Dawid Tomaszewski

Dawid Tomaszewski: Modern Couture

In fashion geography as we know it, nobody ever thinks of Poland as a relevant location.

Paris and Milan come to mind for the classic luxurious fashions, Japan and Antwerp for the avant-garde, and a few more cities and countries may be added to the list (Australia, Brazil, Turkey and their flourishing creative industries, to be explored further in future issues). However, a new, young and very talented designer is helping place the Eastern European country on the fashion map, with a rich couture that is turning heads the world over.

Born in Gdansk, on the Baltic coast in the north of the country, Dawid Tomaszewski grew up with a deep fascination with fashion, architecture and art. After fine art studies in Poznan, he moved to London to attend the London College of Fashion—where he worked under the supervision of Vivienne Westwood—and later to Berlin, to complete his education at Akademie der Künste (Academy of Art).

His previous experience includes working for Sonia Rykiel and Comme des Garçons, and manning several solo projects, such as a collaboration with Reebok, and a project for W Hotels at London Fashion Week.

For the past few seasons, Tomaszewski has been working on his eponymous label, earning several recognitions of his work worldwide. He is currently part of the line-up for Berlin Fashion Week, where he won the Young Fashion Award in 2009.

He became a favorite of celebrities and fashion magazines in 2010 after presenting his maxi-ruffle powder pink taffeta dress, which became the superstar of the Spring/Summer season and was featured on several publications and worn on many red carpets.

The glamorous adaptability of his clothes was once again confirmed in his spring collection, inspired by artist Richard Serra’s gigantic, abstract sculptures. The young designer traveled to New York, Spain and Rome, where he observed eccentric yet inspirational material for his work. He was particularly fascinated by the sculptor’s use of hard material to make them appear soft and malleable, which was the focus of his research.

“Materials which offer no resistance are swayed by the forms, but they change at every step.” Tomaszewski explains. “It is a relationship between movements, the way you look at it and how it’s made to look like closed-in circles and arcs.”

Through the use of draped materials, loose chiffon and ostrich feathers, the collection is composed of feminine mini-dresses, maxi tunics in sheer materials and a few more versatile pieces for the day. The color palette is essential with white, black and pearl gray in shiny, luxurious fabrics, with a bold addition of a dress in the brightest red, which is also re-used for some of the accessories (small clutches, extravagant headpieces).

Architectural patterns in black and white give structure to chiffon pieces cinched at the waist, while draping and sparkling embellishments remain favorites throughout the collection. Subtle transparencies and the range of lengths—from the very mini to the mega maxi—suggest a smart sensuality and understated, essential elegance.

The first Dawid Tomaszewski space is opening in Berlin this spring, but, in the meantime, Poland has been placed firmly on the fashion map.

– Rosa Maria Bertoli