How to Wear SS16 By Czech Designers

WORDS: Madeline Chesnut

More often than not, the looks coming down the runway, strapped onto size zero little nothings, can be extremely daunting. I often find myself thinking, “who the hell would actually wear that,” or “how would this look transition from the runway to real-life?” Designer’s experimentation can be out there and hard to imagine, but you have to think of these looks as art and self expression- though most of them probably wouldn’t sell in a store. After weeding out the “interesting” designs, I have pulled a handful of my favourite looks from the SS16 Mercedes-Benz Prague Fashion Week shows in the determination to show you that some looks are a lot more achievable than one may think. With a few accessories, one’s imagination can start to rationalise Czech designers and gain the confidence to add a runway look to their wardrobe. Set aside your plain white T and jeans and try something new!

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The first look that grabbed my attention was this rose coloured Odivi maxi dress. I was inspired by the ease that this look has- the “I’m not trying too hard” look, which in reality, took a few hours of readjusting and getting the hair and the makeup just right. Beside that fact, this look could be easily accomplished and would be perfect for a day running around the city, shopping or grabbing coffee. An Olivia Burton watch (one of my personal favourites) would be perfect paired with a slouchy Chloé bag and stylish Adidas trainers.

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Another casual city look that could transition well into every day life is this long cardigan by Monika Drapalova. Perfect for throwing over a basic outfit on a day where you want to hide a bit. Wear with Ancient Greek Sandals, Mui Mui shades, and a Saint Laurent bucket bag to run errands in a comfortable, yet fashionable manner.

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Jakub Polanka helps you pull off the market perusing weekender look with a funky wrap jacket full of colour,  and a striped pattern; an essence of exploration. Pair with Carvel trainers, and an Aspinal of London cuff to add colour and personality. Don’t forget a Tory Burch back pack to tote around a fresh loaf of bread from the farmer’s market or handmade jewellery from an art festival.

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How adorable is this classic, 50’s housewife dress? Finish off the look with a blush Rebecca Minkoff bag, tan brogues by Dune London and an Olivia Burton watch- I told you she is my favourite.

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Did someone say GNO? For those nights when you want to leave your worries behind and get lost in cocktails, good conversation, and bae-watching, make sure to doll yourself up in something short, something black, and something with sass. This ensemble by Michal Kovacik, along with Aquazzura stilettos,  Kendra Scott earrings, and a Valentino clutch is the recipe for a good night.

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Whether you have a hot date or a date with yourself to some extravagant event, this dress by Zuzana Kubickova is sure to be a jaw dropper. This beautifully detailed tea length dress, paired with classic Mary Jane Jimmy Choo’s, a Brunello Cucinelli statement necklace, and an Alexander McQueen clutch is an achievable run way look.

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It’s summer time in the city, so when you are ready to chill out and relax, make sure to slip into a Jakub Polanka tunic, Miu Miu shades, Funky Espadrilles by Steve Madden, and a fedora by Heidi Klein- because no one likes a burnt hair part.

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And when you are dreaming of pool days and sun tans, Katerina Geislerova gives us the look. Be playful as you lounge by the pool in a a fedora by Sara Designs, bright Linda Farrow sunnies, and a Hawaii inspired tote by Kate Spade New York- too cute to take in.

 

LEM’s “Monochromatic”

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WORDS: Madeline Chesnut

Czech designer by the name of Lucie Erban Mares (fashion label LEM) is presenting a little something different to the fashion world with her 2016 collection called “Monochromatic”. The collection has an assortment of different garments from sleeveless silk blouses to funky polyester coats.

“Characteristic of the new collection is layering of silhouettes on a monochromatic color scale. The garments will be elegant and simple, the choice of color only underpinning the readability and contrast of the overall design.” -LEM

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The inspiration for her collection comes mainly from the reflections and colors that mirrors give off. The monochromatic color waves are derived from photographing the mirror’s surface and picking out shades of white, gray, and black. A mixture of different hues gives off the impression of movement, shape, and dimension. The idea of mimicking mirroring is not a new concept for LEM, as it was seen in her previous collection.

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Once the images of mirrors are taken, Lucia Erban Mares then prints the images onto fabric. The use of snaps was seen repeatedly, and the garments could be worn and morphed in different ways. The jackets above and below are made with a polyester exterior and a cotton blend interior for a comfortable fit.

