Czech designers’ premiere at the International Fashion Showcase in London


Six emerging designer talents from the Czech Republic are presenting their work at International Fashion Showcase 2014, which opens in London on Thursday. The two-week exhibition, held within London Fashion Week, will feature fresh new collections of garments, jewellery and accessories from across central Europe. I called the head of the Czech Centre in London Tereza Porybná to find out more.

Photo: archive of Czech Centre in LondonPhoto: archive of Czech Centre in London “The International Fashion Showcase is a platform dedicated to presenting new talent. It runs during the same time as London’s Fashion Week and creates a fringe part of the London Fashion Week where people can see the newest freshest talent and ideas from around the world.”

Have you seen the Czech designs yourself –what can people expect?

“Well, whenever we describe it we try to talk about the interesting aspect of combining the most traditional technology such as knitting or macramé while preserving this very useful, almost geometrical pattern in the designs, so it is an eclectic blend of personality, style and tradition. We have a designer who is inspired by his Roma heritage, combining urban chic with very colourful, wild patterns and colours. We have a young Czech designer –Jana Mikešová – who designs urban ware but it is all knitted and she creates these new patterns herself and then we have very, very imaginative and almost fairy-tale like garments by Petra Ptackova who is studying in France and her work is inspired by this fairy-tale land and people can expect beige, blue, golden colours.”

Photo: Official website of Jana MikešováPhoto: Official website of Jana Mikešová I understand you are also showing jewellery and glass design?

“Yes, we are. One of the brands the curator of the Czech section Ola Krížova selected call themselves Akward – they are two young designers Lucie Jelínková and Monika Nováková who work on the border of fashion pop-culture and accessory design. They are most famous for their dinosaur heel shoes and at the International Fashion Showcase they will be presenting some of their accessories inspired by wildlife so people can expect little jewellery gekons and parakeets and maybe even dinosaurs again. To put the whole thing together we obviously needed a lot of sponsors and we approached the Czech design company LASVIT who were supportive enough to help us both in terms of providing their designs to lighten up the exhibition and acting as one of the sponsors of the show. LASVIT provided a beautiful glass light design by Jan Plechac which is now nominated for the Czech Grand Design prize for 2013.”

Tereza Porybná, photo: Vojtěch Brtnický / Czech CentresTereza Porybná, photo: Vojtěch Brtnický / Czech Centres And finally, there is a workshop with Czech designers – what is that all about?

“It is a bit of an experiment. We are inviting people from London to come and join us on Saturday morning and bring their knitting materials or whatever pieces of textile they would like to work with and the designers will divide them into several groups and each group will work on one accessory so ideally people will come out of the workshop with a little brooch or a pair of earrings or maybe a redesigned T-shirt.”