ÉTER collection by Martin Hrča in collaboration with Kristýna Španihelová.

Photo: WELIN.

Probably the most theatrical, such were the most frequent reactions to Martin Hrča’s new ÉTER collection and his show during Fashion LIVE! 2018. The more costume theatre (than ready-to-wear fashion) was dark and wild and romantic alongside, that is, intuitive and fanciful. He composed the individual models very differently (deliberately disparate), jumping periods from historicism to the present (future). Wild and not random (like nature) was also the choice of materials and precise work with detail, colour contrasts, reliefs. The ethereal is something changeable, ethereal, immaterial. Hrča (enchanted by the aurora borealis) turns immateriality into a costume, applied (sewn) art full of references to nature, to the irreversible processes in it (both natural and violent), and to the (not only fairy-tale) stories that take place in it. It is a dream of both the irreversibility and the hope that beauty could bring. Kristýna Španihelová added jewels to the collection, just like in previous years.

Martin Hrča

What were you thinking about when this collection was created?

The war, the mud and the dirt, the lycophagus, which became a parallel to the devouring and degradation of society… the plastic domination, the apocalyptic darkness. A darkness that does not, however, engulf the multitude of structures, over the new beginning, the Big Bang, cosmic nebulae and alchemical approaches, over sublimity and quality, over 19th century collars and the obscurantism of the Middle Ages…

The most powerful moment for you associated with Ether?

Finding music that could accurately capture what I needed to say with the collection.

Formally – how did you compose the silhouette?
What materials did you work with and why?

The silhouette is a natural result of the subject matter, the physical properties of the material and the body proportions…with each model it is a completely individual process, it would be too long for a text.
The materials I chose for each model were already disparate by default, I like when they fight with each other and I can find a kind of common ground in them. Thick cotton velvet with flimsy georgette, unyielding cotton mesh with a solid, shiny sheath and Persian appliqués, cool onyx and magnetite applied to wool twill, soft silk organza, cowhide with pile, a multitude of knits, and several types of fur, wool interwoven with silk thread, patent and rawhide…there was a lot of it really.

How are you close to Kristýna Španihelová?

I first approached Kristýna for our first collaboration over six years ago based on a single exceptional necklace of hers, and our paths have been linked ever since. She is close to me mainly in a human way, but her work is also a kind of natural extension of how I perceive creativity. What I appreciate most about her is her ability to express herself through material, her special kind of creative “schizophrenia”, where she can bravely combine brutality and rawness with an almost ephemeral fragility and purity…all with incredible content context and technological innovation and ease. But most importantly, I think, is the fact that those things just sort of work together on their own for us. We’re on the same wavelength, my stuff and her stuff communicate with each other without forcibly conceiving it ourselves, we just put her stuff and my stuff together after a couple of conversations, material and technology tests, and they’re just a harmonious whole. I don’t know how that’s possible, but it works for us.

Your most ethereal experience?

Probably squatting at night, in the freezing cold, under a sky where the Northern Lights were rippling majestically and Ólafur Arnalds was playing in my ears at the same time.

Photo: Ivinka Pivinka.

Photo: Ivinka Pivinka.

Photo: Ivinka Pivinka.

Kristýna Španihelová

What was the assignment you got from Martin Hrča?

None. Collaborating with Martin on collections is about mutual dialogue, feelings, intuition and empathy.

How would you describe your jewellery collection?

Heavy and light, rusty and shiny, ambivalent.

What did you think about when you created it?

I was thinking about the universe, its antiquity and the visionary dreams of today. I contemplated the microcosm and the macrocosm, the soul of the world mirrored in the universe. The basic element was cyclic time – the circle from which everything unfolded, multiplied, divided, connected… The starting material was iron and silicon, for these were necessary for the formation of the rocky planets that were formed in the first generation of stars.

Why do you like Martin Hrča’s work? In what ways are you close?

I enjoy his unconventional and complex grasp of ideas, which he often materializes in the sculptural conception of clothing, but not at the expense of detail, for which he has a refined sense. His refined and thoughtful application of a monochromatic colour palette of diverse, mostly natural materials full of iconological meanings never ceases to fascinate me. The overall drama of the shows is unique in its narrative statement, which is punctuated by a sophisticated choice of musical accompaniment.
And then in the humility towards the material and its statement, but also in the constant appetite for experimentation. Our work reflects a fascination for the unceasing processes in nature, the relationship to landscape and traditional culture. I don’t know what it is, but we just understand each other, we are on the same wavelength in this universe.

Your most ethereal experience?

Feeling anaesthetised, floating in a bright, irradiated mass of water.

Photo: Ivinka Pivinka.

Photo: Ivinka Pivinka.

5 / 12 / 2018
by Ľubica Hustá
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