(jiří macek) Liběna Rochová, the famous Czech fashion designer, has been appointed the new head of the Department of Design of Clothing and Shoes at Prague’s Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design.
In fact, this news is only a logical conclusion of Liběna Rochová’s work for #!439#. As one of the most distinguished contemporary Czech fashion designers, she divides her time equally between working on her individual projects and creating new space for the work of young fashion designers. She regularly organizes summer workshops at Bolek Polívka’s farm in Olšany. Three years ago, she set up a fashion gallery called #www.studiolr.com#Studio LR#, which provides display facilities, especially for young fashion designers. Finally, as a member of the honorary council of Designblok, she was at the inaugural birth of #www.designblok.cz#Designblok# Fashion Week.
We asked Rochová some questions about her work…
What is the most interesting aspect of pedagogical work for you?
Liběna Rochová: “I love working with young and creative people and think that sharing my experience with them is my duty.”
Do you think that one can learn to be a designer or an artist? How do you think you can help your students to become successful in their field?
LR: “I think that the flair for design or art cannot be learned. It is one of the innate abilities. On the other hand, it is possible to shape one’s perception.”
The studio focuses on the design of clothing and shoes. What is the relationship between these two branches of design in your teaching?
LR: “I have never regarded shoes as an accessory. For me, shoes have always been an integral part of clothing. Even for my final work at the secondary school, I sewed my own shoes. For every fashion show, I always prepare a new dress and, at the same time, a pair of shoes to match it. Each pair of shoes is made according to my own design, although sometimes I’m helped by Pavel Zapletal. The shoes are mostly made from the same material as the clothes. They are manufactured by my “personal” shoemaker, Mr. Bábor, who I have been cooperating with for ages. To also answer your question more thoroughly: In my teaching I will concentrate equally on shoe design as well as on the design of clothing.”
Who did you choose as your assistant?
LR: “I’m very happy that Pavel Ivančič (#!32#Muset Fashion Design#) accepted my offer. I regard him as a talented fashion designer (in tandem with Radana, of course) and also as a man of a clear vision. We share a lot of the same views on fashion and design in general and have the same opinion on the current situation of these fields in the Czech Republic. I’m determined to do my best to turn the Studio of Design of Clothing and Shoes into a prestigious platform for creative work. However, it should not be limited only to the Czech Republic. In fact, I would like the studio to be open to the whole world. I’m planning to invite experts from all around the globe.”
What do you think that the Czech fashion lacks most?
LR: “If I consider it from a global point of view, it would be: individuality, courage, and creativity. On the other hand, there are a few very talented fashion designers, whose work proves the opposite.”
What are you working on at the moment?
LR: “I’m preparing a collection called “Homage to glass.” This collection combines glass and clothing and will have its premiere at Designblok. Then, next year, the whole collection shall be presented in the well-renown Heller Gallery of glass in New York. The glass jewel-objects will be manufactured by the AJETO company, led by Petr Novotný. I’m looking forward to this creative work as much as lecturing at the academy.
In the photos, you can see the collection that Liběna Rochová presented at the fashion show in the prestigious Milk Gallery in New York two years ago. The photos depicting the environment of the Meatpacking District (a very interesting and quickly changing part of the former food market in western Manhattan) were taken by Antonín Kratochvíl.
Photo: Antonín Kratochvíl