Nicknamed the ‘Tsarina of Polish Fashion’, Gosia Baczynska is recognised as one of Warsaw’s most important contemporary female designers
Tsarina of Polish Fashion
Nicknamed the ‘Tsarina of Polish Fashion’, Gosia Baczynska is recognised as one of Warsaw’s most important contemporary female designers thanks to her distinctive infectious personality, clear talent and bold vision. One of her hallmarks is an unerring ability to combine luxury fashion with art.
Baczynska is the first Polish designer to have her collections feature on the official Paris Fashion Week calendar. Her first show in Paris, S/ S 2014, took place at the Palais de Tokyo gallery. Her collection, I Feel Love, referenced Donna Summer’s 1977 hit. Baczynska’s subsequent collection, Autumn/Winter 2014 was inspired by the tragic history of forced deportation in Central and Eastern Europe.
Supermodel Marta Dyks ina a Gosia Baczyńska SS17 campain
The designer spent her student years living in Lower Silesia, a region which had belonged to Germany before the Second World War. When the Germans were deported in 1945, the region was resettled by Poles who had had their own land taken by the Soviet Union. An important feature of the collection was the use of medals in the form of jewellery. These normally oppressive patriotic symbols instead featured motifs from works of art, including Velazquez’ Infanta Margarita, Joseph Beuys’ The Sled and Marcel Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel.
Born in Kępno in 1965, Baczyńska first learned how to sew from a Soviet pattern book during the communist era, later honing her skills in London, where she worked as a dressmaker in 1991. She opened her own business after returning to Poland in 1997. The name of her company, Fri 13.08, refers to her birthday.
The designer’s impressive boutique and workshop is located in Praga, a district of Warsaw, which was once run — down and mainly working class part of the city but is now famed for its fashion, art and multicultural history — thanks in no small part to people like Baczyńska. In her boutique, Baczyńska also sells shoes by Nicholas Kirkwood, with whom she collaborates. One of Baczyńska’s shows took place in the courtyard of a Praga tenement building and featured choreography based on Zbigniew Rybczyński’s Oscar-winning avant-garde animated film Tango.
Baczyńska’s dresses are worn by a host of famous names, including top models Anja Rubik, Małgosia Bela and Kasia Struss, award-winning director Małgorzata Szumanowska, and actress Lola Bessis. Her designs have featured on the pages of Schön, wad, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel, Collezioni, Marie Claireand many others.
Baczyńska was a winner at the Elle Style Awards in 2014 and was named Glamour’s Woman of the Year in 2013.