Polish worker or American socialite? How designer JAN/F/CHODOROWICZ uses style to blend opposing worlds

Polish worker or American socialite? How designer JAN/F/CHODOROWICZ uses style to blend opposing worlds
Image: JAN/F/CHODOROWICZ

11 May 2021

The latest drop from young Polish designer JAN/F/CHODOROWICZ takes its inspiration from two different style camps: the working women of socialist Poland, and the glamorous divas in Truman Capote’s classic American novels.

Called SOCIALI/S/TE, the collection is based on archival photography of communist-era Poland, and the wardrobes of American socialites Jackie Kennedy and Lee Radziwill when they visited Poland in 1970.

Combining boxy silhouettes, grey and black chequered suit cloth, and blue straps and collars (which recalls the blue shirts of 1920s miners), the designer says he envisioned the collection as the wardrobe for today’s independent working woman (although probably not one working from home).

“I came up with the idea while reading Truman Capote’s last novel, Answered Prayers,” he told The Calvert Journal. “Reading his visual descriptions of the women that surrounded him made me look up photos of them, to see how they dressed. One of those women was Lee Radziwill, and her visit to socialist Poland inspired me to look at the contrast of workwear versus couture, East versus West, socialite versus socialist.”

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