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LEM’s experimentation with shape and angle was extremely interesting to explore. This jacket lays in such a different way, and the symmetry and color variation is intriguing. That snaps up the front make for an easy fit.

LEM’s silk blouses were my favorite pieces in the collection. They have great line play, a soft texture, and are beautifully tailored. LEM quotes that, “Inspiration came from a mirror interspace in which elementary designs were reflected, multiplied and deformed.”

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The sleeveless silk tops were the highlight of the blouses. This tuxedo inspired blouse has clean lines, a cropped back, and snaps that allow the owner to choose how they want to wear it.

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LEM repeats the idea of mirroring with folds over the center axis and layering of fabric. This blouse is extremely versatile and would be a perfect staple item in any closet.

Alongside the blouses was an array of coats. This grey coat, made from a blend of cotton and spandex is reversible and doubles as a solid black coat (seen below). The labeling down the back is a special touch and reads “LEM”. The matching tie at the waist is the perfect finishing touch to emphasis the waist and pull the look together.

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Overall, “Monochromatic” is a beautiful collection with the perfect balance of simplicity, elegance, and the perfect touch of edginess.

Sneak Peak into the world of Zuzana Veselá


The longer you work in the fashion industry, and the more designers you meet and see, you realize there are a lot of people with great ideas but pretty terrible style. I mean, let’s be honest with one another for a second, not everyone that comes out of business school is going to be the CEO of some major Fortune 500 company. This is also true about designers.

I usually like to visit showrooms more than once to get an idea of the clothing, the designer, and to see the workspace. The second time I usually try on clothes and look at fit, construction, etc. If I don’t like it (meaning it’s made poorly, no imagination, etc) than I will no longer promote. The biggest problem with clothing is fit….. Yes, you heard me- fit. If an item doesn’t fit the way it should the consumer won’t buy it. This is a problem from small designers all the way up to the mass producers… and it looses a lot of money for the company.



Thursday I took a little trip to Zuzana Veselá’s showroom near Vltavska to get to know the designer a bit better, but to also try on clothes. I came almost on time, which is rare for me, and was greeted by a warm and very friendly Zuzana and a very terrible guard dog named Oliver. We took time to look at her sketch book, look at patterns- which she makes with out the help of the computer- she’s old school! She explained her design process, how she formulates an idea in her head, usually based on colors and then works out the design from there.

Zuzana Veselá's Fall 2010 collection

I started with her Fall 2010 collection, the one she showed at Prague Fashion Weekend in September. Most of the items were sample sizes, and since I am not a 14 year old there was more looking than trying on.  We went through the collection piece by piece where she explained why some pieces were slightly asymmetrical.  If a customer liked the tailoring on one of the garments, it could theoretically, be changed to fit her style. But, to be honest, the differences are so subtle that you would be hard pressed to find them unless you knew what you were looking for.


Prague Fashion Weekend- Fall/Autumn 2010

Prague Fashion Weekend- Fall/Autumn 2010

Zuzana Veselá's Collection for Autumn/Fall 2010

Fall/Autumn 2010 collection


Currently, Zuzana is in the process of finishing her Spring/Summer 2011 line for the Modepalast show in Vienna (She already has a large following in Vienna and the Viennese women are hungry for her designs).  The black shirt dress, in a light weight cotton, has wonderful tonal black sequins on the collar and shoulders that would be office-appropriate and after office-appropriate for dinner and drinks. It’s stylish and professional, though we both agreed that it would need a belt so that the wearer could get the most out of this dress. And at 1100CZK this dress is honestly a steal!

The mushroom colored faux wrap dress will also come in a variety of colors. Wine-red and black are of course my two favorites and I plan on buying the wine-red colored dress for my birthday. Again, it’s a fabulous LBD (little black dress) or LWRD (little wine-red dress) should you be in the market for a new . The dress hits at the knee but my favorite part is that it pulls you in in all the right places and accentuates all of the lovely areas that we ladies love! Smaller waist… YES PLEASE! The dress will set you back a modest 1950CZK, still cheaper than your common Zara variety.


Spring/Summer 2011 collection

Zuzana Vesela- Spring/Summer collection 2011

Spring/Summer 2011 Collection