Polish Fashion Stories: Dream Nation
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Dream Nation, Card from the 'Polish Fashion Stories' publication, courtesy of the Polish Cultural Institute in London, photo: Culture.pl, center, _dsc0364.jpg
Dream Nation’s history and approach to fashion is as colourful as its clothing. Famous for its lively, multi-coloured prints and its considered approach to fashion, the brand was set up in 2011 as a response to the lack of ethical production practices in Poland.
Dream Nation was arguably the first Polish brand to adopt ecological and ethical production practices, the company is outspoken about the harsh business practices found in the fashion industry. Founder Luiza Jacob, previously worked for a large international clothing company and disliked the superficial nature of the fashion industry, claiming it 'was nothing more than a cult' in an interview with Wysokie Obcasy magazine.
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Jacob believes consumers shouldn’t be made to 'choose between pretty things and ethically produced things'.
And so, Jacon set about establishing a label which combined cutting edge fashion with materials and methods which were ethically sound. The label’s clothing is made from bamboo yarn and organic cotton grown on GOTS-certified plantations in Turkey. This, according to Jacob, is a dramatic departure from mainstream production, which uses cotton which relies on the use of pesticides, which pollute waterways and soil and pose a financial and health risk to the farmers. With tens of thousands of people dying from pesticide poisoning around the world, Dream Nation’s approach is helping to tackle a serious global issue.
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However design is equally as important as ethics and Dream Nation’s colourful kaleidoscopic designs feature a variety of motifs, from ethnic and pop-art elements to digital and post-internet imagery. The Bazar collection (Autumn/Winter 2015) is inspired by the culture and landscapes of Morocco and features tear-filled prophet eyes, the Hamsa Hand (or Hand of Fatima) providing protection from evil eye, patterned camels and goats ruminating among the trees.
Meanwhile, the Tribe collection of Spring/Summer 2014, saw Polish artist Robert Kuta create a series of pop-art-prints reminiscent of the work of Keith Haring. However, the real source of inspiration for these prints came from the aesthetic traditions of the Indian South Africans and the Ndebele tribe.
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Adorned with heraldic symbols and crosses, the label’s Obey collection of Autumn/Winter 2013 examined the theme of freedom while the symbols used in the collection denote submission – the effect of cultural norms, family, schooling and religion.
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The Caapi collection of Spring/Summer 2012 was equally as bold, featuring hallucinatory images of Polish housing blocks set against a background of hay and sky. The prints, produced in the EU using reactive digital printing technology, have all received OEKO TEX 1 accreditation.
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This article from Polish Fashion Stories has been re-published on Culture.pl courtesy of the Polish Cultural Institute in London. You can find the original version here.