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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Fashion Philosophy Fashion Week Poland S/S 2012 in Łódź: An Introduction

Last week I attended the fourth edition of Fashion Week Poland in the industrial city of Lodz. It was a good chance to catch up with favourite designers from last season as well as scouting out some new talent.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Fashion Week Poland people SS 2012-international press photography Amelia Gregory
Fashion Week Poland S/S 2012. International press on the front row, all photography by Amelia Gregory.

Last week I returned to Łódź in Poland for my second dose of Fashion Philosophy Fashion Week Poland. This time around I knew more about what to expect and already had some designers in mind to watch. I was also determined to see as many off schedule shows as possible, because as is often the case this is where the most exciting new talent resides.

Fashion Week Poland 2011 andels hotel exterior
Fashion Week Poland 2011 andels hotel exterior
Fashion Week Poland 2011 andels hotel hall
Once again I stayed at the Andels Hotel, a fabulous establishment created from one of the many old factories that typify the landscape of Łódź. Andels has neon rimmed curved cut outs between floors and high ceilinged bedrooms that belie it’s industrial origins, and the breakfast is yummy. What more could you want?

Łódź Fashion Week AW 2011-Andels room
Lodz Fashion Week AW 2011-Andels bedroom
Fashion Week Poland 2011 andels hotel interior
Fashion Week Poland 2011 andels hotel interior-Andels swimming pool
Unfortunately I had no time to sample their spectacular overhanging rooftop swimming pool because I had a hectic four days of shows, with up to 12 shows to see each day. To make things even more exciting I offered to take over the official Fashion Week Poland twitter feed @fashionweek_pl for the duration of my visit. Twitter really hasn’t taken off in Poland yet, but I was determined to show them how important it is to reach an international fashion audience. So for four days, not only was I taking photos and editing between shows, I was also twittering as much as I could given a sometimes shaky internet connection (better wi-fi than London Fashion Week though I might add). Interestingly Facebook is huge news for business, with many designers using it as their sole means of communication on the web.

Fashion Week Poland people SS 2012 Amelia Gregory and Marlena Woolford
Pregnant ladies on the front row: myself with Fashion Trends Analyst Marlena Woolford.

Fashion Week Poland people SS 2012-Joanna Malgorzata Kralkowska
Eating Polish pancakes at Manekin with my lovely guide Joanna Dyrdowska and Fashion Week Poland organiser Małgorzata Kralkowska.

Having been to Fashion Philosophy Fashion Week Poland twice I now have a much stronger idea of what I would determine to be uniquely Polish in fashion – they excel at a curious mix of grungey draping, downbeat mumsy colours and 80s brashness. Polish style at it’s best revels in odd colour combinations and contrasting fabrics and it’s refreshing to see a strong strain of environmental awareness manifested in both materials and design inspiration (I sadly missed the Re-Act eco fashion show on Wednesday night). Grey jersey draping is such a common theme across collections that when used unimaginatively it quickly becomes very tiring, but when done well it adds to that essential Polish feel, as typified by the likes of Monika Ptaszek. Her S/S 2012 menswear collection was one of my favourites, and showcased the very best of what is essential Polish style.

Monika Ptaszek Fashion Week Poland SS 2012
Monika Ptaszek Fashion Week Poland SS 2012
Monika Ptaszek Fashion Week Poland SS 2012
Monika Ptaszek S/S 2012.

Aside from a very Polish strain to many collections there were noticeably more international trends running through the shows this season, as compared with last. Sheer fabrics reigned supreme, (exposed bums and boobs, hello) as did ikat and digital prints, plus the mini maxi combo that leaves models struggling to align fabric in the best position for cameras as they stride down the catwalk.

Joanna Klimas Fashion Week Poland SS 2012
Sheer at Joanna Klimas S/S 2012.

Poitr Drzal Fashion Week Poland SS 2012
Bottoms on show at Poitr Drzal S/S 2012.

Blessus Fashion Week Poland SS 2012
Ikat meets maximini at Blessus S/S 2012.

In my upcoming blogs I’ll give a flavour of how this emerging fashion centre is evolving and I will of course concentrate on the most exciting Polish designers to watch out for. There are plenty of Polish designers who have studied and are now working to considerable acclaim in London, and there’s no reason why home trained talent should not make a bigger mark on the international scene in the years to come too.

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