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Contemporary Lynx, 11 May 2019


Meet four contemporary Czech designers who create exceptional, high quality hand-made items using traditional indigo printing techniques for decorating fabrics. 

The Blue Innovations exhibition takes place at the Vitrinka Gallery in London as a part of London Craft Week. The use of traditional indigo printing techniques for decorating fabrics has been integral to Czech culture for centuries and is now on UNESCO‘s lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Exhibition’s curator Alice Klouzková who has collaborated with some of the most talented and specialised craftspeople in the country says: “The purpose of my work is to prove that indigo print is not fated to die out but can exist as a functional part of contemporary fashion design.” Her work will be complemented by that of contemporary Czech fashion designers Monika Drápalová, who creates multi-functional clothes supporting the owner’s freedom, Petra Valentová, who combines traditional wood block printing from Rajasthan region in India, Martina Dvořáková, who seeks beauty in the ordinary and students of the Studio of Textile Design at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, who use traditional indigo block printing to create unusual accessories for interiors. 

Alice Klouzková is an acclaimed Czech fashion designer, curator and lecturer whose main focus is on traditional handcraft techniques and their use in contemporary fashion. She teaches at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague and heads the Studio of Fashion Design at Scholastika, the school of contemporary arts. In her own artistic practice, she often employs indigo print, a technique she promotes herself worldwide. Her successful Blue Innovations exhibition project has already toured in Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary and Japan. 

Monika Drápalová is a graduate from The Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (AAAD) who presented her work at showrooms and fashion shows in Paris, New York and Shanghai. She opened her own studios in Prague and Lyon and worked as the fashion director of Korloff Couture in Paris. She received many awards for her work also in the Czech Republic, such as the Fashion Designer of the Year at the Czech Grand Design awards in 2008 and 2013. In 2013, her collection Spirit created together with painter F. Matoušek and collection Free Circle designed for urban cycling received the Grand Designer of the Year award, which is the highest prize across all categories. 

Petra Valentová is a Czech artist currently living in New York. Her doctoral thesis at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (AAAD) is primarily being undertaken in India, the home of her husband. Valentová has succumbed to the attractions of Indian woodblock printing, and is also interested in the ethics of fashion and the phenomenon of so-called “slow fashion”. “It annoys me when someone purchases handprinted blue-print (indigo) fabrics, designs a collection, wins a prize for it, and that is the end of it,” says Valentová. “I believe in so-called co-design principles.” 

Martina Dvořáková is a graduate from the La Sapienza University in Rome, where she majored in Fashion and Costume Studies, and the Studio of Fashion Design at the Scholastika in Prague. In her fashion designs, she focuses primarily on traditional textile techniques. She cooperates with one of the last blueprinting workshops in the Czech Republic. Her creations are accompanied by stories of “ordinary” people who are an integral part of the process of production of fashion. She also established brand ‘MADE BY ORDINARY‘.


“The Blue Innovations”

25 April – 14 June 2019

Vitrínka Gallery, Czech Centre London, 30 Kensington Palace Gardens, London W8 4QY

Opening hours: Mon – Fri 10am – 6 pm, Sat 11 & Sun 12 May 10am – 5pm | Free entry

Opening drinks reception & introductory talk by curator Alice Klouzková

Friday 10 May 2019, 6.30 – 9pm (Admission free, booking not necessary)

Blue Innovations: Contemporary Czech Indigo Prints Workshop

Saturday 11 May 2019, 10am – 1pm (online booking) & Sunday 12th May 10am – 1pm (online booking)

#BlueInnovations @CzechCentreLnd