All About Katarzyna Szczotarska

A brief biography of Polish fashion designer, Katarzyna Szcztarska, her work and her influences.

Katarzyna Szczotarska (pronounced "show-tar-ska",) is a hot, exciting, new-on-the-scene London designer.Her fashion is fresh, casual, avant-garde, and unconventionally elegant.

Born in Warsaw, Poland, Katarzyna Szczotarska arrived in London in the late 80s to study English.Once there, she found herself swept up and fascinated by the vibrant street culture in London.Switching her interests to design, she studied at Middlesex Polytechnic Academy and graduated from the prestigious, London College of Fashion. Ms. Szczotarska worked ten years in London and Milan including a stint as a senior designer for The Acadia Group before spending two years as an assistant to French designer, Martin Margiela.In 2000, Katarzyna Szczotarska moved back to London to launch her own label with the sponsorship of Absolut, the Swedish vodka maker. She followed the success of her first collection with a short fashion film directed by Simon Aboud.Since that first collection, she has been a regular at London fashion week and has been touted by international fashion critics as "one to watch."

At first glance, Ms. Szczotarska's designs are stark and conceptual, but they take on a luxurious and exquisitely crafted, even sensual look when worn.She is known for her exaggerated details and edgy construction.Her latest collection, entitled "Participate," includes masculine shapes, unusual cuts, and lots of detailing- a modern, yet wearable collection.Her key pieces are cotton and wool capes; oversized, Nordic-inspired, fitted woolen sweaters; inverted pleat skirts; and sheath dresses.Her fashion has been associated with modern aesthetics, varied proportions, and labeled "intellectual chic."Her designs are casual and avant-garde.

Ms. Szczotarska says she is inspired by the sixties, the concept rather than the clothes, and seeks to blend that look with the flair of the "roaring twenties."

Her Fall 2002 collection was described as geometric design inspired by Russian constructionism combined with her 60s modern vision.The collection included leggings over tights, overalls, and shrugs: huge, bulky, knit sweaters.

The highlight of the Fall 2003 collection its "Lairy Legs," mismatched leggings in contrasting colors, different colors on each leg.The look has become a fad in young London circles.

Her Spring 2004 collection included voluminous, knitted jackets, jumpers, and bold, print scarves.

Katarzyna Szczotarska has created a loyal fan base of young women, particularly those in England and Japan.She has retail license agreements with outlets in London, Italy, Sweden, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea.In 2005, she added a menswear line, available on her eponymous web site.

In her relatively short fashion career, Ms. Szczotarska has already been recognized for her work.She has twice received the New Generation award from the British Fashion Council.

Katarzyna Szczotarska makes her home in London.A favorite of young, confident and independent women, she is a designer on the rise.Look for more from Ms. Szczotarska in the years to come.

Ms. Szczotarska is a role model for a generation of Polish fashion designers.Many young Poles are bursting onto the fashion scene.Keep an eye on Arkadius and Ewa Minge.

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