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What to wear this summer: Hidden showrooms in downtown Budapest
Photo : Glódi Balázs - Flatlab
What to wear this summer: Hidden showrooms in downtown Budapest

Want to know where you can buy unique swimsuits or timeless bicycle sets? We unearth the hidden talent of some of Hungary’s emerging fashion designers?

Urban Legend - stylish on two wheels Anna Daubner – white delights Phaidra – beautiful swimwear Twofold Concept – mixing textures Gabo Szerencses – rough elegance Sara Balint – whim of the waterfront

While you might not put Budapest in the same group as fashion mammoths like Paris, Milan or New York there’s a  group of young fashion designers who say the demand for locally made clothing is growing. They say it’s worth opening a showroom here in Budapest and they’re focusing on smaller, seasonal collections for what they call the more ‘conscious customer’.

These designers say the domestic fashion industry is becoming more and more current and that there is great demand for street fashion as well as more interesting, daring sets. But Hungarian fashion designers are also trying to tackle the international market and most of them sell their collections in other countries’ shops and fairs too.

The city showrooms are usually shared by several fashion designers creating a kind of workshop atmosphere. And having a store with a street-front allows up-and-coming designers to establish a more personal relationship with their customers and to get much-needed exposure.

We take a look at some of Budapest’s cool fashion designers and where you can find their showrooms.

Urban Legend - stylish on two wheels

Photo: Marcell Rév
The cyclewear shop Urban Legend‘s 2014 spring-summer collection, ADVENTURERS, is targeted at restless travelers and adventurers. The summer wardrobe includes jackets that can package up and a variety of loose tops. The clothes come in enamel red, vivid blue and white – colors that match the reflective colours of road signs. The collection is inspired by great explorers such as StanhorpeLady Hester, Captain Elcano or even Odysseus.

‘After many years of city cycling I realized that while it is possible to bicycle in everything, special gear still makes it easier,’ says the designer at Urban Legegnd Zsófi Geréby. The greatest advantages of these pieces is practicality: they are water resistant, waterproof, dirt repellent, breathe well and are super comfortable. As a plus, the jackets even have gigantic pockets that can fit a half-litre bottle!

Urban Legend 
Can be found at: Flatlab showroom, Retrock, Wamp design bazaar
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 13:00-20:00

Flatlab
  • 1085 Budapest, Baross utca 3.

Anna Daubner – white delights

Photo: Péter Hencz
Anna Daubner’s latest spring-summer collection called the ‘capsule collection‘ has turned out to be a crisp and dazzling affair. Last winter the fashion designer moved back to Hungary after three years in London, where she learned about the workings of the international fashion sphere. In this latest collection the designer mixes two inspirational sources: for shapes and materials she’s taken her inspiration from the uniform of fencers, while the colours and stratification of her materials are taken from the versatility of clouds.  

Daubner says in Hungary it’s unusual for a designer to work with only one colour, especially when that colour is white. Comfort is one of the most important aspects of this collection, so the clothes look nice not only on skinny women, but also on taller, rounder and shorter people. In addition to white, sometimes neon or pearlescent elements appear on the translucent materials. This collection embraces a different types of materials, too, such as cotton, polyester, silk and even holographic foil.

She shares a showroom with Anna Amélie, well known for her bag creations. Daubner says they often inspire and interact with each other and their pieces are sometimes designed to complement each other.

Anna Daubner
Sizes: S, M, L
Can be found at: A3 Showroom, ONE Fashion Budapest 
Opening hours: by appointment at info@annadaubner.com

ONE Fashion Agency & Retail

Phaidra – beautiful swimwear

Photo: Gergő Pejkó - Soraya @ Art Models

Phaidra‘s showroom opened in April and has already seen the introduction of the label’s newest, spring-summer collection. The Waterproof collection’s unique feature is that the swimsuits are partly made of waterproof material. ‘I symbolize man’s contradictory nature by the water resistance. We often isolate ourselves from things that we choose ourselves’, says Viki Tisza, Phaidra’s designer. The collection includes nine different swimsuits, a formal piece and a summer dress. The futuristic collection’slooks good not only on skin and bones models but on rounder shapes as well.  

