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Once Upon a Time: Fashion for Fairy Tale Characters - interview with the designers

In just under two weeks, five fashion and jewellery designers from the Czech Republic will be coming to London to present their latest work at the exhibition Once Upon a Time. Each of the designers is inspired by a world of magic, myths and childhood fantasies, so we wanted to find out what sort of costume they would design for their favourite fairy tale character.

1. What sort of costume would you design for your favourite fairy tale character?
2. What emotion does London as a fashion capital evoke in you?


1. As you can see by the way I style the models for my catwalks, I introduce magic realism into fashion. Fashion is a fairy tale in its own right so styling a fairy tale character would in fact be completely normal for me.
2. London evokes a sense of freedom with a hint of punk. There’s also a strange coldness in the colours, for instance, even red can seem cold. But fashion here is a pleasing mix, there’s a sense of ‘do what you want, wear what you want’. Rebellion.

Petra Ptáčková foto: Louise Ernandez


I’m influenced to a certain extent by the pre-existing notion of fairy tale characters, such that I think a new costume would damage our current understanding of the characters and call into question their true nature. For me, fairy tale characters are just as important and immutable as my own relatives; they are who they are and that’s why I like them.
2. The combination of the words ‘London’ and ‘fashion’ first bring to my mind the royal guard. This is closely followed, of course, by the entire royal family with its elegance and beauty.

Štěpán Růžička foto: Štěpán Růžička


I can’t say I have a favourite fairy tale character but if I was to choose a material for a costume then I would pick sand.
2. When I hear the word London it arouses a sense of freedom and avant-garde. It is a place with many subcultures and styles, each with its own rules, meanings and values. It’s also the city of punk and Vivienne Westwood.

Mirka Horká
foto: Vojtěch Veškrna
foto: Vojtěch Veškrna


1. I would make the costume from flowers, branches, twigs, moss and mist.
2. I think of London and its diversity. People really do wear what they want to wear and nobody takes a second glance. There’s tolerance.

Janja Prokić Photo: Bet Orten


1. It would never occur to me to change anything about my favourite fairy tale characters. In my opinion they are already perfect! My favourite characters include the two bears from Pojďte pane, budeme si hrát (a Czech cartoon from the 1960s) and Marfuša from Mrazík who is always great visually.
2. I associate London with dynamic, fast-paced and poetic music. People in London are constantly moving from point A to point B. Sometimes this process slows down and people will sit, maybe in a park, and contemplate their surroundings. It’s like listening to a song you don’t know the lyrics to. The lyrics aren’t important but the rhythm, which you may or may not like, is. That’s the impression I get when I think of fashion in London.

Markéta Martišková photo: Martin Dandar

Accompanying Events:

Once Upon a Time – Exhibition Opening
7pm, 21 February 2015

The Art of Craft Workshop
2pm, 21 February 2015

More information about the exhibition can be found here

Facebook event

Translated by Esther Jones Russell