Pleasure Garden. Magda Butrym SS23

For spring-summer 2023, Magda Butrym invites us to her, as the collection’s title suggests, “Pleasure Garden“. The Polish designer, whose clothes are red carpet favorites among actors and artists like Natalie Portman, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Olivia Rodrigo, just knows what women want: a certain sort of chic that’s romantic, yet bold, mature, yet mood-boosting. The latest offerings has plenty of Butrym’s signature florals, which return in form of artful appliqués as well as in tone-on-tone embroidery across a white standout maxi and curve-hugging black set. In a dreamy sea of neutrals with pops of pale lilac and bubblegum pink, find hand-draped floral forms punctuating the necklines of slinky jersey halter tops and ultra-high side slits, and unfurling in structured ruffles trimming the ruched cocktail dresses. The designer also takes a look back at the 1970s jet-set style with a toffee suit made from finest suede, and charming denim embroidered with even more florals. Butrym doesn’t really go for straightforward themes, and that makes her vision of a woman feel so distinct and true-to-her-style every season.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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Love Letter. Magda Butrym AW22

For autumn-winter 2022, Magda Butrym delivered a collection that balances her signature, chic finesse with a few delightful nods to her Polish roots. Those references definitely include the cultural legacy of early 20th century Zakopane, where artists created a new aesthetical identity inspired by the regional art of Poland’s highland region known as Podhale. In this “Love Letter” – the collection’s title – Butrym reinterprets the timeless shearling jacket by adding flower-shaped intarsia cut-outs, while the bold red rose print makes me think of Zofia Stryjeńska‘s vibrant depictions of women dressed in traditional highland folklore. Of course, nothing is too literal about this collection, and the knitted cream ensemble with a balaclava hoodie will work both on the slopes of Tatry and Megève. This season, the designer debuts luxe, commanding coats in red patent leather and pink, extra-fluffy jackets, as well as handcrafted details seen in the crochet dress and floral-appliqué mini. Feminine, edgy, distinctly cool and full of bling, Butrym’s eveningwear pieces are unlike anything else. Find them alongside her all-time must-haves – from bustiers with rounded cups to 3D rosettes, and a gray cashmere update to her best-selling long, boxy coat.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.


Warsaw: Anna Bilińska’s Retrospective

Anna Bilińska was the first Polish female artist to gain international recognition. Her first solo retrospective at the National Museum in Warsaw takes place just now, in 2021, but it’s better late than never. Bilińska used oil paints, pastels and watercolours to create portraits, still lifes, genre scenes and landscapes in the style of European realism. The artist brilliantly mastered the basics of the painting technique, evidenced by her academic studies of models, which strike the viewer with their synthetic approach to the form and with their casual technique of painting. Of course, the artist also simultaneously continued the clear contour style, exemplified by her Male Nude Study (1885), Study for a Male Nude (ca. 1884-85) and Boy Nude (ca. 1884-85). Sketches for the historical and biblical compositions which Bilińska created in her youth have similar qualities but also display a bold expression of colour juxtaposition, as exemplified by Joseph Interprets Dreams (1883) and Inquisition (1884). Bilińska’s mature works consist predominantly of portraits and portrait studies of various ethnic types which were fashionable at that time. These pieces merge the refined simplicity of realism with an academic discipline of the painting technique, such as Head of a Serb (ca. 1884) or Old Man with a Book (ca. 1890s).Bilińska’s self-awareness and thoughts on the artist’s position in the world, which manifested itself in, among others, the representation of her own image in self-portraits, make her works so powerful. And still, the artist’s entire oeuvre and life story have yet to be thoroughly analysed and rediscovered…

The exhibition is on view until 10th of October 2021.

The National Museum in Warsaw is worth a visit in general! Here are some of my favourite artworks, especially from the 19th and 20th century galleries, from Józef Mehoffer’s enchanting Stange Garden to Jacek Malczewski’s prophetic visions.

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Focus On: Jan / F / Chodorowicz

Finally, a delightful dash of refinement appears on the Polish fashion scene. Meet Jan / F / Chodorowicz, the womenswear designer and recent graduate of Central Saint Martins MA course, and his brilliant SOCIALI/S/TE collection. Chodorowicz’s debut line-up introduces the audience to his two favourite meeting-points: the codes of haute couture and workwear. For the collection, Jan was simultaneously inspired by the glamorous Truman-Capote-kind-of-women, and photographs of working women in socialist Poland – visions of strikingly contrasting femininity that collided at one point in history, when Jackie Kennedy and Lee Radziwill came to Warsaw in 1970. The collection is a capsule wardrobe for a contemporary, charismatic and business-ready woman, a modern-day lady who is in control of her narrative and expresses her confidence through uncompromising total looks. The dominating, deep tone of blue is a reference to classic workwear, which is combined with fine wools in windowpane and houndstooth patterns, all fully bonded with silk satin to create a chic, couture-ish silhouette. Every outfit has a matching pair of gloves and tights that convey the dynamic blue lines that run through the entire collection, making the looks not only feel lady-like, but surprisingly also utilitarian. Keep Jan on your radar – for more of his works, follow the designer right here.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki. Look-book: photography by Łukasz Kuś, make up by Marianna Yurkiewicz, styling by Marcela Stanczyk & special thanks to Krystyna Engelmayer Urbańska and Jula Strużycka.

New Romantic. Magda Butrym AW21

Magda Butrym, the Warsaw-based designer, delivered a brilliant line-up for autumn-winter 2021. With every season, the designer consistently builds her style vocabulary, which is the right balance between impeccable tailoring and chic eveningwear. The new collection, entitled “New Romantic“, photographed by Sonia Szóstak and starring the one and only Małgosia Bela, is the dream wardrobe for re-emergence: a timeless, shearling coat in beige, a le smoking suit covered in sequins, masculine blazers that mean business and some of the most delightful dresses we’ve seen from Butrym up to now. Flowers are a reocurring motif for the brand, with its origins based on Polish folklore culture. This time, the designer went one step further and presented a fabulous, sequinned, red capelet that looks like an actual blooming rose. And then we’ve got the pink peony cocktail dress, which just needs a fittingly dramatic occasion to go to (even if still wearing a face-mask).

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.