Issues, concerning the prosperity and the contribution of the Bulgarian designers, who work abroad - the so-called Bulgarian trace in fashion, have always been discussed in the previous books of the Almanac of Bulgarian Fashion. The successful development and recognition that such talented designers like Miglena Kazaski, Veselin Yordanov, Emilian Sabev, Dessislava Stoicheva, etc., has always been commented on the pages of our Almanac. This time we are happy we can add at least two more names to the list - those of Irina Simeonova and Aneta Genova. Who are they and what do we know about their achievements as designers? Irina Simeonova has been living and working in the USA for years now. She has graduated the Academy of Art in Sofia. For years she worked with Rila company and after the changes in Bulgaria in 1989 she worked with Dessislava fashion house. In 1991 she left Bulgaria and settled in the USA. She qualifies and works with Fashion House Mary MacFadden, and later with Due per due.

A very significant moment in the biography of the designer Irina Simeonova is her participation with a mixed collection together with Rila Style fashion house in the cultural program at the opening of the 49th session of the United Nations in 1994. Our designer won the competition with the sketches she offered and afterwards addressed our well known fashion house to offer them joint participation into such a respectable project.

During the fashion week in New York Seventh on Sixth in September 1999 Irina Simeonova showed in the hall of the National Library a collection with her own name. She offered 50 unique designs and the fashion show started with the Bulgarian Folk song Polegnala e Todora (Todora Is Lying) and most of the time the soundtrack of the film The Fifth Element was played. The daughter of Ivana and Donald Trump - Ivanka, took part in the show as a model. The collection idea launches apparel for the business woman, which is ready-to-wear and practical in general, and just few dresses of Hollywood Star style were shown at the end. The fabrics that prevail are microfibre and also natural fabrics - cotton, silk and linen. The linen was especially manufactured by a high technology system and has the glitter of the organza... At present Irina Simeonova teaches at the Katherine Gips College of Fashion in New York - drawing, styling, tailoring, etc. The college is very new and she together with the rest of the lecturers there are eager to establish it as fast as possible as a respectable educational and training centre of fashion and design.

The other successful Bulgarian designer is Aneta Genova. She also lives in the USA. She was born in Varna where she finished the English language school. Later she studed Computing Technology at the University. She has always wanted to do fashion and fashion design. She won a fashion project competition, organised by Art Institute International. On that occasion she left for abroad in 1993. She enrolled Fashion Design speciality at the Art Institute in Florida. In 1996 she studied at Fashion Institute of Technology, and in 2000 she graduated Parsons. She works in the field of machine knitwear. For a couple of seasons she had worked with Marc Jacobs and with Polo Ralph Lauren, Lady Footwalker, Pepe Jeans etc. Since 2002 she is free-lanced. She has her own brand Aneta Genova. At present she produces covers for the technology products - cases and accessories for telephones, CD players and for the latest MP 3 - players.

Let's go back to the economic dynamics and doubtless development of our fashion industry inclusive the export of wear and textile. In 2002 Bulgaria increased even more its share in the export of textile works for the EU countries. For the first nine months of 2002 only, Bulgaria has exported to Germany clothes to the amount of US dollars 110 525 992, for France to the amount of US dollars 79 569 839 and to the amount of US dollars 57 484 703 to Italy. The biggest quantity of machine knitwear for the same period was exported to Greece (to the amount of US dollars 10 525 992), Italy (to the amount of US dollars 40 193 317 ) and to Germany (to the amount of US dollars 37 297 707) (4) . The fact that the association of the companies from the Light Industry was included in the project Perfect Link of the European Commission under the auspices of the Bulgarian Industrial Chamber is a very positive one in the process of our integration to the European structures. This act can be considered as a very positive and important step of the process of recognizing the Bulgarian achievements in the area of fashion design, fashion industry and the business with clothing and textile as well as a chance for everyone involved in design, manufacture and trade with clothing and accessories to be equal and of the same status in technological, informational, economic and commercial aspect with the European and also with their partners and competitors abroad.

What other traces has the Bulgarian fashion left abroad? At the end of 2002 the world mass media announced that Varna fashion house for neckties Viktoria Unique with the designer Rositsa Parashkevanova is nominated for the honored award of EMRC EuroMarket - Brussels. The respectable praise is awarded for managerial skills and for special meris in the business. Rositsa Parashkevanova was also awarded with a Diploma for High Quality of the manifactured produce - Moscow 2003.

