FUTURISM AND TRADITION
To interpret is to explain or declare the meaning of something, to translate from one language to another, and to define actions, sayings or events that can be understood in different ways. It is also to conceive, order or express reality in a personal way and to perform a dance with an artistic purpose following choreographic guidelines. These meanings apply to what Kasia Kucharska does. The brand interprets and reinvents the conspicuous 17th-century lace, leading the path to the future of fabrics in a sexy, playful and eye-catching proposal. A few weeks after the presentation of her latest collection in Paris, and just a year after our first interview with her, we speak with Kasia – founder and Creative Director – about her innovative processes, her bond with art, her favourite song and some other things.
Who is Kasia Kucharska creator? How would you define what you do?
I’m not too much of a rational planning person. I love the unexpected and I enjoy not always knowing what will happen next. This reflects in our design work as well: we’re seeking newness and surprises. We like to take time for research and experimentation and see ourselves as a contemporary crafting lab.
Your work stands out for reinventing traditional craftsmanship through technological manufacturing techniques. Tell us about the process of getting to this point and the role of lace in it.
I have a weird fascination for the opulent times of the past. I love the abundant lifestyle and the richness of historic dressing. Lace was always a prominent part of the garments and an omnipresent witness of these times.
I wanted to find new ways of recreating lace in a different way and integrating it back into the modern feminine wardrobe. In this particular case, I was curious how one would translate lace with tools, materials and processes that we use today.
How do you understand the fashion-art relationship? Do you think fashion can be art and art can be fashion?
Art and design are two very different things. Design always fulfils a certain utilitarian purpose or solves a problem (in the best case) and fashion ultimately is a commercial product. While art does not need to justify its existence by such purpose. Art as a cultural good is to provoke thoughts and emotions. Of course, this is a spectrum and both art and design can partially inherit each other’s characteristics of purpose. But at the baseline, this is where they separate.
Tell us about your experience with the participation in the acclaimed Schinkel Pavillon exhibition last month. What did you show and how did you choose it?
Drawing from an investigation on historic lace and its depiction of nature, for Reference Festival at Schinkel Pavillon we combined our synthesised lace garments with real vegetation elements into an artificial hedge.
What other upcoming projects are you working on at the moment?
We just came back from Paris where we exhibited our third and latest collection. At the moment, we are absorbed with preparing our products and working on our next collection which we will be showing beginning of next year. Apart from that, we have different collaborative projects planned for next year that we very much look forward to. But we can't reveal too much about them so stay tuned and follow our Instagram.
As you know my task before interviewing you is a bit of stalking. How would you define the description “future craft” that heads your Instagram?
Our work is about rethinking traditional crafts and translating them into the here and now. Besides we are driven by introducing more innovation to garment making in general. For this, we are working with materials and techniques that are not necessarily fashion-related in the first place to see how we can implement new ways of making clothes. In this area, we want to improve standardised manufacturing in apparel and beyond, rethinking old crafting techniques to reintegrate them using modern means of creation.
Three ‘whats’ about Kasia: what inspires you, what scares you and what song do you really like?
What inspires me is nights with friends, food and drinks. What scares me is way too many things! And the song I really like: Elton John and Britney Spears, Hold Me Closer.
Words: Delfina Martinez Mendiberry
Images: Courtesy of Kasia Kucharska