Zuzana Kubíčková some time ago, she designed models so minimalistic they were returned to her during her school consultations with comments that it's way too much. Nowadays, she belongs among Czech fashion designers who prefer primarily their own imagination and intuition prior to dictated trends, and she is distinctive at local Fashion Weeks with her perfect execution and perfect materials.
Her customers are constantly applauding the fact that her works capture that "something" no woman's soul can live without.
Oftentimes, it could be said that her models are the embodiments of dreams and wishes of the shy or daring girls and women. Her customers are given the opportunity to partially reveal these "secrecies" in all virtuousness through her design. Zuzana Kubíčková is confronted with similar, actually just as innocent play with women's souls while working on another passion of hers, which is designing and creating wardrobe for the cheeky ginger acrobat Miss Cool Cat who is performing at Prague Burlesque Royal show. Such a combination certainly deserves attention. But let us go back to Zuzana Kubíčková's story.
Her creative thinking was significantly influenced by the ESSA Duerré internship in Paris, approximately seven years ago, but it was not chosen randomly. It was the first time she was met with the real concept behind the term "quality". "I remember walking the premises of fashion house DIOR (under management of John Galliano at that time) and around rows of samples, which were supposed to be patterns for future haute couture models.
They were simply 100 per cent done, I couldn't believe my eyes, and I realized that something considered a "sample" anywhere else must be an unequivocal 150-per-cent product in Paris. Since then, I consider quality a necessity, without which a designer can't work. Also haute couture brought from Paris was reflected in my collections several times." Still a studying designer at that time, she has brought another inspiration back with her from Paris - cabaret and burlesque.
Soon after finishing school Zuzana Kubíčková opened her own salon in the centre of Prague and started to tend to her customers. Her regular seasonal collections bear frivolous traces since the very beginning. "Anyway, not all customers are open enough to let me loosen my imagination entirely," she says. Therefore, she has found the way to adult fairy tales herself. Or was it the other way? "Prague burlesque came to me about five years ago, it was at its very beginning. The show took place on a boat that sailed (the Old Prague's) river back and forth, which intensified the whole impression. This little ensemble was already led by David Jahn who is now a principal of the Prague Burlesque, which I support as a designer," she recalls.
«Miss Cool Cat is distinctive with her oftentimes borderline stunt shows that require certain durability and endurance of the costumes. Working on these therefore requires not only variability. Sometimes, there's a need for the costume to encompass multiple characters, which the performer portrays. I try to give it its own story and an interesting "moment" that lies not only in the beautiful look, but also in the capability to hand something new over to the spectator who might be a regular guest. I enjoy this work for its liberating feeling of limitlessness and breaking away from reality. The fun in selecting burlesque costume materials is also the endless search for those of sufficiently bold, colourful, and glittering shades." Every new impulse might therefore come from the material that is discovered by the designer and the artists.
And how burlesque reversely influences the fashion design of Zuzana Kubíčková? "Slight glitter also appears in my fashion works now, same as exposure or transparency, and details and quality materials are taken for granted, regardless of the clothes' purpose," she adds.
Authentic premises of Prague Burlesque in the ROYAL club in Vinohrady quarter were born from the initiative of a French investor approx. two years ago. "My burlesque friends who used to perform at small and rather underground venues have found a perfect refuge for their own professionalization here, which came to fruition."
Nowadays, the venue accommodates hundred guests and is open to public once a week, under the management of David Jahn. The basic repertoire consists of nine performing artists and regular foreign guests. Equally, the individual members of the local ensemble are getting invited to perform in abroad clubs in Zurich, Hamburg, Rome, Berlin, and else. Since 2014, they also run the Prague Burlesque Academy, which offers self-realization to every woman who wants to have a first-hand experience of the fairy tale wishes in the 20' style. And those don't stay just between the walls of the dance hall!
Costumes from Zuzana Kubíčková's workshop can be seen in the Prague Burlesque in a parade of Miss Cool Cat's scenes enriched even by acrobatics, including a very minimalistic setting for the superb ritual of Miss Cool Cat bathing in an over-sized Martini glass. And the designer herself can be often seen in person, sitting unnoticed in the back seats of the hall.
Photo Alžběta Jungrová