This week I was asked by a friend why I am so interested in exploring fashion. I think it’s to do with an insatiable desire for beauty. Only by hunting can you find the new and the beautiful. It’s a compulsive curiosity and a constant aesthetic investigation. It can sometimes become tiresome and limiting until unexpectedly you discover a designer who captures your imagination. Tina Kalivas is one of these designers who has acquired a spot at the top of my list. I’ve always been impressed by her work (I’ve talked about her before on the blog). Her strengths reside in the uniqueness, sheer quality and modern elegance of her pieces. In this collection, the shapes and details are created meticulously but there is something more about these looks – a hardly perceptible extra – that makes the clothes so much more than just beautiful pieces. Like a slight shiver across the surface of a lake, they also perfectly reflect the essence of African culture. They vary in terms of textures and silhouettes but they are all clearly of the same family, contained and controlled by a manifesto focusing on elemental indigenous colours and geometry. Tina Kalivas has her own distinctive and unmistakable dye, she’s a sort of fashion purist who does not deal so much in trends and finds it more satisfactory to treat each piece as a work of art or an experiment. With her entirely fresh and passionate approach to fashion she has lovingly designed an unforgettable and captivating colourful adventure. She’s authentic and it just seems somehow right to me that a designer should be exploring and not just imitating (like so many others do). I always hear stories from my friends who work in the fashion industry of how impossible it is at times to establish a genuinely creative space, it’s a continuing debate, but one which does not seem to apply to her. She learns from other cultures, adds a touch of her own stylistic insights, a spirit of spontaneity combined with carefully observed elements and a magic ingredient: the result is guaranteed.
All pictures courtesy of Tina Kalivas