Jiri Kalfar SS21 Show Review
Fashion month is upon us once again, but due to COVID19 (a phrase I’m sick of hearing!) the season is running very differently than the fashion elite are used too. Gone are exciting showroom visits, flying around the world to various cities and packed runway shows where front row seats are like gold-dust. The new normal in fashion is to attend virtual shows, something designer Jiri Kalfar tapped into for his SS21 show which his on schedule event as part of Mercedes Benz’s Prague Fashion Week. Harnessing a worldwide audience from the city of Prague, VR glasses were shipped to distinguished guests who’d ordinarily would have received fancy invites to a physical event, ready to stream the new collection live through smartphones & laptops.
“This is our first show in Prague since 2016, for my previous seasons I have showcased as part of both LFW and NYFW. I have been focussed on the idea of the international audience still being able to be present and immersed in the experience of a real catwalk show. Since the beginning of lockdown, I have explored numerous different options of how to best stay connected and create that immersive experience for my audience. Then the idea of presenting the show in virtual reality came to me as the result - for this collection we have created VR glasses which are compatible with any smartphone and that allow you to be transformed to the venue, have your seat and really watch the show live without the risk of travel. In this ever changing world I believe that this is also a step forward to a more sustainable way of showcasing as well.”
The show opened with a romantic tone, etherial whites in an array of fabrications from lace, silks and cool cotton, walking the runway with outfits with pops of black, muted yellow and blue featuring throughout. Kalfar used fully organic and cruelty free materials such as Buddhist ahimsa silk, vegan leather, pineapple and mushroom leather, vintage lace and banana thread to name just a few, with all garments made in-house following a zero waste policy. For Spring & Summer 2021, Jiri Kalfar dreams of a blank canvas of a new world, simple and fair, and this was evident throughout the pared-back collection, void of strong jewelled colours of previous seasons with a strong ethical stance. Is this the new normal in fashion production? We sure hope so!
“White is a rebirth, a breath of fresh air. White is a beginning to an end, an everlasting continuation. White is the colour of the first spring flowers. White is pure and simple, white never lies.”
Garments were more free-flowing and whimsical this season, gone were powerful tailoring and harsh runway strutting. We witnessed elegant and gentle looks whisk around the show-space. Relaxed, almost etherial, calm and collected. Despite a collection almost completely created from white fabrics, Kalfar managed to elevate each piece with a mix of materials making them look fresh, fashion forward and desirable for a post covid world. Loose lace was pared with silks as panels or trims. The collection oozed light and airy designs that would be easy to wear with no fuss and no constraints such as waist belts or corseting. The collection was almost seasonless, effortless to wear, that could be in your closet for years to come.
Kalfar also showcased men’s looks adopted a similar stance to the women’s collections. Also featuring lace and silk in whites interspersed with the odd black piece, he mixed feminine fabrications with masculine cuts. This was evident in the beautiful silk blazer and white lace tank-top. Pushing gender norms in a way that the modern man would have fun experimenting with.
Overall the collection felt fresh & clean, new and exciting, and very comfortable on the eye. He didn’t push boundaries in an Avant Garde way, he gave us what we are craving in these unusual times. Simple, clean, beautiful and ethical. COVID19 has certainly changed the world, and Jiri Kalfar presented a collection ready for the “new normal”, with strong ethics at the core, and a clean and pure aesthetic.
With thanks to Jiri Kalfar and DyeLog PR. Press photos courtesy of DyeLog PR. Wording and opinions by myself, Stefan Howarth @HOWSTE, written in retrospect.