Kamila Gawrońska-Kasperska is a fashion designer. She began with studying photography, although after graduating in fashion photography, she realized that it was clothing in three dimensions, not their two-dimensional image, that interested her the most.
A fashion designer.
She moved from Zielona Góra to Warsaw and studied design at the International School of Costume and Clothing Design. Her diploma collection – Metropolis, inspired by the famous silent movie from the 1920s, was a success and was presented at the Łódź Fashion Week, where it earned praise from Kenzo Takada. Kamila had previously worked successfully in Gosia Baczyńska’s atelier, but decided to create her own brand.
Kamila’s newest collection is entitled Villa Dei Misteri, named after the well-preserved ruins of a Roman villa near Pompeii. The name comes from the frescoes of Dionysian mysteries and rituals which can be found in one of the rooms of the residence. The figures – half naked and in draped robes – form a procession on a red background. Red is one of the dominant colours of the collection, the colour of mysteries and a mystical colour. Kamila also drew inspiration from the traditions of the Orthodox church, where icons are added to ancient frescoes, and Jerzy Nowosielski’s interpretation of them – sensual, mysterious, and disturbing. Nowosielski is also the author of the painting entitled Villa Dei Misteri, in a red, beige, black and crème shade. Is it a residential building? A brothel? The painting presents numerous open doors and windows and half-naked, half-visible women in each of them. The perspective in the painting is distorted – this mystery is a labyrinth.
Kamila’s collection is saturated with mystery and spirituality, as well as sexual tension. Her designs are heavy and clean-cut – they resemble the structure of statues. Some bring to mind liturgical vestments, such as capes with wide collars. Although there are also figure-hugging designs, almost like a second skin – slim-fit pants, tight half polo necks, red- and skin-coloured tops, dresses. The designs are covered with Greek crosses that are associated with Christian symbolism and church floors, but also the fetish for beautiful nurses.
The collection from 2013 entitled Mimesis tells a completely different story. It is a story about nature – woods, meadows, grass. About how clothes impersonate it, camouflaging the body. About where Kamila comes from – a provincial town close to the countryside. About the scents and view that she missed after moving to Warsaw. Therefore the designs are delicate, laced, and resemble spring flower petals of roses and white peonies. There are decorations that look like leaves, tree bark, and insects and moths that have landed on the skirts and dresses.
Kamila is not interested in commercial success, on building an empire. She wants to create high-end designs, not mass-produced of clothes. She doesn’t like it when people speak about her collections in the context of seasons, because she hopes that their designs are universal and interesting enough to be timeless. She despises fast fashion which becomes obsolete after a month. Quality and composition are the most important things to her. She sells her designs on the internet – because as she has said, a boutique entails too much costs and it’s a myth that you cannot sell high-end fashion online.
Author: Karolina Sulej, September 2015, Translated by: Zuzanna Wiśniewska