The fertile repertoire of creations in Malgorzata Dudek’s spring-summer 2012 collection is impossibly cool.
For this latest work, she collaborated with artist H. R. Giger, and she was able to synthesize incredible architectural garments and cunningly artistic designs with a hint of steampunk vibe, a soft stroke of fairytale feeling, and a dab of freemasonry geometry, while still allowing a free play of the feminine subtlety.
She was awarded the special jury prize by Madame Figaro Paris in the White Swan contest and was nominated Woman of the Year in Fashion by Glamour Magazine Poland, where she originally hails from.
Now based in London, this ingenious and skillfully poignant couturier has a clear, hard-edge and unapologetic notion of what fashion engineering is about.
How was your journey to become a designer?
I’ve always used my hands to create things and I’ve always been a trouble maker, so I guess these two factors helped me along the way. As soon as I could, I picked up scissors, a needle, thread, and I started making beautiful clothes for my old dolls.
When I was a little older, a local, eccentric designer, Edyta Dabrowska, mesmerized me with her happenings and the way she dressed. She dyed old shoelaces neon colours to make clothes out of them and also staged happenings with mannequins outside the church to shock the church goers. You just didn’t see these kinds of things in communist Poland, where everything was very grey and low key. People always pointed at her but I loved her and wanted to be just like her. When I was about eight, I made a crowd of effigies and dressed them in old clothes that I had altered. When I gathered my school friends, I lit the effigies on fire, and then drowned them in the stream nearby. It was a tribute to Edyta, who was my first fashion inspiration.
When I was a little older, my mum went to a pattern making and sewing course. Of course, she wanted to experiment on me, which I found embarrassing because I didn’t like anything she made. This, in turn, motivated me to make my own clothes. Before long, I was sewing for myself and for my friends. You can say that my mum was another inspiration for me or maybe a catalyst. When it was time to decide what course I should study, I had to break my mum’s heart by not studying history, rather I took up studying textiles, pattern making and sewing. This gave me a very in-depth knowledge of garment construction, which allows me to bring my imagination to life.
After school, I had a steady group of businessmen and women for whom I sewed. Eventually I started designing commercially but I grew very tired of having to design dresses seasons behind fashion, as the Polish commercial marketplace demands. Not being one who can stand in one spot for very long, I released a couture collection under my name and another and…
What is the concept behind this collection? What’s the thread running through it?
I’ve been fascinated by the Swiss surrealist H.R. Giger since I was a teen. This collection was a tribute to his biomechanical vision and I feel honoured working with his art. H.R. Giger’s Alien is a lot like my ideal of the perfect woman: dangerous, motivated, intelligent yet definitely feminine.
Is there anything that makes this collection different from your previous work? How has your work evolved?
I think that my work has always been very feminine, but with each collection I’ve grown a bit darker, fiercer, and less inhibited. Now, I don’t want to design clothes that most people consider just beautiful, but collections that say something and force people to come to their own interpretation.
What fabrics and materials did you use for this collection and why?
I don’t get attached to using one kind of fabric and I love variety – from natural fabrics, which everyone loves, to technical-synthetic fabrics, which I use for their plasticity. When I choose the materials for a collection, I concentrate on the concept of the collection and character of each project. I mix the fabrics but try to have each project look like it belongs to the family that I am forming. After a lot of searching, for this collection I chose silver brocade, technical (metallic) taffeta, crêpe, jersey, taffeta, sheer netting, tulle, leather, foam, metal, fiberglass and resin. With all my future collections, I won’t be using any leather and I’ve never used fur.
What are your influences?
I’m influenced by everything.
What do you love about your work?
Working for your own label is a privilege but carries the stress of running a business. You can’t match the independence of being the boss and the joy of watching everything grow. But most of all, I love the creation process, it’s better than sex in a threesome.
Who is your ideal woman when you design?
My ideal woman is from another planet and trapped in a human body. She’s absolutely unique, motivated, independent, and confident of her body and her intelligence. These qualities make her appear dangerous and intimidating.
If your fashion aesthetics were a sound, what would it be?
I don’t think that I could associate my aesthetic to a sound or even to a type of music. Maybe a chance encounter of Kraftwerk, Ravi Shankar and Motorhead with Britney singing backup.
What are your upcoming projects?
I’m preparing a new collection that I will release during London Fashion Week.
Photographer: Christoph Musiol // Model: Katarzyna Nawrocka // Stylist: Jadwiga Pokryszka
Hair: Margo Wegierek // Make-up: Patricia Bontscheff // Set-design: Uli Gajsa // Sunglasses: Slav Nowosad
24 April 2012 Leave a Comment