There is a more general trend of weakening the vivid presence and even reduction in the number of names of individuality in the Bulgarian fashion design in the last two or three years. For some of them the reason lies in their incapability to adapt to the new market situation and to compete successfully the increasing competition. For others the reason is a trivial one like exhausted creative resources and potential. A serious reason is the absence of a solid professional organization that would integrate the designers and take care of the realization of the best Bulgarian designers (organizations as the Association of the Bulgarian Designers and Modellers, Forum Group and others, which have been a good idea, are simply existing formally or have terminated their existence). Talented and proven throughout the years authors of collections like Zapryan Marinov, Vasko Vassilev, Ani Avramova, Yordanka Chernaeva, Ivan Alexandrov, Georgi Kolev, Dora Momekova and others meanwhile ceased their activities, changed their occupation or devoted themselves to teaching or consultancy. The new names and the representatives of the younger generation of fashion designers seem to be slow and having difficulties in filling the niche opened by them. Without aiming at a precise rating or avoiding whatever ranking and of course risking to be incomplete, we may mention some of the particularly brilliant Bulgarian designers of our time among which Vesselin Yordanov, Emilian Sabev (who is more and more tempted by advertising and consultancy activities, styling and media realization), Sandra Klincheva, Mariela Gemisheva, Milka Alexandrova - Buchi, Nikolai Pachev, Dessislava Moskova, Veronika Vapirova, Maria Nedkova, Jana Jekova, Neli Koleva, Fanni Papadopulu, Albena Alexandrova, Virginia Zdravkova, Evgenia Zhivkova and others. A little more

attention shall be paid to the creative work of the last three designers in the last year.

The year of 2005 was extremely strong for one of the intelligent and unquestionable talented Bulgarian designers - Albena Alexandrova [widely popular with her Roshavata Garga (Tousled Crow) Fashion House]. The designer is one of the obvious proofs for the success of glocalization as a specific syndrome of the Bulgarian fashion design. She embodies the education of a phylologist, a designer and a director and together with all this she is an interesting mix of Eastern,
Slavonic culture and the post modern system of values of the Western civilization.
Albena Alexandrova is a creator of dynamic, flexible and original type. Well familiar with the highest achievements of the West European design, admiring John Galliano, she does not stay at this level but is striving to interpret the modern
spirit of the emancipated Bulgarian woman together with the best national traditions in the design of clothing, thus offering fashion in the true style of the 21st century: unusual, provocative, variegated, chic and moderately crazy.
Being awarded for a second time the most prestigious Bulgarian fashion prize Zlatna Igla (Golden Needle) in the category Designer of the Year, she did not calm her strive to even more fascinating and new style. At the end of 2005 Albena Alexandrova showed with a remarkable success her collection The Back - the Face of Our Clothing. Impressive is her concept regarding the vision of the back, which offers not less information than the front part of the clothing. Here are the details: buttoning at the back with welted button holes and buttons, horizontal
pressed gathering with zipper, multiple shoulder straps that are interweaved, decorated with stones, flowers, art binds, slits and buttons in the cut, shaped cuts and tassels made of rabbit fur. The designer is inspired by the fashion of the bourgeois bohemians "bobos" - representatives of the big business, who are financially secured more than necessary but believe or simply like the Left thinking
and are ready to support a leftist party. The style is simply Albena Alexandrova Style - a cocktail of jeans and hippy, patchwork, fine dandyism, fauna and flora. Materials include silk, velvet, taffeta, satin, cashmere, furs and wool. The prevailing colour range is cyclamen, orange, brown, lilac, bordeaux and black. Personal charm and aesthetic discipline provide the privilege of the designer as a very interesting and influential modern woman, opening doors for her as a host and consultant in many attractive television shows about lifestyle and culture of dressing.

The central collection of the emblematic Bulgarian designer Virginia Zdravkova, awarded the Zlatna Igla (Golden Needle) Prize of the Academy for Fashion, may be defined as poetry of the style. She showed her latest designs for the season autumnwinter 2005-2006 before selected audience and among the scenery of the Hollywood mega production Spartacus at Boyana Film Centre. The master of
expensive and sophisticated dresses launched completely new line emphasizing the body of the woman in a tempting way. The dresses are tight down to the
waist and then extensively frayed in the lower part. The sleeves are long, decorated with hanging beads and crystals that shake and provide vitality to the
dress when moved. The upper parts of the clothing are transparent and embrace the body with impressive applications. This time the coquettish little dresses, reaching to the knee, are the different Virginia Atelier Fashion House with designer Virginia Zdravkova has chosen a maximally influencing and suitable for the case colour range. The colours are white, off-white, golden, silver, combinations of white with silver, off-white with silver or very pale pink, light blue with ecru and silver, etc. Chameleon colours, such as yellow with green, brown with black, orange with red were preserved for evening gowns, made of taffeta and decorated with fox fur of the same colours. The collection's accessories include organza shawls, trimmed with fur, long veils, trimmed with French lace, encrusted with crystals and beads, short chiffon capes, short fluffy veils and even peacock
feathers. They are mainly hand-made. The fashion show finale was accompanied by a spectacular light performance, which lighted the sky over the Roman scenery in the cinema centre, and the designer's logo was written with fiery letters. The
unique event was organized jointly with Visage Model Group, whose top models Gergana Polezhanova, Roumyana Krusteva, Rossitsa Chernogorova, Tanya Ilieva, Tedi Velinova, Rossitsa Ivanova - Miss Bulgaria 2005, stand out with their

