To understand a local designer’s personality might be difficult. It’s not that the language barrier alone matters, but the culture, as well as how things used to be affects things highly. WEARME FASHION met with the duo of creative designers Tereza Ujevićová and Klára Spíšková in their small studio, where the designers brainstorm ideas for their creations to take shape. The studio is located in a building that still represents the industrial revolution in Prague, a fitting site for such artistic endeavors. They aim to create a sustainable brand during a time when the fashion industry is reshaping itself. This fashion collaboration started just one and a half years ago with the idea for a womenswear collection with a unique, authentic and strong local voice. It took half a year for Linda Kaplanová, who is responsible for the procurement of fabrics, to learn the best traditions and the natural practice of manually dyeing fabrics using natural pigments in Indonesia.
What makes the Czech label unique?
The collections designed by duo Tereza Ujevicova and Klára Spíšková always tell a revealing story that gives an intimate glimpse into a little world of their own creation. Behind every design lies their mission of strengthening the art of fashion and bringing it to life within our daily lives. Their intention is to share the connection of the functionality of clothes with the unique spirit of a piece of art, and bring this hybrid to life in the form of clothes that everyone can wear, bringing their art alive on the streets. Wearing their clothing is meant to imbue one’s life with art, pleasure, and individuality while one explores the spectrum of experiences life has to offer. Whether it’s a t-shirt, dress, or kimono, every piece is unmistakably original and made with an artistic design connected with an aesthetic full of freedom and openness in the form of dyed abstract shapes. With this collection, harmonic color palettes paint a compelling narrative illustrating the laws of design while the creators played a little game with the art in this particular collection.
What inspires you to create?
Well, culture in the East is a delicate matter. What makes it unique you ask? It openly celebrates the natural principles we are guided by as ordinary people that are an integral part of humanity and that fill us with the power of creativity. This power illuminates our lives with a creative potential that can be harnessed and used by everyone in their daily lives. Tereza says “Life itself gives us an injection of inspiration for our creative work. We used to have a more philosophical approach which had its roots in Eastern philosophy.
How does the work of each one of you influence the other? Working together as a team profoundly impacts the final outcome. We have to support and encourage each other. The way each of us approach everything individually to create a personality for every single piece requires teamwork. Tereza adds with a passionate tone: “What I like the most is to work with materials, experiment with a textile and create forms and patterns”. When the pattern is almost ready, Klara adds to the mix with what coloring techniques will be used. That’s how the journey begins for every new outfit.
Which challenges do you face? The realities of the Czech market do not enable us to have the whole sustainable process done locally from start to finish. To create a truly sustainable piece requires us to travel to the other end of the world to prepare the fabrics that will then be designed in the Prague studio. Linda’s input was crucial to the whole procurement process, including the manual dyeing of textiles and finding textiles you wouldn’t find in the Czech Republic.
Klara says: “It would be best to reorganize and update the whole textiles system in the Czech Republic so we could have our own local supply chain.” This generation of Czech designers prefers to explore and work with non-typical combinations of materials. Their work doesn’t end on sustainable materials, however. Designers work with various fabrics, combining not just the fabrics, but the sustainable philosophy and ideology. Klara, in proclaiming their intention to the world says “if we have to make everything sustainable, it will be very costly and the price has its influence on the interest of the local customers.” Even weaving materials that are done on the historical handloom machine we use to produce an assortment of products for interior design and home products with hand-woven textures can’t take the place of products made from contemporary materials. Our approach cannot fully compensate for the current time and place, and our traditional phomethods are simply unable to keep up with the times, and keep up with demand.
Photo credit: Linda Kaplanová, Aňa Šebelková