A mild mid-October Saturday saw the next instalment of Fashion Week Budapest, a cozy but professional event that is bound to use its room for growth well going forward - with the mid and front rowing done and spring hopefully around the corner, we can take a peek at the spring/summer 2014 collections.
THE VERDICT As for the overall feel of the collections, the designers who showed were most inspired by sports luxe. Luckily, the ways to make the trend sophisticated and fit for just about any occasion, from sturdy to ethereal, from basics through deconstruction to fabric-driven masterpieces - are seemingly endless. The venue is modern and subtly glamorous, and the relaxed environment is every editor's and blogger's dream - I mean those who are here for the shows and the clothes - no overdone peacocking, just a relaxed businesslike atmosphere you would expect on a beautiful autumn weekend.
THE LINE-UP The live shows: Use Unused, Nanushka, Anda, Je Suis Belle, Kata Szegedi, Nubu The presentations: Dora Abodi, Anh Tuan, Julia Kaldy
The cool team of Use Unused promise us a chic s/s 2014, revelling in trends we have already been learning to grow into, with a fresh take on crispy white, pastels, neon, colour blocking, sports luxe, deconstruction, crops and jacquard, in the form of jumpsuits, shift dresses, jumpers, bikers, bombers and cool separates. My personal favourites - besides that textured jumpsuit, right - are the sky blue-grey colour and digital print blocking beauties sporting the mirrored image of Budapest landmark Statue of Liberty.
Nanushka takes sports cool to the next level, from street savvy monochrome to near-boardroom coordinates - jumper suits or tailored joggers anyone? Another big trend is the leopard print which, thanks to a facelift in terms of cuts - shifting from ladylike to vintage sports - is here to stay a while longer. Cleverly structured or basic jumpers we started to stack up on a couple of seasons back will be reaching frenzy status this spring, so Nanushka's white softly structured ones could well be your staples. Other favourites are the pastel colour block bags, the chevron stripe shirt, the pale blue boxy short sleeved pocket shirt. And, while a monochrome freak myself, I'm loving the way pale sky blue seems to light everything up.
From simple to intricate, ANDA has it all, and more. When it comes to actual streetwear, I'm rarely happy with outfits that have too much - blocking, draping, strapping - going on, but this collection is easy to love, and the pieces just cry out to be taken for a ride. If you ever wondered what it's like to walk the world with an air of nonchalance and drama at the same time, with a carefree - or should we say careless - attitude to showing your light or dark side simply as it is, with or without confidence but definitely with no pretense, then you've come to the right place. If you need further proof, always read between the lines, and look at designer (slash sculptor slash architect) Emília - now there's the essence of the sweet dark side I'm talking about.
Je Suis Belle
Riviera gets redefined as creatively deconstructed oldie-goldies come alive in Je Suis Belle's s/s 2014 collection, in the colours of pale sandy beaches and morning sunshine over the sea. A sucker for black & white moi-meme, I shall call it 'bleached monochrome'. Dalma and Tibor's creations are girly but far from saccharine, with a use of photo-graphics that would make the biggest fashion houses proud, and with pieces that are easily dressed up or down. I loved the way all the outfits, even those whiffs of silk were paired with trainers, capturing the true no-fuss spirit of summer, providing a clean white canvas against which the clothes look even more striking in their simplicity. Favourites are the colour-blocked doggy shift dress, and most of the easy dove grey and white dresses.
Is it me or are the days getting darker? Kata Szegedi's spring/summer collection is a tough cookie but one you can' wait to get your teeth into. Bold coloured and monochrome digital prints are back for yet another turn, offsetting the full-on black, like a mash-up of Mary Katrantzou's catwalk creations and personal style. My favourites are the asymmetrically layered, belted and zipped black toughie outfits, the boxier monochrome digital print pieces, and the crazy-coloured sweatshirt and bomber. When it comes to cuts and shapes, the style is not easily labelled - the threesome of daring bodycon, the more generously proportioned, and the distinctly edgy must battle it out. And contradictions keep us guessing, hell they do. For a designer who likes to give her audience a surprise, it must be tricky to become remembered for a signature style, but she deserves no small amount of respect for the guts, for wanting to be surprised in return.
Nubu got on the futu-retro side of the current sports and mono colour blocking vibe for this resort season - what's more, they even manage to make it ladylike when that takes their fancy. This collection works miracles with statement leather and biker details, the oversized pieces as well as with smoothly blending trends, and the result is a level of city chic that's truly aspirational. I can't even start picking out favourites as I'm equally smitten with bold monochrome block trims, the bikers, the pinafore dresses in both fabric and leather, the seatbelt details, the tough girl in the long coat and the crisp white jackets...
My fave presentation: Dora Abodi
Ah, yes - the exquisite accessories, the star bags, tassels, keyrings, the twin unisus (unicorn meets pegasus) of Dora Abodi, plus the jumpers from the 111 by Dora Abodi diffusion line. Want them all.
Maison Martin Margiela blazer, Versace for H&M vest, Topshop shirt,
River Island jeans, ASOS ankle boots and bag, Promod mac, vintage belt