professionalism and exquisiteness. During the Mrs Globe 2005 pageant, which took
place in the summer of 2005 in Palm Springs, California, Virginia Zdravkova [a laureate of Zlatna Igla (Golden Needle) for best designer of 2003] had a stunning success as an official designer of the competition. The hosts organized also an individual show of Virgina Zdravkova's on board of an ultra luxurious yacht in New Port Beach before famous celebrities, where the designer gave autographs to
Kevin Kostner and to John Waine's wife. All participants of the first rounds wore Virginia shoes, and the finalists defiled dressed in the formal gowns of Virginia Zdravkova. The US ladies have an unwritten rule never to wear formal gowns in green, however the exclusive gowns in green offered by Virginia, conquered the finalists from the USA and Venezuela. Winner of Mrs Globe 2005 is Mrs.
Venezuela Rosa Terenzio, who is a lawyer and a mother of two children. Most outfits for the competition were in brown, green, cyclamen, reseda, silver and gold colours. The line is clean, outlining the curves of female body. Virginia launched her new vision - tightly fitting tops in combination with flared crinoline lower part. The outfit of Radostina Hadjiivanova - Mrs. Bulgaria 2004 - was made of silver taffeta, encrusted with sequins. The Bulgarian won the pageant's special award for the most photogenic face. Some of the participants bought gowns of the Bulgarian designer via the Internet. Mrs. USA Angelina Butler (a well-known US
singer) also ordered a dozen of stage costumes of Virginia Zdravkova. "It is a great recognition for me that famous foreign persons want to use the designer's
services of Virginia Atelier for future social events, including the Oscar Awarding Ceremony", the excited designer said upon her return.

Evgenia Zhivkova [winner of two Zlatna Igla (Golden Needle) awards for Jeni Style] marked a new development in her style. In September 2005 she presented
her autumn-winter 2005-2006 collection named emblematically Provocation + Self-confidence = Elegance. The designer's formula is apparently the right one, as the shown clothes caused positive comments among guests and journalists. Some of them even specified the collection as the best among the works of the designer, who is also a Member of Parliament, so far. The fashion news is that voluminous skirts and gowns, as well as the non-standard way of combining them with jackets are entering more and more actively in the ladies' wardrobe. New are also the combinations of chiffon with cold wool and velvet. In regards to her collection, Evgenia Zhivkova said: "These clothes are in no way for the mature woman only. We are also offering clothes for young women aged between 18
and 25. Fashion for them is more sporty-elegant and negligent. We put a special emphasis on the design for the business ladies and women of taste and selfconfidence."


1. Glocalization of Bulgarian fashion in 2005
2. Collective achievements in Bulgarian fashion
3. Individual achievements in Bulgarian fashion
4. Beauty and mercy hand in hand
5, Successes abroad
6. Zlatna igla (golden needle) 2004

7. Fashion Mercury 2005
8. Journalist assessment of 2005 fashion year


4. Design of Mariela Gemisheva, demonstrated during the European Day of
Bulgaria 2005 show of Fashion TV.
Photo: Nota Bene archives

5. Design from the collection of Modus Art Fashion House,
demonstrated during the
European Day of Bulgaria 2005 show of Fashion TV.
Photo: Nota Bene archives

6. Design from the collection of Totally Erected Fashion House, demonstrated during the European Day of Bulgaria 2005 show of Fashion TV .
Photo: Nota Bene archives

7. Design of designer Jana Jekova, demonstrated during the European Day of Bulgaria 2005 show of Fashion TV.
Photo: Nota Bene archives

8. Design of Albena Alexandrova from The Back - the Face of Our Clothing
Photo: Angel Kotcev

9. Design of Virginia
Zdravkova from autumn-winter 2005-2006 collection.
Photo: BulFoto

10. Design of Virginia
Zdravkova from autumn-winter 2005-2006 collection.
Photo: BulFoto

11. Design of Evgenia Zhivkova for Jeni Style Fashion House, collection
autumn-winter 2005-2006.
Photo: Moni Frances

12. Design of Evgenia
Zhivkova for Jeni Style
Fashion House, collection
autumn-winter 2005-2006.
Photo: Moni Frances

Copyright © 2006 Lubomir Stoykov

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