“Wuthering Heights” came to life from the mind and talent of young Polish designer, Kata Haratym. Haratym’s main inspiration for the collection comes from Kate Bush, her debut single ‘Wuthering Heights’; her music, stage appearance and panache set the tone. The eight distinct designs are suitably esoteric, romantic and dramatic: recalling the unconventional Kate Bush and her strong sense of self. A master when it comes to sourcing fabrics, Haratym created this collection entirely reusing textiles from stock and charity shops. Her fourth collection in three years, Haratym has established herself as a force to be reckoned with in fashion; her exhaustive creative mind and a conscious approach to fashion birthed a collection that uniquely marries edgy and sustainable. Schön! caught up with the designer to learn more about the inspiration behind “Wuthering Heights”, the fashion scene in Poland and designing with sustainability in mind.
Tell us about how you got into fashion…
I used to make costumes and cosplay, but I got to the point when that was not enough for me to make stage outfits, and I became more and more interested in fashion instead.
How does your Polish background influence your designs?
When I began my journey with fashion it wasn’t easy for me to find textiles and materials suitable for my collections — so I sewed EVA foam (which is building material, not a couture one), curtain PVC and hardware details. Then I discovered thrift shops with a lot of amazing materials from all over the world. Now, it’s way easier to find fancy textiles in Poland but these restrictions gave me a lesson in designing clothes.
When did you come across Kate Bush and what aspect of her music inspired this collection?
Actually, she is quite a recent discovery for me. Once I saw her, it hit me how individual and characteristic her style is: it cannot just be copied. Her terrific voice and magical music videos — I fell in love with her stage appearance.
Why did you name the collection “Wuthering Heights”? How did that title epitomise the feeling?
It‘s quite simple — this is the title of my beloved song of Kate Bush. On the other hand, the scenery of the collection was chosen because of the Wuthering Heights book. A little bit gloomy and mysterious. I like the concept of 3 Kates too: Katie (main character of the novel), Kate (singer) and Kata (designer).
Your collections always have a very distinct feel, is the creative and design process very different every time? Is there a specific inspiration behind each one?
I think that the most characteristic feature of all of my work is inspiration based on the feeling of material and thought-out construction. My graduate collection “mjuk” was inspired by my previous studies – Swedish Studies. “Mjuk” means ‘soft’ in English and sometimes it describes the feel of snow’s texture. So, the first collection shows different states of water – from liquid to ice. The second one, “yell”, has its roots in sign and body language – I wanted it to be very relaxed and easy to wear. The third one, “Party Anima”, it’s a crazy journey through my mind – appreciation of life, wild positivity, colours, patterns and sustainability. And last but not least, “Wuthering Heights” – this time I went a little bit dramatic. First, I had only a feeling and music in my head – then I found some beautiful jacquard and quilted satin piece of fabric at the thrift shop. So it didn’t start at the sketch but with the material – I do like pinning shapes on the mannequin and seeing how it would look like on a body instead of drawing silhouettes.
How do you see your progression as a designer from “mjuk” in 2015 to “Wuthering Heights” now?
I’m more courageous. I’m not afraid of colours and I design my feelings rather than a specific piece of clothing.
Your designs while creatively playing with silhouettes and textures are still very wearable. Who do you envision wearing your clothes? Do you have a woman in mind that you design for?
Brave people who are not afraid of standing out from a crowd.
Sustainability has been central to your brand, in this collection you reused textiles and you previously made an entirely vegan collection. Fortunately, a lot of designers are following suit now. Do you see this lasting? Is the fashion industry finally changing for the better?
I hope it’s not “just a phase” and other designers will try to make their brands more sustainable. Nowadays, we have more opportunities to do so, it’s easier to create eco yet still fashionable pieces.
Do you intend on being a trailblazer for Polish designers internationally?
There are some well-known Polish designers abroad, [such as] MISBHV or MagdaButrym,, so I won’t be a trailblazer. I have my own way and we’ll see if it is correct in the near future.
Are you already working on something new? What can we expect?
I’m working now on an RTW capsule accessories collection — stay tuned!
With “Wuthering Heights”, the ingenious designer is not only creating a legacy of bold designs with sustainability at heart but stylishly inviting us to the world of Polish fashion, showing us that Poland can do fashion smarter than Milan or Paris. Demanding us to be brave in what we wear and daring the fashion industry to be conscious when creating it, we look forward with excitement to what Kata Haratym has in store for us next.
all designs. Kata Haratym