Code:Mode Summer 2011 Review
The free fashion event's summer edition survives less-than-perfect weather conditions
With an intermittent mix of rain and cloud on Friday and less-than-ideal weather conditions on Saturday, the Code:Mode summer edition, held at the former Smíchovská pláž ("Smíchov Beach"), was still the perfect summer paradise. Over 111 designers braved the drizzle, heavier bouts of rain and colder weather to enjoy a "summer" day next to the Vltava river.
While this event is a bit more relaxed than the more heavily promoted and time-consuming Winter and Spring shows, the Summer edition of Code:Mode gives consumers and designers alike a chance to relax, get to know clients a bit better, and enjoy a beer or a glass of wine before most designers tuck themselves away to prepare "Fall/Winter" collections that mostly appear in September and October.
Unlike the Winter and Spring versions of Code:Mode, this one was focused more heavily on stores like Flamingo Park, SkunkFunk, Basmatee, and Love Music, and less focused on the actual designers themselves.
MumRay is a handbag company that I have been following for quite some time and can happily report that their current collection is well-constructed and reasonably priced. Their Spring and Summer handbags relied heavily on brights, with colors like watermelon, kelly green, and tangerine dominating the color palette. For Fall/Autumn, a more "collegiate" color palette was used, focusing heavily on tweed patterns that one would find on college campuses in Britain and the United States. Browns, blacks, and more neutral colors, in combination with a more unisex-style design, make MumRay bags wearable for both sexes.
Adell is an accessories designer from Slovakia who produces earrings and brooches using a button-making method. The designs are always colorful and made from what looks like vintage paper. Geographical prints, flowers, and cityscapes are always-popular themes that make their appearance throughout the year.
Q+. (Qplusbodka) is a jewelry designer from Slovakia working with polymers, plastics, and what looks like old postcard photos or pictures from old art books. She attaches these to a plastic backing, adds a chain, or pin for a brooch and -- voila! -- your new necklace. Her pieces are true conversation-starters, ranging from necklaces made from flowers to a New York skyline design to an anatomically correct drawing of a heart. Her items are a bit quirky but you will see very few other people in Prague wearing the same necklace.
Jane Bond, the headband designer that we have come to love and expect a lot from, missed the mark a bit on this last go-round. While many of the new headbands were nice and certainly wearable, they seemed to lack that "Oh my God, I love it" quality that many of us have come to expect. There were, however, some real winners that absolutely stole the show -- mainly a headband made from dried leaves that have been shaped into roses. (One in a neutral beige and the second in a vibrant red.) Butterflies were still an important theme to Jana, which was updated using small glass leaves and flowers mixed together. There were more "berries" present, as well as feather plumes in a wide variety of colors.
Zuzana Veselá had an enormous sale of her Spring collection and, when I was asking where her Summer collection was, she coolly smiled and said "Well, it's almost all been sold." Zuzana will once again be participating in Prague Fashion Weekend, which takes place on the streets of Prague in late September. If you are interested in grabbing any of the remaining pieces I suggest contacting her directly via her website and setting up an appointment. Come next week, Zuzana will start preparing her Fall/Winter 2011 line, and necessary pieces for Prague Fashion Weekend.
Tereza Šikulová takes a more avant-garde approach, which has become common among Czech designers, but makes clothes wearable for normal women. Her Summer 2011, line which focuses on "Jungle" elements, is fun and fashion-forward. The fabric is forgiving for those of us who are not built like a supermodel and easy to wear to the office and for a night out.
Terrible fall-like weather aside, the summer edition of Code:Mode was enjoyable and relaxed. The designers were all in a bit of a better mood, the atmosphere was more about enjoying the time with friends and enjoying the "summer" weather and at least being able to be outdoors and not freezing. So now the only thing to do is wait for summer to end, and for fall and winter to begin before we see our dear friends at Code:Mode between October and November.
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