For my graduate collection, I really wanted to explore an area that I could personally connect to. A huge part of my life is folklore which I used to be a part of as a child, when I used to dance and sing in a Slovak folk group. I am aware that Slovak culture is not of an interest to young adults who are rather invested in the modern world.
It was important to me to create a connection between the modern world and Slovak folklore in order to spread awareness amongst the young. I claim heritage to be very important as it is a rich source of not only inspiration but also knowledge and most importantly wisdom. Living abroad is what made me realise its value and its impact on my thinking and the way of living. It quickly became the compass to my life and therefore, it became something I wanted to investigate more deeply in my final collection.
Even though my research touches on multiple areas such as folk dances, musical instruments or folklore influence, I picked the Slovak dress and Čičmany, an old village in Slovakia. The analysis of garments helped me navigate through my design development. I wanted to bring back the volumes of gathered skirts, and necklines which puffed up the blouses. One concept that I took away from this was also layering. Čičmany on the other hand, has painted cottages which ornaments enriched my collection’s fabrics.
I have got an eye for architecture and so it does not surprise me that this theme was a part of my design process. The buildings I looked at are located in downtown Bratislava and share the concept of layering. Because these layers are visible, it pushed me towards chiffon fabric which enabled me to show layers in my own collection. These tall buildings are also represented in the seam placements. Furthermore the hip hop culture reminded me of graffiti, and therefore I decided to use textile spray paint.
Volume created through gathering in Slovak dress pieces was something that immediately caught my attention. This effect needed to be transported into my garments. I added gathered necklines, and seams that are placed on the waist, the chest or long stripes of fabric that cover a specific area. These stripes act as bold detailing on its own but also add function to the garment. Fastening and styling is their purpose. Another useful detail are shiny strings attached to layered pieces of fabric. It not only delivers elegance and subtlety, but also helps to achieve one of the themes which is layering. Lastly there are the print and spray painted ornaments. I played around with shapes that are painted on the cottages of Čičmany as they represent Slovak craft. The colours I chose for them are elegant and as bright as the spring and summer or Slovak folklore. What sets the spray painted ornament apart is the fact that I chose the spray paint technique in order to add a more contemporary feel to my collection.