DAVID BOWIE, STUDIO 54 AND FRENCH CINEMA WITH JIRI KALFAR
"The problem, is not to go too much overboard. How to utilise that much [energy] into one collection and still be understood."
Jiri Kalfar, hailing from the Czech Republic, made his international debut in London last year, showcasing a glamorous and intricate collection dominated by feminine silhouettes and a depth of detail not often seen on the contemporary scene. Selected as one of Nylon's emerging designers to watch in 2015, Jiri possesses a unique understanding of sophistication and luxury. When paired with his ability to harness history, politics and art into fabrics, textures and patterns, pieces, Jiri makes magic.
Citing Studio 54 and Americana, European cinema and David Bowie as yet a few of his multiple aesthetic influences and conceptual inspirations, we're eager to see what the designer is creating for Spring Summer 2019. We caught up with the spirited designer ahead of his show at Fashion Scout SS19 to find out more about, deconstruction and construction as methods of sustainable practise and expanding into the world of shoes for SS19..
What has inspired your Spring Summer 2019 collection?
The main inspiration was the 70s, I would say. But how I work is that I am never inspired by just one thing. And seventies were so amazing, so there are so many factors I played in with my collection. There is obviously the fashion, then Studio 54 in America, the disco, the rock and the funk, the Italian and French cinema, the freedom in the air and expectations of change, yet tense political situations and world conflicts, the music, Brigitte Bardot, Diana Ross, David Bowie, there were the cities and the suburbs, the clubs, the poets, the pop-art and the underground…
How do you stay inspired?
That is not hard, inspiration is everywhere at all times. In the pretty and in the ugly, in history and art, in movies and music, in books. Inspiration is in every woman and every man, in nature, in city, in countryside and by the sea. I am always inspired, the problem with me, is not to go too much overboard. How to utilise that much into one collection and still be understood.
Themes of sustainability, diversity and inclusivity are permeating the industry. What changes would you like to make through your work?
My brand is as sustainable as possible in keeping with my style. We manufacture locally (both fabrics and products), we do everything in-house, we recycle some fabrics. I never throw away anything. I don’t mind using a fabric I previously used and give it a new look and life. The same with my previous collections, I deconstruct those and re-use in new way. I often use sequins, which are not very sustainable but those are mostly recycled too, glitter by glitter. We mostly work on zero-waste policy. There is utter transparency in every single product as I know where it came from, who has touched it, how it was shaped through out the time and the creative process. We are using a new technologic sustainable materials too such as muskin, which is animal-cruelty-free leather made from mushroom.
Our shoes for SS19 will be custom made as well for the first time. They are 3D printed. They have great design and fit beautifully, but more importantly, there is no plastic or anything which would harm an animal. They will be made out of wood, corn and metal.
What themes and concepts are you exploring this season?
We are playing a lot with fabrics, with the variety of them. And cuts, there are some great cuts. After last season, when I skipped men, we will show menswear too. It will be very gender fluid though. Not in the sense I am trying to dress women as men, but just the opposite. I am playing with women cuts and shapes and adjusting them to menswear. It is very rock’n’roll.
What shall we look out for at your SS19 show?
Just enjoy the show!
Where do you hope to be next season?
The sky is the limit.
Interview by Annabel Waterhouse-Biggins