In its first issue in 2003, the popular French magazine for photography Photo published on its cover a photo of the famous Bulgarian fashion and advertising photograph Encho Naidenov. In parallel to this the master of the focus won an eight-day holiday on the island of Maurizius. All that is the big award he was given by Photo, leaving behind colleagues of his from all over the world (participants from 70 countries offered 51 600 pictures of theirs in 2002). The model on the front cover of the magazine is the eighteen-year-old Snezhina Valkova from Visage Agency. Make-up by Maria Ilieva, hairstyle - Maria Tomova. The pictures were taken for the December issue of Club M magazine and the same snapshot is published on the magazine cover. Another photo of Naydenov is published in the same number of Photo Magazine - in Charm Section, and it is is of the models Tedy and Stacy. We shall remind for the fans of the fashion statistics that this is the second Bulgarian cover publication of Photo. Another Bulgarian photographer, Temelko Temelkov, won that prize two years ago. "Photo award is a very great recognition first for the Bulgarian fashion photographers as a whole, and second - for myself personally", the excited winner addressed the media.

During the week of the haute couture in Paris in January this year, the spring-summer 2003 trends were launched. On Aura Tout Vu Fashion House attracted the attention of the experts with its original style and professional interpretation of details. We are happy to mention that the creative trio included along with Andre Pesoa (Portugal) the Bulgarian artists Livia Stoyanova (daughter of the famous Bulgarian painter Prof. Stoyan Stoyanov - Techi) and Yassen Samuilov (son of the prominent Bulgarian poet Victor Samuilov). Their asymmetric works are made of silk, satenised crepe, embroidered taffeta, silver lace and many sequins. Asked by the mass media about the concept of their message, Livia Stoyanova explained that their clothes were inspired by the environment and the cars, which symbolized the eternal movement and the desire of the modern man to travel.

The master of the exquisite ladies' style Zhana Zhekova (two times winner of Zlatna Igla (Golden Needle) Award of the Academy of Fashion) represented with her collection our country at the 19th Festival Saraevo Winter on March 10, 2003. The motto of the subsequent festival was Made in the World of Art and actually the only fashion event within it was the show of the Bulgarian designer. The collection, which was shown in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, included 20 models of formal and super elegant outfits. Part of them, as far as silhouette and details were concerned, represented continuation of Zhana Zhekova's concept of her last collection. Almost all her works are painted in a picturesque way, toned and coulured. For the first time she used new, computer-designed lace, chiffon of natural silk, as well as structured relief laces. The collection included only gowns. The girls, who showed the works of Zhana Zhekova at the Saraevo Winter Festival were from the Sofia fashion agency Kasta Diva and were selected especially by Amalia Tincheva. That is what Zhana Zhekova said: "I think of my participation in Saraevo as an opportunity to show abroad that there is unique boutique fashion in Bulgaria, which is at an European level. Those who know me would not be surprised, as I go on being true to my creed - to create clothes of elegant, clean cut."

The world information agency Reuters spread in the Internet a photo from the fashion show of Jeni Style Fashion House of designer Evgenia Zhivkova, who presented in Hall 3 of the National Palace of Culture her latest collection spring-summer 2003. 60 outfits, divided and structured into several special themes, were shown before selected audience and many journalists. In philosophical and aesthetical aspects, the collection offered the return to single-breasted suits, influenced by men's clothes. A special place is given to the different garments on skirts, jackets and trousers, as well as to fringes, feathers, etc. in some of the themes. As far as the construction is concerned, the turned-over seams (the seams are on the outside of the garments) and the body-buttons are a new moment. The play of the silhouette itself, the techniques of buttoning, the colours - shepherd's plaid in white and black, yellow-green, beige, amber, intensive black combined with pink, black with flower patterns, red and checks are also fashion news. Mainly models from Visage agency, led by the face of Jeni Style - Evgenia Kalkandzhieva, and Miss Bulgaria 2003 Iva Titova, took part in the show.

The designer explained the philosophy of her collection in the following way: "The compass of my latest collection points to the beautiful and the desired woman. The clothes are not fixed for a single specific age group only, they are universal. There are no injured or overlooked ladies from this point of view. The single themes are in an overall harmony, but they also have their own, individual value. I have put a stress on the long asymmetric gowns, which will be among the hit of this year school-leaving balls. I recommend exquisite and not overdresses outfits to the future school-leavers. The bodices corsage tops, combined with skirts, are also very fashionable and fresh."