Tisza has been making unique swimsuits since 2013 and has three collections under her belt so far. Her works have already been an international success with several of her swimsuits featured in British Vogue and Glamour magazines.

Phaidra designs are mostly restrained and clean. One-piece swimsuits dominate instead of bikinis, matte colours instead of blinding lights. The swimsuits are less for the beach than for swimming pools and wellness. Viki sews the pieces herself with one swimsuit taking up to three hours to make and each is made with five different sewing machines.

Phaidra
Sizes: 36, 38, 40
Can be found at: WonderLAB Concept Storeown showroom
Showroom: 1092 Budapest, Ferenc Boulevard 2-4., 3/19.
Opening hours: by appointment at +36 30 506 5606 or info@phaidra.hu

wonderLAB
  • 1053 Budapest, Veres Pálné utca 3.

Twofold Concept – mixing textures

Photo: POP Design
Twofold Concept is the joint effort of designers Vanda Berecz and Barbara Katona. The concept of this brand is that the designers draw inspiration from the same source and make various items: Barbara makes finely crafted custom jewellery and Vanda makes hand-sewn leather bags. ‘Our target audience is the over-25 age group who are looking for clean-cut, durable accessories,’ says Barbara. Their designer necklaces are made of leather and metal, which looks subtle yet stylish and paired with a simple t-shirt is perfectly office compatible.  

The 2014 spring-summer Lamellic collection was inspired by the term lamella, commonly found in biology (where it means scaly structures) and mineralogy (where it refers to layered crystal structures like graphite). The pendants and earrings in this collection are made from silver with black rhodium or rose gold coating. The leather bags’ form is developed from a single rectangular plate by folding. Five handmade examples are made of natural calf leather completed with tired pearlescent pink, pale green and iridescent sheepskin. It is mostly pastel colours that dominate the collection the baby effect broken by eggplant purple.

Twofold Concept 
Can be found at: Heinrich Alkotói Szint 
Opening hours: by appointment at twofoldkoncept@gmail.com

Heinrich Creative Workshop

Gabo Szerencses – rough elegance

Photo: S1 studio: Viktor Megyeri and Dániel Bati
If you head to the Gabó Szerencsés showroom you’re likely to run into the designer herself. Visitors to her workshop can choose from a wide palette of bags, costumes, wedding dresses and more. Her clothes range from casual to elegant attire. Each item is customized for the wearer and customers who come for a wedding dress can even buy the materials with the designer herself. Her collections’ recurring theme is leather that can toughen up even a simple fabric jacket.  

Her 2014 collection is inspired by waves and it uses dynamic shapes and contrasting colours. The folded geometric shapes express determination in the leather clothes, while the silk pieces are mysterious and feminine. She uses surprising colour combinations: in addition to the cold turquoise, pastel grey and chalk white, the classic black and white combination appears as well. The leather bags, clutches, belts and wallets are cool accessories. One of Gabó’s favourites is the ‘star dress‘ that looks good on almost every body shape.

Gabo Szerencses  
Sizes: XS, S, M, L
Can be found at: WonderLAB Concept Store, Lucky Sheperd showroom 
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 10:00-18:00, by appointment at theluckyshepherd@gmail.com

wonderLAB
  • 1053 Budapest, Veres Pálné utca 3.

Sara Balint – whim of the waterfront

Photo: Tamás Kovács
Sára Bálint’s 2014 spring-summer collection was inspired by the riverside’s unpredictable whims. Fragments of this collection evoke scenes from the riverside: the overcast sky’s cold lights and the hot sand’s atmosphere simultaneously. The clean, light pieces function well in the summer heat as well as changeable, cooler weather. The basis for this collection is natural and recycled materials. Organic materials appear in the knit linen sweaters, paired with breathable cotton and linen materials, spiced with some white lace and artificial leather. A jewellery collection made of recycled materials has also been added to this collection.  

The brand appeared in 2010 andSára creates reserved, simple, wearable clothes and targets the calmer, over-25 age group. In addition to casual clothes, she makes unique wedding dresses as well. Check out the collections video book.

Sara Balint 
Sizes: S, M, L 
Can be found at: LAONI la store, Mono  
Laoni la store: 1072 Budapest, Klauzál Square 1.  
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 10:00-19:00