Op – art. Rules!
In the 1960s, the art world was a significant inspiration in fashion in the West and also made its way to Eastern Europe. Jadwiga Grabowska, artistic director of the Moda Polska brand, came up with a way to relay the geometric aesthetics of Henryk Berlewi, one of the major artists of the time, in its upcoming collection. Jerzy Antkowiak, who was part of her design team, recalled the idea behind the look:
We received Berlewi’s reproduction and we took it to our textile producers. The textiles were mainly made in Bielsko-Biała – a really cool wool with a touch of cashmere, but Milanówek also painted some fabrics based on his canvases: patterns drawn from op-art, black-and-white, geometric forms, spherical-ballistic zig-zags, minute details running through.
The vibrating black-and-white patterns that made the style so distinctive were splashed across miniskirts, caps, hair clips and sunglass frames, and also popped up as appliqués along the necklines, cuffs and collars of A-line tunics. Op-art was everywhere! Today, we can get a glimpse of the Berlewi craze in the fashion photography of Edward Hartwig (1909-2003), Tadeusz Rolke (born 1929) and Andrzej Wiernicki (born 1931).
Hartwig’s shoot took place during Berlewi’s exhibition at the Fine Arts Friendship Society in Warsaw and featured the artist himself, the only one not wearing an op-art outfit. Rolke’s photographs accompanied a feature on the op-art trend for Ty i Ja (You and Me) magazine, whereas Wiernicki was tasked with documenting the collection’s runway show.