The Bulgarian hairdressers' team took a successful part in the European Hairdressers Competition, which was recently held in Strasbourg. The representatives of the Association of the Hairdressers in Bulgaria chaired by Mrs. Veneta Ignatova demonstrated perfectionism and originality in the design of the hairdressers', who took part in the competition for the European Cup. Maria Tomova won the second place in the colour category and fifth place in the evening hairdo category, and Pavlina Gemedzhieva - sixth place in the evening hairdo category.

The short description of the evening hairdo of Pavlina Gemedzhieva requires to mention that it is in tresses and is quite difficult to make. The hair is short and is dyed in three colours with nuances. Its make takes eighteen minutes. The hairdo is intended for the active, bold and eccentric lady, or otherwise said - for the ageless lady. Here is also what Maria Tomova herself said: "The most important thing in this category is the technical performance, i.e. the cleaness of the performance. The shape as a whole should be seen from any angle. And it is triangle. We have not done a similar hairdo so far. We have created it in Strasbourg for the first time and the main criteria are the quality criteria."

Pavlina Gemedzhieva adds to the statement of her colleague Mimi Tomova that the preparation of these hairdos requires much training and skills. The clients, who come and see the way these hairdos are made, would like to copy part of these hairdos to a certain way, they like the colour, etc. They would like to look different.

The indisputable success of the representatives if the Association of the Hairdressers in Bulgaria is a sign for the continuation of the victories of 2002. Then Maria Tomova was very successful: she won the seventh place at the European Cup Competition in Vienna, first place in Athens for colour, and the Bulgarian team as a whole won a place for the World Championships in Las Vegas, where unfortunately;y they could not go. Anyway, the wonderful impression of the great growth in the professional events, which the new generation hairdo stylists show recently, remains.

The doyen of coiffeur art in Bulgaria, stylist Kapanov went on with his large scale international events. On October 5, 2003, he organised in Hall 3 of the National Palace of Culture the Show of Nations, into which his team, as well as Framezi (Italy), Bernard Moreaux (France), Gianni Fiorinno for Cramer (Italy), Siebel (Belgium), Rilken (Greece), Luis Longerass (Spain) and other hairdressers, teams and brands from Germany. Italy, etc., participated .

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The short and not quite comprehensive notes and reflections on what had happened in the Bulgarian fashion for the last twelve months show that the Bulgarian design stands its grounds despite the economic and market difficulties. In 2002-2003, there were interesting and original contributions of designers and fashion houses both in individual and in the collective and corporate sense. New, although not so big steps in the direction of the accession of Bulgaria to the European Union were made through the movement in the field of clothing and textile manufacturing. The increased exports of Bulgarian fashion goods and fabrics is a serious argument in favour of the statement that the Bulgarian fashion industry and trade are coming into a a sort of a recovery stage.

The experience from the last year shows also that it is worth to demonstrate more bravery as far as the search of ideas and forms on behalf of the fashion creators, especially in the use of new technologies and high quality fabrics The dynamics and the development of the Bulgarian fashion design was marked most clearly among the rising generations of fashion stylists - not only students from the universities and colleges, but also among the ones, who have already graduated not only in Bulgaria but also the ones who have studied fashion and fashion design abroad. Such reasoning and statements lead also to the general conclusion: the Bukgarian fashion design is developing and strengthening, stepping on the already established tradition and boldly revealing the potential of the youngest fashion creators in the direction of more creativity, innovation and integrity as far as the world fashion trends and the inevitable fashion globalisation are concerned.


1. Introduction
2. Bulgarian FASHION 2003-04
3. The Young Generations
4, The Premiere
5. Charity Mission of Bulgarian Fashion
6, Golden Needles
7. Bulgarian Trace Around World

49. Ivanka Trump marching by in the fashion show of Irina Simeonova in New York spring-summer 2000
Photo: Galin Nenov

50. Cover of the January issue of Photo magazine 2003
Photo: Encho Naidenov

51. Design of Livia Stoyanova, Yassen Samuilov and Andre Pesoa, haute couture spring-summer 2003
Photo: Internet / Reuters

52. Hair design of Maria Tomova
Photo: Veni Hairdresserss


Copyright © 2003 Lubomir Stoykov

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