Julia Kaleta is a graduate of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, specifically, one of the first generation of students to graduate from its Fashion Department. She was the youngest student there, straight out of high school, but had already won the Art and Fashion competition in Poznań. She felt she was lagging behind her peers for the first few months, but a breakthrough occurred when Monika Brodka performed on stage in one of her dresses.
A graduate of the first generation of students from the Fashion Department of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts.
Julia Kaleta based her diploma show on Urszula Antoniak’s film Nothing Personal. She was especially moved by the scene in which the protagonist climbs into a bed in a stranger's foreign house and rolls around in the covers naked, leaving her scent behind.
‘That was an interesting moment for me. The relationship between one’s body with fabric and the scent one’s body leaves behind. The places it wanders to.’
– she once said in an interview.
Nothing Personal turned out to be a very personal film for Julia. She saw it for the first time with her mother, while she still mourning her father’s death – she was deeply saddened by it then. She saw it again two years later and instead of seeing a film of hopeless despair, she began to notice colour and sensuality. Julia admits she is very sensitive to the beauty of the female body and would like to emphasize this fascination in her work. During her studies, she enjoyed sculpting classes – she connected the skills she learned during this course with the idea of scent and the colours from Antoniak’s film. She spent many hours talking to a scent expert about different types of scent and how they are displayed on the human body. She wanted her collection to catch a scent. First of all, she chose silk chiffon – a fabric that wraps itself around one’s body much like perfume. Second, the colours – of skin, of skin scented with perfume. Lingerie was another important inspiration for Julia. She designed her own – her bras were mainly made of organdy. In order to create them, Julia would put pieces of fabric on herself and sew organdy strips together. She preferred to pin it up on a mannequin rather than draw it.
The bras ended up being the basis for her blouse designs. The collection consisted of two dresses and three tops with trousers and skirts. Despite the fact that Julia found herself amongst the top 50 graduates in the Vogue Muse competition from across the whole world, the top 8 European diplomas according to DesignBlok ’14 and also won the Creative Valley contest organized by TVP Kultura, her collection is mostly in the closet apart from a few rentals and competitions.
She felt a need to distance herself from her work. Monika Jakubiak, her mentor whom she has helped work on the Rekh and Data brand, has instilled in her the idea that in fashion there is no need to hurry. Additionally, Julia doesn’t like consumerism, she is drawn to ethical trends in fashion – therefore, before she adds her own designs to ‘the whole pile of clothes in the world’, she first wants to thoroughly think them through.
Author: Karolina Sulej, July 2015, Translated by: Zuzanna Wiśniewska