February 11, 2008
So many Poles have settled in London since the former Eastern bloc country joined the EEC that it was only a matter of time (three years, actually) before one of them turned out to be a fashion designer. The first to emerge is 25-year-old Krystof Strozyna, who has passed through Central Saint Martins' M.A. course to win funding from the New Generation sponsorship scheme. What set him apart in his graduation show was his strong way with graphic dressmaking and gigantic, lacquered neckpieces and cuffs that looked like nuts, bolts, and other abstract chunks of industrial hardware.
That's exactly what he showed again in his first official runway outing: short dresses in stiff cottons precision-cut with rounded volumes and graphic panels. The jewelry was there, too, some of it integrated within channels running down the fronts of dresses, or screwed onto necklines like conceptual door knockers. The dressmaking appeared to be technically accomplished (Strozyna produced the pieces in a factory in Poland), but his one-note, super-short lengths didn't quite jibe with the tenor of fashion now.