Mercedes-Benz Prague Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2019 Review

Mercedes-Benz Prague Fashion Week does not belong to the most expected ones in the competition of the older and more famous brothers. It is hard to find any international buyers or journalists there, yet since 2010 it has successfully managed to establish itself as a small but respected fashion event that presents the best of Czech and Slovak fashion.

While big fashion weeks such as Paris, London and Milan present the best of global fashion brands, Prague fashion week supports local young talents. Czech and Slovak fashion scene lacks big players and is rather characterised by the presence of small independent brands and young designers. Mostly it is caused by the discontinuity within such an industry in this territory caused by the communist past. After the revolution, the old traditional textile houses (e.g. OP Prostějov) did not succeed in the competition of the western fashion world and sooner or later were forced to terminate their businesses.

However, the revolution brought to life new players such as Blazek (1992) or Pietro Filipi (1993) – currently the biggest and commercially most successful Czech brands. 90s in the Czech Republic did not create the best environment for original local fashion (with few exceptions creating rather ball gowns and custom made dresses). It was 2004 when Radka Sirková and Anna Tušková founded their own fashion label CHATTY and brought modern approach to Czech fashion. They were followed by another designer duo Miroslava Kohutiarova and Antonin Soukup who formed Laformela in 2010. Both labels belong to the new generation of Czech and Slovak fashion brands but to those already well established – at least on the Czech and Slovak markets. The international recognition is however still awaiting them. It is extremely challenging to cross boarders and gain international success within the fashion industry in the competition of such global brands as Prada or Dior that set on their journey decades ago.

What may be a disadvantage leaves a big space for young creativity. In the Czech Republic students of fashion design find jobs in the fashion industry only with difficulties. However the lack of opportunity forces them to create their own labels. Many of them start creating their own brands already during the studies either at The Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague or at Tomáš Baťa University in Zlín.

Apart from the established brands such as Blazek, Pietro Filipi, Chatty and Laformela, Mercedes-Benz Prague Fashion Week hosts many shows of freshly graduated fashion designers or designers still enrolled at universities in fashion design courses. Indeed it will be interesting to follow the future of young Czech fashion.

Jan Černý

The FW19 Mercedes-Benz Prague Fashion Week kicked off by Jan Černý presentation. Černý launched very well thought out collection with great new looks well fitting into the context of his entire oeuvre. The collection is toned rather into more descent colours yet also the brighter ones such as violet and orange are used.  A unifying theme as well as references to his past collections may be found. When looking at the collection the association with Native American tribes comes to mind and typically for Černý an inspiration in classical travel garment is also recognizable. Not only the use of vests and hip jackets with big pockets, but also the “jan” branding and tie-dye colour technique refer to Černý’s past collections. Traditionally, he also presented his twist to a classical denim jacket.

With his FW19 collection Černý pays a tribute to the Czech artist Vladimír Boudník known mostly for his abstract graphics. Boudnik strived to democratize art. He aimed to bring it to public and interact with its audience. The democratization and openness to public is indeed an approach Černý shares with Boudník. Connecting with his audience is certainly his great strength, especially on social media. In order to continue in the interaction Černý also always opens his fashion shows to public.

AIM by Michaela Hriňová

Michaela Hriňova’s show resembled a demonstration, a march for freedom. The collection was a bold statement. It was a manifest of youth. A call for NOW! The present is what matters. As there is NO FUTURE.

For the first time Michaela Hriňova introduced her work as a finalist of the VAN GRAAF JUNIOR TALENT Award at the FW17 Mercedes-Benz Prague Fashion Week and ever since she has been successfully developing her recognisable style. This year she continues in her journey and builds on the SS19. As such the new collection is rather an evolution of her visual style than a revolution and works perfectly in the context of her overall work.

At FW19 MBPFW Michaela Hriňova showed a strong and brave collection with an inspiration in punk subculture. Hriňova is not afraid to be bold. In her latest collection she dares to combine diverse materials and colours. She works with asymmetrical shapes and typically for her she uses branded cloth badges.

LAFORMELA

Laformela’s fashion show was without hesitation one of the most expected ones. No surprise, Laformela was founded in 2010 and belongs among the most established brands in the Czech fashion world. As such, with every new collection it is always fascinating to see the new direction of the brand; embracing new trends, yet also carrying its history and personal expression. 

Not only was Laformela’s show the most anticipated one but in a way it was also the most surprising one.  First of all, the Czech top model Hana Soukupova opened the show. Second of all, the brand made a significant progress in its development. Through out the years the brand created a distinctive urban style inspired by subcultures and street wear. With the FW19 collection we saw a shift from such aesthetics towards much more complex collection.

Rather than one unifying theme we could see a few mini series of looks building on similar aesthetics and some looks standing quite aside as bold individuals such as the black latex suit with an asymmetrical phosphorescent-green turtleneck.  The collection works with many different materials and colours but is well balanced. From the play with bright colour schemes and graphic details the brand has shifted towards more descent colours (beige, grey, dark blue and black). Suddenly from a brand that draws an inspiration from street wear and outdoor, Laformela turns into more elegant and sophisticated label.  Did we see a beginning of Laformela’s new era?

Adam Kost

Since 2015 Adam Kost has been a student of The Atelier of Fashion and Footwear Design at UMPRUM. In February 2017 he was selected as one of the 4 finalists of the Van Graaf Junior Talent Award for his FW17 women’s collection; later presented at the FW17 MBPFW. Since then Kost specializes in menswear and presents a new collection at the MBPFW every season.

Adam Kost is a designer with a strong vision. His style is recognisable across all his collections. One and each of them works perfectly as a whole; sharing the same aesthetics and building on the same values. The latest collection is characterised by simple cuts, straightforward silhouettes and original colourful prints. Kost always works out every piece of his collection in the slightest detail and uses the best quality materials.

Adam Kost is a master of knitwear. While his shirts, trousers and suits work with simple cuts, it is his knitwear that is typically more “off leash”. Kost likes to work with asymmetrical or oversize sweaters with original patterns. This season he also introduced ultra short and shoulder-less sweaters; all coming in different colours and with original patterns.