A checked printed shirt never felt quite as fresh as when it’s made by TBA and has a little triangular hole cut out right in the middle of your tummy. I wore this...Read More →
A checked printed shirt never felt quite as fresh as when it’s made by TBA and has a little triangular hole cut out right in the middle of your tummy. I wore this outfit on the morning of our last day at Fashion Week Poland. We attended the On/Off shows at the most incredible location – a totally surreal and creepy abandoned building. I made the mistake of assuming the floors were clean and, after kneeling down in the middle of a show, found myself completely covered in grey dust. The collections being shown were as raw as the building itself… but I’ll save a bit of that for tomorrow.
I wish I could have spent another week in Łódź, where Fashion Week Poland took place last week. The hotel that kindly hosted Kit, Shini and I during our time in the city was a dream. With incredibly friendly staff and top notch standards, it felt like a mecca for Poland’s creative types with most rooms seemingly filled with designers, press, or general fashion folk. While I’ve mentioned it before, Andel’s Hotel is an absolute force. A converted textile mill that was first established in 1878, it now boasts four stars and hosts guests like Shakira when they find themselves in the area. The huge complex was transformed in just two short years and the building pays homage to the people that worked to convert it with spray painted portraits of staff hidden around the complex. To be honest, it feels one-part hotel one-part art museum… walls are deconstructed and art work lines the corridors. The building itself was as inspiring as the fashion on show. I’m hoping I’ll get the chance to go back and visit again. Not least because I never had the chance to dip my toes in the crazy beautiful roof top pool…
Just a little selection of some of my favourite looks from Fashion Week Poland. I wanted to grab entire outfits off models as they strutted their stuff down the catwalk. From nun-inspired headwear to billowing Lanvin-like fabrics that resembled poisonous jelly fish… no two designers were the same and each offered something entirely different from the one that came before. From the mixed reviews I had heard before attending, I was expecting a slew of creations of poor quality with little imagination.
While the designs were noticeably more simple than what you might see in London, with styling kept quite minimal and layers few, it was a refreshing change from the avant-garde looks that quite often take centre stage. The wearability of the collections was stark. This isn’t fashion that should be kept to the red carpet or plastered onto Lady Gaga, these are things that real women could wear. Plus, the prices of items are insanely reasonable compared to what you’d find in other cities. After seeing these collections, I’m saving my pennies to invest in some Polish designers for Autumn.
When visiting a new country for the first time everything feels fresh and vibrant in an entirely unexpected and exciting way. Poland was no exception. Despite having heard mixed reviews about Łódź and what might lie in store at Fashion Week Poland, the event and the city left nothing but a remarkably positive impact.
In a city that is bursting with creativity and enthusiasm for the future, there is an unavoidable discomfort for the uncertainty of what lies ahead for the region. Underfunded and with little recognition, both within Poland and abroad, the ambition to pursue creative outlets is under threat. The quality and sheer devotion to fashion was stark and, quite frankly, humbling. The collections were, overall, of a very high standard and were presented in a way that felt refreshingly raw yet wearable.
As the city once operated as a major textile mecca for the country, many of the buildings are deserted and feel as though they are decaying into something separate and new. Old factories are housing polished catwalks and act as a gathering ground for the cities creative kids by night. As I was told by one girl that grew up in the city, ‘in Łódź even the grey is beautiful.’ I couldn’t agree more.
As a non-Polish speaker, I’ve been walking around saying that I’m going to Polish Fashion Week in Lodz.. As it turns out, Łódź is pronounced more like Wuudge. Who would have guessed? Ah, mere rookie error.
Arriving into Poland for the first time was a bit surreal. The sky was entirely clear on the flight from Zurich and I got a bit lost in the intricate patterns of symmetrical blocks of shaded green farmland. I couldn’t help but wonder whether the entire country was comprised of a jigsaw of potatoes and cabbage…
Later in the afternoon, after a train ride spent sitting on the floor with a box of macaroons, Kit, Shini and I were checked into Andel’s Hotel Lodz. A seriously magnanimous building that used to house Poland’s largest textile mill but is now home to both a hotel and an impressive conference facility. The hotel has been kind enough to sponsor our stay while in the city and I can’t think of a better way to be welcomed to the country for the first time – it is beautiful.
After getting a little guided tour around the massive complex today, much of the time spent oogling at exposed original brick work and scouting out hidden pieces of art spray painted onto the walls, we headed out back to explore the wondrous delicacies that Lodz has in store. Strangely we wound up at a Mexican restaurant and then wandered the aisles of a grocery store looking for conditioner. Tomorrow the goals are to swim in the rooftop pool and make it over to see some shows at Polish Fashion Week.