CZECHOSLOVAK SUMMER 2020
Reconstruct, deconstruct, contextualize
With his limited collection Czechoslovak Summer 2020, Zoltán Tóth returns to the experiences of his youth. He used to spend every summer in his native Slovakia or in Bohemia and never has he been to the sea with his family (and for many of us, this year's summer will be exactly the same). Home-sewn clothing, recycling of old dresses, previously decorative fabrics found a new use in home-made ran up couture. The skillfulness of amateur dressmakers and tailor-made proportions to fit a specific figure.
"I rang up my mum during quarantine, and asked her to send me photos from our vacations", says the designer, describing the process of creating the moodboard for the collection. He then went combining the 80s and 90s with cuts and frames of Slovak and Moravian folk costumes.
"Archetypes maximize the effect, so the past can speak in the present tense. It is as if I was stitching together far away eras and styles", he explains his method of work.
But forget nostalgia. It is not abused here, emotions rather surface upon the basis of common experience. The feeling, that your mother used to wear that dress, or that your cottage had a tablecloth with that pattern, is a well-prepared game the designer enters with you. "I reworked the significant features of the clothes we wore with my parents on vacations and transferred them into luxurious fabrics. This way, comfort remains as the core principle, however it is enhanced by silk, washed cotton, or Japanese polyester," Zoltán adds.
Flashback is induced with the cuts as well, they are architectonically precise, silhouettes are austere, liquid, working with volume. Only two accessories are present in the collection. Oversized bag, that can hold the whole collection and belts, that can be used to redefine the silhouette, when necessary. Leather belts are made using traditional method by Slovak workshop, that specializes on creating accessories for folk costumes. The dominant gold buckle was originally a part of men's satchel finding a new use here.
"I designed the clothes as solitary pieces and the use of unique materials prohibits creation of further copies. This is an important nod to the home-made clothes. Every piece was something unique and inimitable original. When duplicating, I will only use single-color fabrics, different from the original. This will make for neutral year-round pieces, that will naturally fit in any wardrobe" the designer adds.
The collection Czechoslovak Summer 2020 has one more inseparable part in the art project of Slovak photographer Michal Pudelka. Apart from the lookbook, he himself modeled for, demonstrating gender freedom in clothing, Michal Pudelka also photographed the first campaign of the Zoltán Tóth brand, which is a series of intimate self-portraits reflecting the events of a wild spring.