How did the idea for this project come about?
The Piroska_Project is a tribute to my native Hungary and was born from the desire to reinterpret the folklore fashion of this region. Folklore has always fascinated me, but my passion for traditional embroidery was particularly influenced by my travels and especially by my stay in Mexico. Selected motifs of Matyó embroidery, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, were reworked and modernized.
Why is this project called "Piroska" and how did it get this name in the first place?
"Piros" means "red" in German and "Piroska" is the belittled form. The color red is a symbol in Hungarian folklore for something good and positive, including love, passion, happiness and long life. Piroska is a typical name that stands for Hungary like no other, but many also associate it with clichés of "puszta romance". "Project" symbolizes the process of modernization, design development, but also teamwork with all production partners.
How did the styles of Piroska_Project come into being?
Tanja Hellmuth, designer and entrepreneur, supported me with her over 20 years of fashion expertise in this exciting project. The designs of the styles and the embroideries are mainly from her pen and also during the implementation from the idea to the finished product she stood by me with many valuable pieces of advice.
A Hungarian vintage blouse, which was worn in Hungary in the 1920s and 1930s and was intended to be primarily functional at the time, ultimately served as the design basis for our signature blouse "Piroska".
What makes these garments so special?
Our blouses are true statement pieces with the wide balloon sleeves and traditional smock details and have a timelessly beautiful design with quite a bit of sophistication, making any basic look stylish. The garments are made from the finest, slightly transparent cotton in a precious crinkle look. All collection pieces are adorned with traditionally inspired embroidery and smock details and exude boho flair.
How did the embroidery on these blouses and dresses come about?
The decorative centerpiece - is the embroidery on these blouses and dresses. It is based on a stylized peony, a central motif of Hungarian Matyó embroidery. I find the origin story of this world-famous Matyó embroidery so beautifully romantic. When the devil himself stole the groom into a wedding ceremony in winter, he wanted to give him back to the bride only if she brought him an apron full of flowers. Thereupon the bride embroidered an apron full of peonies and got her husband back. According to this legend, this is the reason why these lush floral motifs on dresses of the Matyó people were supposed to protect them from evil.
Is there a certain vision or values that "Piroska_Project" stands for?
I noticed how threatened craftsmanship is in Europe. Many small businesses have had to close because many companies have moved to low-wage countries, so Piroska_Project works exclusively with small craft businesses from the region where I live. Fair production conditions and adequate payment are very important for Piroska_Project. To make one of the blouses for Piroska_Project, a seamstress needs about 6-8 hours. With great attention to detail, even the cord and pom-poms are made by hand. With this Project I want to support the Slow Fashion movement and motivate as many women as possible with the purchase of one of my products to preserve the tradition of handicrafts in Europe.
„Piroska_Project stands for fashion with history. Fashion with heart.“
Interview by Fabienne Stoll