Favourite Piece

My Favourite Piece: Eva Lili Bartha

BUILDING A COLLECTION IS A VERY PERSONAL PROCESS FOR EACH AND EVERY DESIGNER—AND MANY ITEMS HAVE THEIR OWN STORY AND DEEPER MEANING. IN OUR NEW SERIES, MY FAVOURITE PIECE, WE ASK DESIGNERS ABOUT A PARTICULAR ITEM IN THEIR COLLECTION, AIMING TO SHED LIGHT ON THE CONNECTION BETWEEN DESIGNERS AND THE CLOTHING THEY CRAFT. Next up is Eva Lili Bartha.

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Why did you choose this piece? 

I chose this piece because it is the most impulsive garment I have designed and manufactured so far. It is huge, it is big, it is puffy, it is oversized, and if it is not enough, it is covered in one of my prints which is the closes to me and coming from the deepest part of my creative mind. And it has two layers, one of them is transparent but printed, and the slight movement of the garment gives a really cool 3D effect to the whole print.

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What makes it stand out amongst the collection?

This item stands out the most, because the audience gets really drawn in by the assymetric and oversized silhouette while the strong graphical print with the material choices create a very strong and meaningful atmosphere. People not just want to see it or wear it, but touch it as well, feel it, experience it. And this is what my design identity about. Emotions and experience.

Explain the origins of the design. What were your initial inspirations? 

Every collection starts with exploring my actual state of mind, what interests me, what is on my head, what I have been thinking on lately. The concept takes form very slowly, sometimes I have to analyise myself to understand what it is, I want to transform into physical form and why. The concept of High On Life is a metaphor: my past experiences in drug addiction paralelling with the desperate seek of happiness and perfection in the modern society. Seeking unfullfillable happiness and blindly aching for things we do not need, we miss the point of the existence, we are addicted to desires, and can't get enough of anything. My driving motive in this collection was to visualize this contrast in every possible way to show the human nature as paradox as it is. As contrasting the concept is, as contrasting the designs will be. 

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Why did you choose the specific fabrics, patterns, colors? 

Colors, fabrics, silhouette, cutlines, every visual and tactile element is supposed to create a clash, to enchance the chaotic beauty of life. The print is a collage drawings of heads, each expresses an emotion and a facial gesture, while the wild brush strokes and white pencil outlines give the whole thing a surrealistic touch. The print called 'Faces' communicates the essence of the collection. It talks about the ravishing  and captivating feelings in life, for example: intoxication, ecstasy, astonishment, being scared, being depressed, feeling alone, shouting out loud. These radical feelings are interpreted into the various design aspects of the coat: outstanding and unique shape and texture, while the 2 clashing visual imputs are white, as representation of the naked human soul, and the strong graphical print. The 2 printed outer layer and the slight movement of the transparent fabric on top creates a really mesmerizing effect, making the print become alive. 

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What is the story of this piece and how does it work to tell your collection's overall story? 

As described above, the coat is a walking representation and interpretation for the contrasting life we live in, with its every seemingly simple detail carefully designed and manufactured to transmit the essence of my painful past and an anatomy of life. It is possible to communicate with clothing, and my aim is with this piece to point out how we could value our life in a different way.


Eva Lili Bartha on NJAL