After New York, London, Milan and Paris fashion weeks, the time has come for Hungary. New season brings new opportunity for Hungarian designers to showcase their SS 15′ collections.
I could give you the same report form the cat walk, like many of the magazines or fashion portals do, but as you know me I would rather provide you an overview of such event (with very interesting and hidden details).
To be very honest with you I have mixed feelings about this whole event, maybe because it was not anymore Toni&Guy Fashion Week Budapest but Central European Fashion Days. How did it happen? And what actually Central European Fashion Days stands for? As we can read on CEFD website : “(…) initiative started in 2013 and has its origins in the ‘Gombold újra!’ project, which comprised a fashion competition, fashion show and exhibition series. The popularity of that event – with professionals and public alike – encouraged the organizers to not only continue with it, but to broaden its scope. This is how the concept of Central European Fashion Days was born.”.
In short words, designers from Central European region ( ‘Visegrád Group’) – Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary once per year have a chance to showcase their collections. It would not be a bad idea, if the event would have a separate date, but combining it with Toni&Guy Fashion Week Budapest, which aim is to let “the leading Hungarian fashion designers gain platform to introduce their seasonal collections twice a year for the Hungarian and international fashion industry and the public”, does not make much sense and creates unnecessary chaos.
TGFWB – however one day event was always in line with international standards, or even if there was some room for improvement, organizers took it really seriously. Only selected guests could enter the event (press, influential bloggers, buyers, stylists, selected celebrities). Sponsor’s profiles were in line with the whole event (Toni&Guy, MAC, Nokia, Mobile Sofa, Nescafé Dolce Gusto, Jana). Two hours break between the shows gave the possibility to prepare new make up and hair for models, organize seats and clean the cat walk. And the most important part, only Hungarian designers could showcase their collection and this one day reminded one day from Paris, Milan or London fashion week. Less experiences designers but also the talented ones had a chance to present part of their collection in pop up stores, which were centralize located.
I did not face any problem in the reception, one team fully concentrated on their tasks – yes the team was consisted of young girls, maybe not hyper professional but very pleasant and helpful. I got my backstage pass, I knew where to seat, when I opened my goodie bag I found proper press materials along with Toni&Guy hair products (which make absolutely sense, as the sponsor of this event, whose products are used for preparing hair style). You could grab something to eat during a break or have a free coffee and water, the same like during international fashion weeks. Everything made sense and in a long term this event could transform into a proper fashion week.
BUT, as usual there is a money issue and lack of sponsors. In Easter Europe fashion business is still consider as some supernatural phenomenon. Everyone wishes to invest in politics, technology, research which is not bad, but somehow sponsors forget, that whoever is behind some extraordinary invention needs to have some outfit on his/her body, while presenting it to the wider audience. And this is a designer aim to tailor this outfit. To be able to do that he needs to have money, to be able to have money he needs some support, unless he belongs to some rich family, which is rather a rare case in this part of Europe.
This year it was quite clear that the reason of combining two separate events into one, was a money issue. I have some feelings that people from Design Terminal came to PR agency, which is behind TGFWB and ask them to bring together one show. And it would not be a bad idea, if TGFWB crew could prepare the whole show their own way, as they did so far. I do not need to mention that Design Terminal is controlled by Government, so they obviously have money or they can easily approach sponsors. But Design Terminal first and foremost: “(…) chooses its fields of activity according to three viewpoints: it would like to encourage those sectors where (1) Hungary has significant industry traditions and an indisputable sectoral authenticity, (2) it possesses demonstrable contemporary potential, i.e. a significant amount of new talent, and, lastly, (3) effectiveness of those fields (due to their international significance) which can contribute spectacularly to beneficial change of the country’s perception. Design Terminal, at that time being a non-profit organization, defined these fields in 2012: (1) innovative technologies, (2) industrial design, (3) fashion industry and fashion design, and (4) urbanism and urban planning sectors.
So of course fashion sector is one of the element but not the main and the only one. This is not an organization, which main aim is to promote fashion designers, support them financially or bring on their shows international buyers and press.
And unfortunately it was visible during those two days of CEFD. First and foremost, there was two registration points. By accident I went to the one which have been handled by Design Terminal and after long search somehow they found my name on the list. I did not received a backstage pass but I got goodie bag. What I found inside? In Style magazine (have no idea for what?), Kevin Murphy hair cosmetics, however the main sponsor should be Toni&Guy and beautiful “Pretty Past Magazine”. And here the funny story begun, which also proves how disorganized this event was. When I opened this magazine on page nr 12 I found huge article devoted to Design Terminal and divided into sections: “Start up Incubation”, “Events at Home and Abroad”, “Making the city smarter”. What the fuck? Why I have to read about design terminal’s initiative which they don’t have anything to do with fashion: bag, shoes or a stupid dress? Some pages after I can read about their yearly “extraordinary talent contest”, where they are choosing designer of the year and finally on the page 24 I have a biography and short interviews with Hungarian designers. But this is not a press material which describe SS15 ‘ collection, it is only the overview of particular designer’s work, which I can read on his Facebook fan page or website! Then I need to read an interview with Ernő Rubik (yes this famous guy behind rubik cube) and I know, that the rubik cube theme was the leading one in some collections, however it has nothing to do with a fashion show itself. Finally I got to know, who are the people from generation Y and what is worth a visit while being in Poland, Czech Republic or Slovakia. Another interesting thing, is fact that during the first day of CEFD I got goodie bag only from Design Terminal, which is mean I would ended up only with those two magazines and some cosmetics but without the most important thing, from my point of view, which are press materials. Luckily the girl from TGFWB spotted me next day and provided with all necessary things.
Another thing, which rejoined this event of exclusivity, was the possibility of buying a ticket, which allowed you to see live any show you wanted. By doing this you supported charity work of Hungarian Interchurch Aid. I strongly believe, that there are hundredth of other events where you can donate your money. At this point some crowd, which have nothing to do with fashion, could come and create additional fuss.
Don’t get me wrong, I do claim that CEFD event is good and necessary one but as a stand alone project. We all should support start ups, creative ideas, we should meet discuss about them, or give the younger professionals a chance to network but let’s do it with some common sense. If this event was a stand alone before, why it has been mixed with TGFWB now? The only good point of it was a huge, white tent, in which all shows took place. Looked professional and classy however red, dirty carpet outside? Do we need it?
I can describe this event as a bit chaotic one. I feel really bad for PR agency who is behind TGFWB, because somehow I got a feeling that Design Terminal used TGFWB success to promote their own event. I truly hope, that in AW15/16 season TGFWB will continue their own show without unnecessary people. And for all sponsors out there, if you really wish to display your stands in some professional FASHION event, do not hesitate to contribute your money to TGFWB! Hungary has a lot of great designers. All of them deserve to have a proper show. TGFWB has huge potential, as the smart and hardworking people are behind it. I really wish Budapest to have a proper fashion week, without disturbing and not important for fashion industry elements.
All in all this is only my point of view, I might be right, I might be wrong. If you participated in this event and have different opinion or you share my thoughts, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.
Guys stay tuned in the next post I will provide more info about the collections (Áeron, Nanushka – I am deeply in love).
You can expect some funny stories as well!