Magyar á la Mode

by Barbara Révész, On March 27, 2012

“Rethink/Re-button!” is a popular fashion designer competition launched by the Hungarian government last year to promote fashion designers who dare to claim that Magyar is still á la mode. The campaign showcases the best Hungary’s fashion runways can offer.

Last year’s competition grabbed the attention of the international fashion industry. High-standard everyday clothing combined with traditional Hungarian costume elements was a hit at home and abroad, reflecting a renaissance of Hungarian folk style.

The first “Rethink/re-button! Magyar is the Mode” competition and design show attracted 450 applicants. Participating designers adapted freely chosen features of the Hungarian folk costume history into contemporary clothing, following but not necessarily conforming to international trends. Last year the jury awarded first prize to Renáta Gyöngyösi’s collection entitled ‘Metallic-Folklore’, Szilárd Surányi’s work ‘BAIWERT’ took second place and Márta Náfrádi’s collection ‘Lavender’ came third. The special WAMP Prize was awarded to The Beta Version (Zsófia Rainer-Micsinyei, Cecília Varga) for their collection called ‘Pixelfolk’.

Enikő Mihalik, a sought after  Hungarian supermodel (who has appeared on top runways, the covers of Vogue and Harpers Bazaar, as well as in Hugo Boss, Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci ads), was appointed Hungary’s first official fashion ambassador. In that capacity she will promote Hungary’s talented young fashion scene around the world.

Building on the successes of 2011, this year the competition is jointly organized by the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice, Design Terminal, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Hungarian design, and the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, named after Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, the world famous Bauhaus photographer and painter for an even larger audience.

Two professional juries will pick the best plans: the project jury, featuring professionals from several fields of folk art, fashion and design, will judge the plans and choose the best ones for the runway competition. The final jury, the members of which represent various domains of the Hungarian cultural life, will choose this year’s winner from the collections presented. The best 35 collections will be on display in the Hungarian Museum of Fine Arts.

As the creative director of Design Terminál said, the “aim is still the same, we would like to encourage Hungarian creativity and give more possibility to the creators for a début.” Looking at this year’s entrants, there is certainly no shortage of creativity and on March 31 we will see who makes this year’s big début.

–Barbara Révész resides in Budapest, Hungary. She is an MA candidate in International Relations at Corvinus University.

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