In a world where high fashion is often linked to connotations of prominence and prestige, it is always interesting to meet someone who dislikes being labelled as a fashion designer. Polish born Katarzyna Konieczka lies beyond couture, reaching out into the subconscious to play with feelings of confliction; Within her designs, cloth twists into scars and models are trapped in outfits beyond the restriction of corsets and into the field of harsh wire contraptions. The result? Rather than withdrawing, the fashion world has absorbed Katarzyna’s creations with eagerness and awe.
The allure in Katarzyna’s work often lies within contradicting emotions. The restriction of the model is mixed within a beauty of rich texture and grand design. Nothing is entirely easy on the eye. Even in her less wire-induced pieces, outfits inhibit the wearer; intricately handmade corsets, dresses and head pieces stand proud and the models wear them as much as they wear the models. Atmospheric, alluring, awkward…Katarzyna thrives in the juxtapositions of human emotion. In an interview with Slave she explains:
‘Lace patterns seem to look like bugs slithering on a carcass, and the very dress resembles flayed flesh; but at the same time this outfit makes you think about Baroque, it is femme fatale and classic. You are a bit scared, but you like it as well. It is a skillful manipulation. It is like subliminal message; it makes you subconsciously admit…what should disgust you, delights you.‘
Katarzyna Konieczka’s focus lies deep within, experimenting with textiles, wire and fabrics to create designs that are not always initially understood. Her reason for creating pieces is for herself rather than others, and she has learned to overcome negative reactions with acceptance of her individuality. Her work has even been labelled as ‘medical couture’, which summarises a branch of her style acutely. However, part of Katarzyna’s talent is the ability to merge the medical with the delicate to produce contrasting layers to each piece. Each creation is entirely unique, made by techniques she has developed over time through experimentation and practice. Working with numerous photographers such as Sylwia Makris and Marcin Szpak, Katarzyna helps to produce ideas that breathe originality without shame or regret. Even though her designs have been on the world’s leading runways and included within magazines such as Vogue, Katarzyna still sees herself as on the fringe of fashion culture. She even once stated that she wasn’t interested in fashion, and with her major being in costume, Katarzyna will continue to delight in extraordinary and charismatic ways.
To find out more about Katarzyna’s work you can explore her site.