We, the Bulgarian fashion journalists, represent an interesting amalgam. The substance called “Bulgarian fashion journalism” includes both routine and blissful youth, strict professionalism and light, frivolous evaluations; iron-strong impartiality and admission of liking and prejudice. We are not perfect in the same way the Bulgarian fashion design is not perfect either. You can often see us watching and commenting (sometimes happily, sometimes with sad and pensive faces) everything the Bulgarian designers display at the fashion shows. And although sometime we hesitate – because of subjective partiality or because of some circumstances, our evaluation is one of the most trustworthy ones for the status and the development of the Bulgarian fashion, including for 2004 as well. This made me seek the opinion of some of my colleagues, while I was writing the present preface to the Almanac. Not all of them managed to respond in the short time, which I offered to them to express their opinion. However, here follow part of the answers to my only question: Which are the three most serious achievements of the Bulgarian fashion design during the expiring 2004 fashion year?

Boris Angelov, Editor-in-Chief of Koi Magazine and fashion editor of Monitor newspaper
1.The introduction of serious capitals as an engine of industry. I mean the establishment of brands as Agressia and Capasca.
2.The introduction of fresh Bulgarian brands with updated ideas for fashion which is possible to wear, such as Zebra.
3.The elimination of models pageants as the most important events in the fashion calendar.

Vassilka Garelova, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Zhensko Tsarstvo newspaper:

1.The show of Agressia Fashion House at Kempinski-Zografski hotel in September.
2.The Fashion Fiesta in Albena in June.
3.Virginia Zdravkova’s appearance at Mrs. Globe pageant.

Yulia Vulkova – Fashion Editor of Sedmichen Troud weekly:

1. Agressia Fashion House for its masculinity and provocation.
2. Virginia Zdravkova for Virginia atelier because of her tenderness, thrill, femininity and sex appeal.
3. Galinel Fashion House because of the luxury and the prestige.

Detelina Mileva, Editor-in-Chief – Perfecta magazine

1.Virgina Atelier – as she is immeasurably feminine!
2.Jeni Style – as she is immeasurably classical!
3.The cavalier is in Agressia and he is immeasurably elegant!

Donka Ganeva, Chairman of the Academy of Fashion and Editor-in-Chief of Review and Dieta i Krassota magazines:

If I paraphrase the famous equation of Roland Bart, we may talk about fashion only when the bread is not a subject of necessity any more and the income stability has turned into a fact of everyday life. A piece of clothes then turns into a factor of the social and aesthetic position of the individual, and not a means of protection against weather changes.
In this respect, we went a big stretch of the road. Until recently, the events in the Bulgarian fashion were concentrated mainly in the field of unique copies and the best samples were designed for formal and graduate balls campaigns. Today we are witnessing a boom in the young people’s everyday fashion, in the business woman’s apparel, in men’s wear, and this is the most significant fact related to the Bulgarian fashion for the period 2003-2004 for me.
Because of this, I perceive the hundreds of fashion shows as a necessity for creative potential expression, and the dozens of “weeks”, “salons”, “fiestas”, etc. as a consequence of the process of democratization of the fashion.
According to me, the most significant event, without any competition at all, is the Zlatna Igla (Golden Needle) awarding ceremony – the most terrific performance, completely in line with the current status of the Bulgarian fashion.

Lilia Stambolova, Fashion Editor of Maximum magazine:

1. According to me, the fashion show of wedding gowns designer Virginia Zdravkova was the most impressive one in this year. She works with very pretty fabrics of high quality. The show, which presented her last collection in the Cinema Centre in Boyana, took place against the background of Spartacus movie scenery and turned into a real performance.
2. The tenth anniversary of fashion make-up artist Kiril Chalukov was the other highly professional event, which impressed me most. The make-up artist has prepared not only a professional multimedia presentation, but he has also brought together the most beautiful Bulgarian women who are both his fans and customers. Lili Ivanova congratulated the make-up artist with a song. Model Rossi Chernogorova and actress Elena Petrova were among the guests. The exquisite book of the artist presented HIS make-up Of the woman who reached the biggest heights in the high jump and who is currently a deputy minister of sports – Stefka Kostadinova.
3. The third event is related to a foreign presentation in Bulgaria, and despite the fact that I liked it very much, I will not quote it, as in this way I shall violate the regulations of your inquiry.

Maria Georgieva, Deputy Editor-in-chief of Zhenata Dnes magazine

1.This year I was mostly impressed by young designer Milena Dobreva (her name has been connected mainly with her sister Dessi – the ex-vocalist of Slavi Trifonov’s show). Despite her successful realization in Great Britain (she graduated the prestigious Saint Martins College of Fashion and was a probationer with one of the greatest British stylist Vivian Westwood), she did not turn her back to the Bulgarian audience and presented an original collection at the Bulgarian Fashion Forum.
2.I am also impressed by the development of Agressia Fashion House. After losing its positions on the fashion catwalk for a short period of time, the brand is back with a new potential. I would specify the presentation of the men’s collection in Sofia with the participation of Orlin Goranov as the greatest success of Agressia in 2004.
3.I am also fascinated by Maria Nedkova. The designer that has impressed the fashion critics with her collections of style since years has also found a solution of style for their presentation this year. She opened her own boutique, whose original architectural design may compete with the designers’ boutiques in the world capitals of fashion.

Mario Trifonov, Editor-in-chief of Beauty magazine:

1.Virginia Zdravkova’s fashion show among the scenery of Spartacus movie production, which, according to me, is in no way inferior to the best samples abroad.
2.The diploma performance of the National Academy of Art graduates, which proved that there is certainly a hope for the future of the Bulgarian fashion.
3.The exclusive achievement for the Bulgarian fashion design is also the fact that there is a Bulgarian fashion contribution to the much talked about Sex and the City TV series, which was awarded several EMI Awards. Actress Cynthia Nixon (Miranda) wears in one of the episodes a green dress, which is created by the Varna designer Iliana Ricketts, alias Ilya, who is currently living in the USA.

Nada Nesheva, Troud newspaper:

The three victories of the Bulgarian fashion in 2004:
1. The men’s shirt of Drago and Rado, whose manufacturing technology has been patented and for which manufacturers from the USA and theUK are negotiating.
2. The coming to the daylight of photographer Valentin Mechanov who has been shooting world campaigns since years, but appeared also on a Bulgarian stage for the first time – he received the golden needle in March.
3. The presentation of Livia Stoyanova at the haute couture fashion shows in Paris.

* * *

2004 was not one of the revolutionary years for the Bulgarian fashion design. No miracles happened actually during this year, however a number of the positive trends typical for the Bulgarian fashion at the borderline of two millenniums were preserved and even developed to a further extent. The fresh breath of air coming from the work of the new generation of fashion designers, the social commitment through a number of charity actions, as well as the orientation to the current style of greater practicality, freshness and informality are in harmony and symmetry with the overall trend of the world fashion design. And if the Bulgarian designers of clothing and accessories make a critical revaluation of what they have achieved and draw the appropriate professional lessons and conclusions, then they will certainly surprise us in a positive way and achieve even more significant quality development in the next years – during the expected by all of us complicated, interested and charged with ordeals time of the accession of Bulgaria as a full member to the EU.


1. Introduction
2. Bulgarian fashion design in 2004
3. The new generation
4. The almanac premiere 2003-2004
5. Successes abroad
6, Golden needle 2003
7. How fashion journalists evaluate the last fashion 2004 year?


Copyright © 2005 Lubomir Stoykov

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