The Czech Republic, with its complicated ties to both the east and west, has produced some extraordinary contemporary artists who regard the rules of classicism while transgressing them at the same time. The result is a new tradition that synthesizes and balances traditional and radical elements as seen in the work of such artists as Štefan Papčo and myself as featured in this issue.
The remarkable young designer, Petra Pluháčková, uses these same ideas in her fashion collections. Her clothing, extravagant while at the same time minimalist, is no easy task for a designer to achieve.
Pluháčková has deep respect for the wearer of her clothing. She wants their personality to stand out. Her designs serve to emphasize the wearers personal charm and character by structuring every line, fold, or billow with a precision and purity in such a way as to create an image of strength and power. A person’s silhouette is buoyed by her fashion’s strong architectural form.
The first impression on seeing her clothing leads one to associate it with minimalism, but on further examination, we can appreciate the elaborate system of cuts, folds and wrinkles that form the foundation of a garment. These details are seamlessly constructed by adding to the surface of the piece elegance and sophistication. Whether it’s a fur dress with a clear plastic overcoat or wrinkled gold lamé leggings, every detail is considered and balanced.
Pluháčková’s work is radical. Like the best works of art, it stirs emotion within us. Each garment challenges our perceptions. They don’t look like other designers we’ve seen or even the way we commonly think clothing should look, yet even though their style may surprise us, they seem utterly practical; a remarkable achievement of balance for a designer. “I am constantly searching for balance, which is sometimes quite difficult and exhausting,” says Pluháčková, both tenacious and perfectionistic in her efforts.
When asked why she chose fashion to express her creativity, Pluháčková replied, “The question of fashion attracts me because it’s the most intimate form of people’s self- expression. From our earliest days as children, clothing surrounds us. In a sense, it’s the closest thing to us. Dressing, wardrobe, fashion: it’s an everyday event common to all of us, yet at the same it’s an impressive force because what we wear deeply affects us and those around us.
“Fashion for me is a beautiful, natural, visual language; the oldest one to express our individuality. What a person wears tells us about who they are, whether they plan it our not. You can be a provocateur and extrovert, or you can hide behind the fashion, or you play a game and create a new character.
“For me, fashion is a balance between what is superficial and fleeting, and at the same time exceedingly strong, deep and above all, pervasive.”
Original, classical, practical, radical, beautiful, minimal, extreme and simple are all words that can describe Pluháčková’s designs. She is a designer who captures the past, present and future. She is sure to become a powerful force in fashion.