Warm orange and natural tones, playful yet sophisticated and elegant shapes, summer, vacation and freedom: this is what the new spring-summer collection of Manuela titled “Sun Stones“ is like.
Interview with Manuela Maráczy, the founder and designer of the brand.
Warm sand, orange pebbles and sunshine: you typically don’t follow the seasonal trends with your collections, you rather get inspired by everyday life, or your own childhood memories, and manifest these inspiration in the form of clothes. What is the concept of this year’s spring-summer collection?
This year’s concept formulates a simpler experience than the previous ones. Collecting pebbles quietly on the lake shore or beach, then playfully selecting them and the wonder of nature through all this, the brilliant variation of shapes, forms and colors conceived in me. Sun Stone is basically a mineral which cannot be found in Hungary in nature, only in Norway, Sweden, the United States and South Australia. This mineral has a warm orange and reddish tone by nature, which, if you turn it towards the sun, almost illuminates.
The naturality of the collection is further emphasized by the use of organic materials, canvas and cotton. Exactly what kind of pieces did you make in your new collection?
We have some typical designs that characterize the image of the brand well. The primary aspect is always practicability and wearability, to which I sometimes like to add solemnness, too. I think it is very important for a piece of clothing to be not only beautiful, but comfortable, too. In my current collection there are some pieces that I expressly designed for certain occasions during the spring-summer period. In addition, we tried some new things, too: for example fanny packs, which are very popular and extremely practical, too! In addition, we also added some knitted sleeveless and long sleeve tops, too. For me it was a very interesting discovery how knitted clothing can be worn in the summer too, one only has to find the correct material and pattern for it. In addition to the popular raincoat with the usual design, as well as the well-liked and good quality, durable bathing suit and tankini versions can also be found in the collection, only this time with a new pattern matching the concept.
Your own daughters convey the positive and warm atmosphere of the collection on the campaign photos. The wide-brimmed hat, ruffled skirts and tops are in complete harmony with the movie-scene like images.
These campaign photos have become extremely movie-like, so a huge thank you goes to Árpi Horváth for this! Árpi has studied photography here in Hungary and in England, and he has already worked in several movies, too. Although he hasn’t shot a fashion material yet, and especially not with children, we were very eager to see the results. I knew that his movie perspective would give something extra to the brand that will be wonderful.
I only had the idea of portraying freely moving children on waterfront, in sunshine with joy. We went to the corner of the island at Kisoroszi, but there was a flood and no bank. The trees were standing in the water, which made the landscape very mystical and we were very happy about it. We knew at that instant that these pictures will be fantastic. I asked to have warm tones put on the photographs, a little bit of graininess, because the feel of materials, palpability and naturalness is really missing in this digitally perfect-looking world. This is how this extremely movie-like, sometimes melancholic photo series, the campaign of this year’s spring-summer collection came into being.
You make your pieces more personal with the patterns you create, which also carry the message of the collection. These always have very distinct and unique designs. What technique do you use to create your patterns, and what other plans do you have with the graphics?
Back in the day I made some collages and a few years ago I rediscovered this extremely simple technique offering plenty of opportunities. I also create collage images independent from the collection, which hold their own as artistic pieces, too.
In order for them to look good on textile, I also rework the images digitally: these digital versions are marketable on their own, and so they can also be purchased in addition to the clothes in the form of prints, in different sizes. In the past few years, several collages and prints piled up, so I would like to present them in the near future first in the framework of a smaller and then in a larger, more comprehensive exhibition.
You would like to redefine and alter the brand slowly: not only will it be supplemented with prints, we can also expect other novelties from you.
Yes, I would prefer if it were more visible what inspires and vitalizes the brand. I start to consider the artistic background, the process of creation and every little sketch or idea more and more important. In addition, I really like to work and think together with other creatives: I am very intrigued to know what other people start off from, that is, the process of creation itself. Therefore, in the future I would like to create common projects and objects with other brands I like. I also plan to expand the brand with artistic activity and marketable art products as well as home decor objects. I will also redefine the clothes a bit: it would be good if they weren’t for little girls only, but for everyone regardless of age or gender who can appreciate art in one way or another: may it be a piece of clothing, rug or wall art.
Campaign photos: Árpád Horváth
Portrait photos: Csaba Födémesi