Summer of Love in Sofia

by Diliana Mateeva  

On 14th June in Sofia, the Academy of Fashion, headed by Prof. Lubomir Stoykov, organized "The Summer of Love" to officially end the summer season in Bulgarian fashion cycle. 

 Summer of love's guests were the winners of the prestigious fashion prize in the Bulgarian Fashion Design "Golden needle" of the Fashion Academy in the past years, as well as designers and fashion brands from London, Rome, Venice, Greece, Serbia, Poland and Macedonia .

Italian designer and stylist Alberto Vedelago - Maestro di Eleganza were also present to take in the festivities.

Ivan Donev came from the Italian capital especially for the Red Fashion Party. He presented models from his latest collection "Bridge between Cultures". It is inspired by the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar and exuded a sense of equipoise between cultures and aesthetics.

The Golden Needle winner, Merlin Arnaux, showed a collection made of feathers of exotic birds and complemented by the characteristic features of the late 16th and early 19th century crinolines. She was the only Bulgarian designer invited to participate in the Couture Fashion Week during the Cannes Film Festival.

 The thematically tailored outfits were shown by the students of fashion design of Prof. Lyubomir Stoykov from the National Academy of Arts, were on prominent display during the show.

Between the shows we caught up with Prof. Stoykov about this wonderful event. 

Red Fashion Party sums up and ends the fashion season. What inspired you for this initiative?

Red is traditionally interpreted as the color of love, passion and temptation. It is for this reason that the Academy of Fashion also announced a dress code of red, and love was the main inspiration of the show. 

As an organizer of Summer of Love, you select the designers. How did you manage to select the participants in the show among so many Bulgarian talents?

The leading criterion for the designers' participation was their public and professional recognition, alongside, of course, my personal criteria for modern and quality design, courage and innovation in fashion creation.

Which designer have you found to be the most promising during the shows?

All of the collections deserve words of praise and approval. However, I would like to highlight the collections of our international designers - Svetoslav Kolchagov and Ivan Donev, Alberto Vedelogo - from Venice, as well as Hristo Chouchev, Desiso Monni, Merlin Arno, Axel Hardi, Banderol. Along with proven Bulgarian Masters such as Evgenia Zhivkova, Sofia Borisova, Jana Zhekova, Yordanka Chernaeva, Mariela Gemisheva, Nikolay Bozhilov, they stood out.

As the President of the Academy of Fashion your opinion carries a lot of weight in Bulgaria. Do you think Bulgarian fashion is primed for an international expansion?

Well, in many ways, Bulgarian fashion design is far from the world's criteria for elegance, quality and beauty. That being said, the promise is there, the potential is evident of a greater vision. Bulgarian designers are currently doing very well in Milan, Paris, London, New York, Vienna, etc. . We just need to provide more systematic structure to expand our aesthetics to fit in with the global market.

The new generation of Bulgarian designers is very talented, richly informed and well educated. So eventually I can see Sofia being a fashion capital on a smaller scale. We have to do is produce good work consistently.