As a fashion designer, I continuously seek balance of color, texture, and pattern in my designs. I prefer modern clean designs--clothes that are functional, yet beautiful in their simplicity and silhouette.
However, my favorite aspect of designing is adding something special to my creations—a detail that surprises both the person wearing my design and the person who may see it on another person. Hence, take a look at three of my dresses below and check out the fun a contrasting zipper adds! Zippers are a wonderful way to spruce up even the simplest design.
The blue dress on the left is inspired by a painting by Mark Rothko. The dress has a simple body-hugging silhouette. The back draws all the attention! And could there be anything more exciting about a little black dress with a neon yellow zipper on the back? What a lovely visual statement. The floral dress on the right has a triangle of a contrasting fabric inserted at the top to highlight the zipper placement.
Dresses are my favorite garment to design. I have sketched and sewn many of my ideas. I enjoy wearing my designs and as you can see, I am particularly excited about little details that add an element of fun to an everyday item in my closet.
Do you enjoy design details that make your garments stand out? Let me know!
Not too long ago, I was strolling through the streets of New York City and stumbled upon a wonderful museum--one I have not been to before. What a lovely treat on a cool winter afternoon! This museum, the Museum of Arts and Design, is currently hosting an exhibition that I highly recommend you see: "Wendell Castle Remastered." It's open only until February 28 so make sure to make your way there soon.
Why do I recommend it? I enjoy art and design and furniture design is a great way to learn about craftsmanship and the function furniture plays in our lives. Wendell Castle is a major figure in the field of furniture design with an interesting work process and aesthetics.
Castle has been making his furniture for six decades. In this exhibition, you will get to admire both Castle's famous pieces and his latest works. This self-reflective show is reviewing his creative beginnings (e.g., use of stack lamination) as well as the use of 21st century digital tools (e.g., 3-D computer modeling) in the production of his furniture. His pieces, as you can see in my photos below, are more like sculptures. They are functional but they are also truly beautiful.
A video interview with Castle will guide you through his creative process and you will gain a great appreciation for the works on display as you walk through the exhibition halls. Enjoy!
Calm ending to a beautiful day. Swan Creek, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.
Photo taken in September 2015. Credit: Martina Sestakova.
Us art lovers often have favorite painters--artists we read about and whose artwork stops us in our tracks as we wander through museums and art galleries. For me, Mark Rothko is this artist. I have always been drawn to his large-scale masterpieces and the Rothko Room at the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. may be one of my favorite places to admire his work.
Art often inspires my fashion design work so it is no surprise that I have designed and sewn a dress based on one of Rothko's beautifully colorful paintings. I admire his understanding of colors and their interactions.
I wanted to honor Rothko's use of proportions in the painting so the blue fabric is prominent in my design. Red made it into a thin belt and the bright orange beautifully frames the skirt hem.
The dress is easy to slip into as it has a full-length zipper on the back. And what a fun zipper! I love the red in the painting and decided to go with a bright red zipper in my dress. It makes a wonderfully visually-appalling statement.
You can see the close relation art and fashion can have. It always makes me happy to explore this interaction as it continues to prompt ideas for my fashion design work.
Do you have an artist you admire? Has a piece of art inspired something you created? Let me know!
Now that we have all survived holiday parties and New Year celebrations, we may be ready for a fresh dose of inspiration. Creativity never stops and there is always an interesting art exhibition to visit and new things to learn. If you have time, stroll through the "Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty" exhibition at the American Art Museum in Washington D.C.
Penn was among the first photographers to pose subjects against a simple grey or white backdrop and he effectively used this simplicity. His black and white prints are notable for their deep contrast, giving them a clean, crisp look.
I was, no surprise, most drawn to Penn's fashion photography. His work is so interesting! A lot of fashion photography focuses on the product - the thing to sell. Penn completely disregarded this and used models and garments/shoes as shapes to be organized in a visually appealing way. Take a look below and get drawn into the mood Penn creates in each of his photographs.
I promise that you will enjoy this photography exhibition. Even if fashion is not your passion, Penn's work is magnificent. He had a great understanding of beauty and creativity and will pull you in.
"Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty" is on display at the American Art Museum (1st floor West, 8th and F Streets, Washington D.C. NW) until March 20, 2016.
Peaceful bay on Isla Espiritu Santo. Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Photo taken in December 2015. Credit: Martina Sestakova.
I have done a lot of hand-painting lately and have truly grown to love the process. I sit down at my work table, arrange my fabric paints, and grasp a brush. I clear my mind and let the garment guide me as to what I will paint on it. I find it truly liberating to paint and see the shapes appear on the fabric and start telling their visual story. Creativity rocks!
Here is my latest t-shirt project. I opted to use a grey one and two fabric paint colors: purple and gold. The tension between the brush being pulled over the fabric makes for lovely geometric shapes. The brush first makes a huge impact with the paint soaking the fabric. Then, however, the paint runs out and the imprint starts to get less obvious. And I love this! The contrast of shapes and intensity make a great impact.
This t-shirt works with the idea of surprise and that not matching design (e.g., on the front and the back of a garment) is actually a good idea. The front of this t-shirt has the purple as the dominant color with the gold appearing on the surface in just little bits. The back is the opposite. As I move, people around me get to see the design on the front and the back but also the mix of both on the side of the t-shirt.
Hand-painting is definitely now a part of my skillset and I will keep incorporating it into my fashion design work.
What do you think? Let me know!
Welcome! My textile/fashion design brand RADOST™ (Czech) is all about JOY (English).
In the blogs, I bring you thoughts on textile and fashion design, art, and travel.
Check back often, as creativity never sleeps (well, almost never) and surround yourself with joy!