Although rather slowly and tortuously, the Bulgarian fashion continues to make its
way to the world and European fashion stages, exhibitions, fairs and media successfully. We should seek the Bulgarian achievements abroad in several directions. On the one hand, these are the mature designers who have already

proved themselves abroad and continue to realize their talent in designing authentic and of high quality clothing of Bulgarian origin. Leading names among them are those of Livia Stoyanova and Yasen Samouilov - main designers of On Aura Tout Vu Fashion House. Serious success abroad in the USA, Russia, Greece, Germany, Dubai and Italy enjoys our brilliant designer Virginia Zdravkova whom we
already mentioned in the introductory part. The extremely talented young fashion designers Maria Doichinova, Dessislava Stoicheva for Dessigned and Biliana and Peter Bipone continue to make us happy with their successful presentations in Vienna. We should think with special respect about the tens of Bulgarian designers who occupy serious positions with world famous fashion houses and assist some
of the most famous fashion designers. We dare say that in near future (a year or two) the world will start talking about the Bulgarian fashion with greater respect on the grounds of particular triumphs - winners at competitions, awards and distinctions at prestigious foreign forums, participation in fashion weeks in the world capitals of style that are worthy of notice. Parallel to this which are the other more specific achievements of the Bulgarian fashion abroad?

After the first TZUM Autumn-Winter 2001 Bulgarian fashion show on the world fashion channel FTV and the first film A Day of Bulgaria in 2004, Nota Bene! Agency presented its next project with FTV - Еuropean Day of Bulgaria 2005. Leading for the organizers is the belief that the Bulgarian achievements in the area of fashion are convertible for a long time even on the most demanding European and world markets. That is why the project Ulpia Serdika is zealously trying to assert the names of the Bulgarian designers parallel to the names of representatives of the world elite. And if in 2004 presented was the classic in the Bulgarian fashion brands - names that have gained popularity beyond the borders of Bulgaria long time ago and have turned to be the "business card" of the Bulgarian fashion over the world, this time the selection is of designers of artistic and vanguard style, who have addressed their collections to the eccentric connoisseurs. The choice is forced by the idea that fashion at home may allow itself the self confidence to be aggressive and to generate new trends which it can impose on the world markets. The special music that accompanied the show of the original designs was compiled by MO DJ.

The ten-minute clip was broadcasted on the world fashion channel every day for a week at the end of October and the beginning of November 2005 and provoked understandable emotion and positive respond among the Bulgarian fashion specialists. It showed the collections of Jana Jekova, MarielaGemisheva, Djina Nik, Didi Dermendjieva, Cristina and Konstantin - Vampila, Veronika Vapirova as well as the Babini kouki, Modus Art and Aries Unikat fashion houses. Most of them contain new original ideas showing that fashion in Bulgaria is really a topical visual art and some of the Bulgarian designers can work in accordance with the laws of the newest youth, club or street style, processed aesthetically in the spirit postmodernism and aesthetic mix, so typical for the new millennium. Here is what Nota Bene's producer, Victoria Stoicheva said especially for Almanac of Bulgarian Fashion: "In our opinion the Bulgarian fashion is part of the Bulgarian culture and as there is no unified concept for the presentation of the Bulgarian art around the world, we think that this should be the way to launch the work of our designers. It is not true that fashion is only commercial as it is a product of mentality and original creative ideas. What was shown on the fashion catwalk and on FTV comes to prove that the Bulgarian style is part of the European style and regarding fashion we are not in the back yard of Europe".

The year that passed was a rather good year was the young Bulgarian designer Nikolai Pachev, who won most probably the biggest international recognition
for the last twelve months, namely the first prize at Mittelmoda world competition for young fashion designers (in Italy). His success was unprecedented as besides the big award he won two other prizes - Beneton - Sisley Award (besides the financial part it includes three- month internship at the headquarters of Benetton) as well as Sistema Moda Italia Award for the best collection of experimentation and research. The competition is traditional and its finale was on September 9 and 10 in Gorizia Fiere (Northern Italy). In 2005 more than 800 students majoring fashion design and young designers from all over the world took part in it. Nikolai Pachev is influenced by the art of Yohji Yamamoto, Rick Owens, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood. This is his second participation at the competition. His collection is in fact part of his Master of Arts thesis that is a research of the deconstructivism and the creation of a new method for designing clothes. The method relies on the spontaneous creative art and the maximum simplifying the construction of the garment. "I used the principle of the most common knot and I managed to shape the body by means of a single piece of fabrics", the young champion told us his secret. He showed six designs made of wool, silk and leather at the finale in Gorizia. Using his terms these were "designs of wrapped around pieces of fabric". The colours were those of the fog over Sofia, earth tones and more specifically the achromatic versions of green, blue, brown and off-white. In regards to details, the buttons of turned upside down mother-of pearl attracted attention as well as the use of cow horns with the belts and the pieces of hand-made tapestry with the bags. The designer sincerely admitted his sin before his grandmother, whose tapestries he skillfully used in decorating the accessories, and the bags in particular. Nikolai Pachev is a student at New Bulgarian University, majoring fashion clothing design under the master-ofarts programme. He is well known to the readers of Almanac of the Bulgarian Fashion as he was presented in the 2002-2003 issue. His teacher at New Bulgarian University, associate professor Yordanka Chernaeva, assesses his success in the following way: "The collection that won him Mittelmoda Award was part of his masterof - arts programme. Nikolai Pachev is an extremely talented young designer. It is not by accident that the press wrote he was not assessed correctly last year. I can only say nice things about him. In the years at the university he impressed me with his hard work, he is an intelligent young person and is always seeking something new. I expect him to become one of the Bulgarian designers who will have real world success".


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


19. Design of Dessi Stoytcheva.
Photo: Moni Franses

20. Design of Kristina and
Konstantin, demonstrated
during the European Day
of Bulgaria 2005 show
of Fashion TV.
Photo: © Nota Bene archives

21. Design of Babini Kouki
Fashion House, demonstrated during the
European Day of Bulgaria 2005 show of Fashion TV.
Photo: © Nota Bene archives

22. Design of Aries Unikat
Fashion House, demonstrated during the
European Day of Bulgaria 2005 show of Fashion TV.
Photo: © Nota Bene archives

23. One of Nikolai Pachev's
designs, which brought him first prize at the Mittelmoda
world competition in Italy.
Photo: © Personal archive of
Nikolai Pachev

24. Nikolai Pachev together with its design
Photo: © Personal archive of
Nikolai Pachev

Copyright © 2006 Lubomir Stoykov

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