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.
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. Bilińskaused 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.
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.
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).
Just a step from the entrance to one of Warsaw’s most refined and elegant hotels, Hotel Europejski, which is located in the historic Old Town district of the city (known as Krakowskie Przemieście), a very special opening took place a couple of days ago. It’s the first ever Hermès store in Poland. The light-filled, dripped in tones of honey, burgundy and beige interior was designed by the Paris-based RDAI interior design studio and is furnished in a signature, equestrian style, which is distinct to Hermès house codes. The marble floor is a black & white checkerboard, the furniture is all about French design classics, while the metallic screen displays silk and cashmere carré scarves and shawls (the bold Animapolis edition by Jan Bajtlik is its star!). Behind, you will see the iconic bags, and one of them will strike you the most: the Birkin designed especially for the Warsaw store, with a trompe l’oeil store façade intarsia. Take a few steps back, and to the right you will find a selection of Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski’s chic and terrifically luxurious womenswear and menswear; to the left, the store is supplied with homeware (think porcelain and blankets), fine jewellery and perfumes which are sold exclusively in Hermès flagship boutiques. In the past, I would never believe a brand like Hermès will open its doors (here, I emphasize a separate store, not just a ‘box’ in some department store…) in Poland. So believe me, visiting the brick-and-mortar space for the first time was an experience filled with excitement and… a kind of pride.