Libena Rochova is a small woman who has a notable presence in Czech fashion design and most prominently on the Prague Fashion Scene. The Czech Queen-of-Couture is not one to dawdle with a Ready-to-Wear collection and spends her time mentoring emerging Czech design talent, teaching at VSUP, while simultaneously developing and engendering two limited edition collections per year for her most coveted fan base.
A few weeks ago Mrs Rochova debuted her limited Spring/Summer 2012 collection, and like the couture shows in Paris- the atmosphere was that of an intimate gathering amongst friends, compatriots, and admirers alike. The stark white walls of the showroom, the perfectly placed rows of chairs with the fashion-hungry centered in the front row – created a scene of elegance and sophistication- with the ever glamorous Libena Rochova at the helm of her illustrious ship.
As the doors to the salon opened and the first model walked out, one immediately knew why this woman carries such weight to her name. Emphasis was placed highly on workmanship and timeless elegance- a style of dress where old-world materials and sewing met modern drapery and pleats- each expertly crafted. Black and White crisp cotton was added into more masculine styles like a tunic, summer pant suit with wide-leg trousers, and dresses with a hint of 1960’s Kennybunkport. A white dress that had been laser cut to create multi-layered flowers was held together by careful stitching and small pearlized beads acting as the pistil . An oversized black coat as well as a skirt-suit combination was refined elegance mixed with modern material for the 21st Century woman.
One-toned colors were an important aspect to Libena’s collection allowing simple lines and techniques to transcend chaotic fabrics were ideas can easily be lost in translation. Beautiful silks in earth colors like ochre and tan were elegant for day or evening attire.
Fuschia and Mandarin Orange popped in light-weight suede leather. Skirts , dresses and sleeveless tanks with cowl necks allowed movement and a breathability- a rarity for such a finicky material that is more prone to pucking and inward folding that loose comfort.
The final emphasis of the collection was a mix of silk chiffon and silk organza- which happens to be the same factory where Chanel sources their fabric’s from, a perk I am sure is in fact given to very few. Most of the dresses were done in a halter style with paper-style jewelry emphasizing graceful necks. One of the most unique design elements of her show was a silk chiffon tie-back halter top accompanied by a paper skirt- not construction paper or what one would think about for art projects, but a well-made and artfully chic experimentation with a product that we all use every day.
The limited Spring/Summer collection was versatile, wearable, and one-of-a-kind. There is a final shocking detail that I am leaving until the very end, namely the price. Someone of Libena Rochova’s stature and dominance could easily fetch a hefty price tag, but her pieces are very reasonably priced- think somewhere between 11,000CZK up to 40,000CZK for one of a kind pieces that only one other person in the world would have….. not even Chanel can offer that.