Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Czech Fashion

As a Design and Merchandising major at Drexel, I was intrigued to see what Czech fashion consisted of. I always had this idea that European style was classy and sophisticated, and everyone always looked presentable. Well, after being in Prague for a few weeks, my Prague 20th Century Art and Design teacher informed me the Czech fashion is an oxymoron, meaning that Czech fashion is non-existent. Prague is city full of tourists, and actual locals are hard to come by. Although I have not witnessed the cutting edge fashion I assumed all Europeans possessed, I have stumbled upon my own findings for shopping and authentic fashionable Czech clothing.

My first day in Prague consisted of exploring the city and picking up a few necessities for the next few weeks (soap, towels, dishware etc), and while running these errands I naturally came upon the Czech Republic’s largest mall, the Palladium. The Palladium was recently constructed in 2007, and consists of four levels, boasting over 200 shops and roughly thirty restaurants and cafes. It is located in Náměstí Republiky, and it's easy to get to by taking the Metro. The Palladium has many stores that we have in America, such as Guess, Calvin Klein, and The Body Shop. Other familiar stores include H&M, Lush, Sephora and TOPSHOP. The Palladium is so massive; we have visited a few times and have yet to find time to see everything at once.

The Palladium

Also on the Metro, the Můstek stop offers shopping geared more towards tourists, with large popular chain stores such as The New Yorker, another H&M, Zara and United Colors of Benetton. While these stores are still great and have a lot to offer shoppers, I personally was on the search for apparel that was different and unique, and made by Czech fashion designers.

Last week when I had time to explore, I found two great boutiques, both selling clothing, accessories and jewelry all created by designers that lived in Prague and/or were Czech! Both stores were really unique, and I was happy to find something that was original. The first store is called Leeda, which is a fashion brand created by Czech designers Lucia Trnková and Lucie Kutálková. The boutique carries their clothing line, as well as a few styles of footwear plus an assortment of accessories including earrings, bracelets, headbands and necklaces. The clothing was ready to wear sportswear with a trendy twist, and all the clothing had a bright color palette.

After leaving Leeda, just a few stores down the block I found another great Czech fashion store called Nakoupeno, which carried Czech fashion and jewelry designers. This store was similar to a funky vintage shop, it was strategically cluttered, and one could spend an hour walking around and still not notice everything on display. The clothing sold at Nakoupeno was bit more eccentric than what was Leeda. There were a lot of skirts made of metallic spandex, dresses with a large bubble skirt full of fake sunflower heads (or other flowers), and striped parachute pants. Although I couldn’t picture myself being able to pull off some of these really interesting outfits, I did manage to find a black and crème striped turtleneck dress, with lace trim on the hem and sleeves, and to add a bit a punch, banana appliqué patches around the collar. It’s a great combination of the everyday, with a little something extra. Nakoupena also carried quite a few jewelry lines; all in all, there was something to be found there for everyone.

Mission accomplished!

Nakoupena Boutique

Here are additional links to various Czech Designers

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