For the Love of the Hunt: A look into Projekt Belka’s first Ready-to-Wear collection

belka 3000

Project Belka exploded onto the design scene in the Fall of 2012 making a name for themselves in the showrooms of Designblok. The brand consists of Martina Mala- who has been on the scene for some time and was written about on this website with her Trudi for Dolls jewelry line and Andrea Lojkásková- who currently runs the shop Pokojik in Brno and is the designer behind the label Le Andrea.

The line began from a devotion of simple, tasteful, and well-made clothing. Their needs, not being satisfied, took it upon themselves to develop a line that they would enjoy wearing and that they found was lacking in the Czech market.  Thus, Projekt Belka was born.

In their first Ready-to-Wear line titled, “Par force de chiens/Hubertova Sezona“, the two women explored the idea of hunting and the link between men’s traditional hunting clothes and the role that it can have in women’s clothing. Combining age old sewing techniques and high-end fabrics, the duo managed to create a very chic and sensible line for their first foray into RTW. Wanting to know more about their line, I sat down with Martina Mala to talk ‘shop’ about Par Force de chiens.

Projekt Belka Dress- 3800CZK

Projekt Belka Dress- 3800CZK

Prague Fashion Scene (PFS): You have decided to call your collection “Par Force de Chiens/ Hubertova Sezona” can you tell me a bit more about the meaning?

Projekt Belka: Par force de chiens, is the name for a special type of hunting. When you have a lot of dogs and you ride on horseback to chase after a deer and later foxes. It’s a very traditional hunting atmosphere. Hubertova Sezona is the season of Hubert; and Saint Hubert is the patron saint for all hunters.

PFS: Women are not normally invited on these types of hunting excursions so can you tell me a bit about the type of designs you incorporated into the clothing.

Projekt Belka:  The idea was that women are spending their day around the hunting chateau while the men are on the par force chase. That is why we began with light dresses, and we are going down through the day with warmer skirts, shirts, leggings, to hunting coats and the day ends with long elegant dresses to spend the night inside the chateau, having delicious food, dance, and so on.

PFS: You talk a lot about light dresses and warmer skirts- what type of materials did you use in this collection?

Projekt Belka: All of the materials are of the best quality, which was carefully chosen. {We used} black silk taffeta for dresses and skirts. Some shirts {were made }in silk with cotton and had a delicate print on it. {We also used} lycra, jeresey, silk, cotton, wool and combinations of these.

PFS: What design elements were important to incorporate into the collection?

Projekt Belka: Men’s hunting jackets. We transferred it to all types of clothing.

An elegant taffeta evening gown. 13,000CZK (special order)

An elegant taffeta evening gown. 13,000CZK (special order)

PFS: You had said that if one didn’t know the idea of the collection it may be difficult for them to spot the “hunting theme” what did you mean by that?

Projekt Belka: {There are} hidden details like cross stitching, which is a very classic motif found on hunting coats and vests. Also the subtle line that {are located} in the front part of the dresses and t-shirts, are taken from the back of men’s hunting jackets. {We also added} buttons that are actually deer heads. (the reader should note here that it was an embossed dear head on the button)

PFS: What can we expect from Projekt Belka in 2013?

Projekt Belka: In May, we have been invited to participate at a design festival in Wroclaw, Poland. We also will open a new store in Prague 1 called Kurator, where you can buy Projekt Belka as well as other brands.

Walking through the woods never looked so good. Dress- 7000CZK

Walking through the woods never looked so good. Dress- 7000CZK

Grey and loving it.

Grey and loving it.

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