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All That Jazz: MISBHV Fashion Show for the First Time in Poland

Michalina Murawska

“We associate Poland with all the emotions and memories that we have accumulated—they are so important to us, and we want to draw on them,” MISBHV designers told Vogue.pl several months ago. Their latest collection titled Polish Jazz, presented on 6th June in the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, proves that Maczek and Wirski remain faithful to this philosophy and that they are endlessly inspired by the history of Polish culture.

Beloved by Americans, Russians, the French and the Japanese, MISBHV is becoming increasingly popular with Poles. Let's be honest, though: it was not Poland but the rest of the world that first discovered this phenomenal Cracow-born label. Poland, nonetheless, always occupied a central position in MISBHV’s creative process. It still does. Up to now, Natalia Maczek and Tomasz Wirski have been drawing inspiration from Poland’s early 21st century nightlife aesthetics and the country’s disco era; they have been analysing the way in which a metropolitan atmosphere influences fashion and incorporated the results of their observations into their collections. All this is still dear to them, but to mark the occasion of their first, landmark show in Poland, they decided to go a step further—they entered into collaboration with the legendary Polish graphic designer Rosław Szaybo and created a collection which they titled Polish Jazz.

MISBHV spring-summer 2019 Photo: Filip Okopny (Fashion Images)

Most of us, when asked to name a musical genre that most readily connects with MISBHV, would intuitively choose techno. Some would perhaps mention hip-hop, taking into account the number of rappers who wear MISBHV clothes. But how many would answer ‘jazz’? Ten per cent? Maybe twenty? Yet jazz, especially Polish jazz, is closer to the designers’ hearts than one may think, and the Polish culture of the 1950s and 1960s interests them as much as the period of systemic transformations which they themselves witnessed.

It was the legendary recording series Polish Jazzthat served as the starting point for the collection, which was now presented to a wider Polish audience for the first time. Everything was intended to fit together into a harmonious whole: the prints adapted from the designs by Rosław Szaybo, a representative of the Polish School of Posters (Szaybo designed the logo for the Polish Jazzseries as well as covers for the first recordings in that series), the show itself that was held in the Marble Hall in the Palace of Culture and Science, together with other more or less direct allusions to folk culture, such as folk dance juxtaposed with psychedelic music. The goal was brilliantly achieved. The designs by MISBHV were impressive, and so was the entire setting.

MISBHV spring-summer 2019 Photo: Filip Okopny (Fashion Images)

The Polish jazz collection comprises thirty-five complete outfits, featuring motifs that Wirski and Maczek are already well-known for, but refined with experimental forms, structures and patterns. Some typically feminine and masculine cuts were presented alongside other, more unisex, clothes, elegant and sensuous items interwoven with streetwear and modernism mixed with retro look. Maczek and Wirski added a fresh touch to some of their classics: the ‘Warszawa’ sign, so far appearing on items such as bomber jackets and T-shirts, now landed on a transparent coat; an oversized leather jacket was fitted with bright yellow panels, and the brand’s monogram could be seen on shoes and bags, as well as on short tops and bikinis.

MISBHV spring-summer 2019 Photo: Filip Okopny (Fashion Images)

Szaybo's graphic designs and his Polish Jazzlogo featured on shirts, dresses and the airy headscarves that adorned models' necks and heads. This kind of fashion, certainly, is not meant for everyone. But that has never been the intention. It stems, on the one hand, from the great sensitivity of its designers and their respect for Polish culture and on the other hand, from their perfect understanding of the global market and its business needs. 

“We wanted to create a collection that would refer to characteristic Polish motifs while at the same time be attractive to people from outside Poland,”said Tomasz Wirski at the conference held at the Poster Museum at Wilanów (Warsaw) before the show. Judging from the reactions of the evening audience, which consisted primarily of foreign guests and buyers invited by MISBHV for a two-day visit to Warsaw, the Polish Jazz collection has a good chance of becoming a tremendous success out in the world. We are not worried about its reception in Poland either. Professor Szaybo, whom we met backstage right after the show, put it aptly: This collection is great.

Translation Elżbieta Pawlas/Solid Information Solutions


1/34Pokaz kolekcji MISBHV wiosna-lato 2019

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