Feminine and trendy – an interview with a fashion designer, Marta Kuszyńska

Studio Project at the FashionPhilosophy Fashion Week Poland is an opportunity for young and talented designers recommended by the Programme Committee to present their collections. One of the laureates at the 13th Fashion Week Poland was Marta Kuszyńska. She presented her Shiraz Collection, which refers to the abundance and flair of the Middle East. Silk, organza, cotton with satin finish, jacquard, lace, manually sewn sequins and ornaments, attracted the attention and delighted everyone gathered at the fashion show.

After the show we asked Marta Kuszyńska about her collection, inspirations and plans for the future.

Add comment
Where can we buy the Shiraz Collection?

I have my own studio and a shop in Łódź. I sew both custom-made clothes as well as commercial ones. Shiraz is a designer collection for spring/summer 2016. I think that I will use it as a base to create commercial clothes in a more subtle everyday version. While forming this collection I tried to make it look stronger and more designer-like. A fashion show is an opportunity to present yourself and your possibilities as a designer. Of course, if someone likes any of my clothes and want to dress in a bolder way, that’s great! I make a living by selling my clothes and I know that the designs presented on a catwalk always have to be adjusted to the market needs and everyday life.

Is the eastern inspiration for your collection a result of a recent trip?

I visited India once and it’s true that I like that culture. However, in my case the creative process starts with the fabric. It’s always the first step for me. I found eastern-style fabrics that inspired me. When I used them to create a few pieces of clothes, everything started to make sense and at the end I was convinced that this was what I wanted to do. It was when I designed all the additional elements, such as fringes and other accessories characteristic for the oriental style. I think it’s something we haven’t seen for a while. Recently fashion was dominated by minimalism, which I also like, but I wanted to make it more ornamental, airy and very feminine.

How would you describe your brand?

I would use two words – feminine and trendy. I try to make everything I create combine these two elements. I like a feminine line and atmosphere. This is why I always use tucks to flatter the figure but I also try to make it trendy and make women look younger.

What kind of women do you design your clothes for?

My collections are addressed to women who are aware of their femininity, who are not afraid and who don’t have to prove to the world that they are stronger than they really are because they have the inner strength, which they express with their clothes any way they want. They don’t have to dress up to look like a man because they have the power in them. Of course, I also sew suits and shirts but they are very feminine.

I believe that women want to look feminine. This is confirmed by what my clients say and how the market reacts. After many years of “power look” there is a tendency to go back to a soft and feminine image. And we shouldn’t be afraid of that. I think it’s a new and interesting approach. Being ladylike doesn’t mean being weak. I’m like that. I’m not afraid of my femininity but at the same time I know I’m a strong person.

What is the average age of your clients?

There is no such thing as an average age of my clients, although the majority of my them are over 25 years old. The word “over” means infinite age though (laughter). I dress women of different ages and I’m very happy when I meet mothers with daughters who share clothes and wear the same models. I do this with my mum. When I design my clothes I don’t think about age. I want my clothes to be universal and for women of all ages. I think that if you set an age limit you put your clothes and people you design for in boxes.

We shouldn’t use clothes to dress up but to become more confident. Although my collections can be very ornamental, I don’t have a feeling I dress up anyone. I realise that a fashion show is a specific format and that everything is slightly overdressed. I can see that some elements of my collection that I put together should be separated for daily use but this is what a fashion show is about. It presents slightly different outfits. A coat with colourful fringes worn with simple clothes can be just a cool coat. You don’t have to show it in such an exaggerated way but I wanted my show at the Fashion Week Poland to look strong. I hope I have managed to achieve that.

What does fashion mean to you?

Fashion allows you to express yourself. I know it sounds like a cliché that everyone uses but this is how it is. Fashion sends a certain message and is a powerful tool to create your own image: both for yourself as well as for the others. Making nothing of it is just silly. I don’t understand why fashion is belittled and seen as something that only vain and foolish people are interested in. I don’t see any connection between the two.

Honestly speaking, I’m irritated by the fact that this is how people of fashion are seen in Poland. Abroad fashion is treated as great business and fun. People love it and never disavow it. Media don’t show it in such a corrupted way and don’t manipulate designers’ words in order to prove that people dealing with fashion are daft. This is very frustrating.

In my opinion, ignoring fashion is stupid. It reminds me of someone who says “I won’t do it because… I won’t”. If we are given opportunities, we should grab them. If people don’t want them, it’s their business and their loss. Fashion and clothes can really help us. We should help ourselves! I’m not talking about sending a message to others but about our own good. Fashion and clothes make us more self-confident. Wearing high heels instead of sports shoes makes a women feel and walk in a completely different way. These are very simple things but they are essential for our frame of mind and life style.

Where do you see yourself and your brand in 10 years?

I would like to develop my brand because it’s my real passion. I love what I do and I believe this is one of the most beautiful professions in the world. I’m very happy I can do this for a living and that my clients and I understand one another. This helps me grow my brand. I cannot imagine having a different life and doing something else. At the same time, I’m trying not to plan too far ahead. I’m open to what fate gives me. It doesn’t really matter if I work in Poland or abroad. The most important thing for me is to be able to do what I do, grow and move forward. This growth is very important for our brain and our body. We have to act and not stand in one place. Otherwise we won’t notice where and how the next 10 years go…


Photos © Anna Karahan