Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Polish Mafia

Walking into Warsaw's Zachęta Gallery today I was dumbstruck to find a Comme des Garçons fashion show playing on TV, instead of Henryk Tomaszewski's poster exhibit. Curatorial fuck-up, I thought. Just when I was beginning to love the place! Or had all that eBay time finally caused a fashion-brain-hemorrhage?

Luckily, neither nor. Fact: Rei Kawakubo used Tomaszewski's poster designs from the 60's, 70's and 80's in her Homme Plus A/W 2006 show.

notice kid on lap 

As Tomaszewski's son, Filip Pagowski, remembers:

"[The] Polish graphic/printing industry was poor...but these conditions forced designers/graphic artists to develop a different, independent and often more creative vocabulary still pertinent today.

Proof: Lanvin used the whole colourful-hands idea in their show for next season. So behold when you see those fun fingers fondling every guy's chest on the High Street in 5 months.

Lanvin A/W 2014

And as if this wasn't enough, know the ubiquitous smiling-heart logo of Comme des Garçons PLAY, the brand's diffusion line? Tomaszewski's son Filip Pagowski happens to be responsible for that.

Which makes me proud, in a lame way. And brings to mind Salman Rushdie's rumination: "[W]hat was it with all these Poles who kept cropping up in various positions?"

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