. I’m celebrating Maczek’s and her team’s success like a national holiday.

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East. Ania Kuczyńska AW16

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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.

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Kreist

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Polish fashion is, honestly speaking, underrated. And I’m not saying that just because I live in Poland, and I want to support local creatives. This statement is true for anyone, who took their time to research talented, Polish fashion designers and forward-thinking brands. One of the labels that keeps appearing on my mind when I think of  new-wave Poles in fashion industry is Kreist. After reading this post, the Made in Poland tag will appeal to you – that’s guaranteed.

After Krzysztof Stróżyna‘s international success at his previous brand, Krystof, the Central Saint Martins graduate and New Gen alumnus took a step further, founding Kreist – an off-kilter, city-cool wardrobe for intriguing women. Although Krzysztof humbly calls his one-of-a-kind pieces “basics”, his biker jackets with hand-cut denim fringes aren’t the typical definition of the word. “Basic” is frequently used by glossy, high-streets brands, and in result the term is associated with those plain, tasteless sweatpants and ‘lux-looking’ bags . Kreist’s philosophy is different, and not that average. This organic label with a small workshop and a showroom in Poznań focuses on delivering aesthetically aware essentials for women, who aren’t interested in filling their wardrobes with one-season trash. It’s more of a wearable fantasy, but on daily basis.

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For autumn-winter 2016, Kreist presents classical jackets in bold colours, and recuts denim, making the pants look irresistibly desirable. But what stands behind the electric-blue midi-skirt, ruffled sleeves and dynamic, leather appliqué? 80s culture plays an important role in Kreist’s recent look-book – Blondie’s glam-rock attitude, Cher’s play with textures and colours, and David Bowie’s famous, gender-blurring silhouettes. A mood-board filled with this type of muse set can’t be a background for a minimal collection, and Krzysztof proves that.

Kreist oozes with creativity, and that makes this Polish brand already unique. With such potential, Stróżyna and his creative studio are ready for big, big plans and new, fashion challenges. Available at Concept 21 Store.

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