Glass interviews up-and-coming designer Michaela Frankova

FROM her atelier in north London, the softly spoken but loudly expressive Michaela Frankova spins fairytales in fabric for a diverse clientele that includes everyone from fashion bloggers to celebrities. One would expect a following such as this from a designer who has been making garments for decades, rather than someone at the beginning of their career. The Slovakian-born, London-based Frankova may only be 30 years old but her designs are timeless and classic.

Michaela Frankova Michaela Frankova (right) backstage at her LFW SS17 presentation. Photograph: Kristine Krupenny

One of the most compelling things about Frankova’s couture designs lies in her sophisticated vision. We live in a day and age were the donning of fewer clothes seems to be regarded as more and people are drifting from the artistry and talent that originally was necessary for a designer to become celebrated. While talking to Glass about her singular design ethos, Frankova laments the demise of lady-like sophistication, believing that this has been replaced with a certain crudeness that runs through the contemporary aesthetic.

Michaela FrankovaOn the catwalk – a Michaela Frankova look at her LFW SS17 presentation. Photograph: Kristine Krupenny

If there is any designer on the rise right now to whom the task of resurrecting elegance could be bestowed upon, it is the mild-mannered, fresh-faced Slovakian impresario. And while fewer clothes should never mean more, in the case of celebrities and other visible characters, it certainly guarantees more attention from the public, there is still room for authentic creative geniuses to exist. Frankova represents the new breed of couture designer who consolidates a classical foundation with modern, relevant interpretations.

Michaela Frankova Backstage at  Michaela Frankova’s LFW SS17 presentation. Photograph: Kristine Krupenny

Frankova is cautious with her palette – working in black, red, or shades of cream or white and what attracts many of her clients to her pieces is the hand embroidering and delicate and beading which ensures each piece is a one of kind. Some of Frankova’s pieces are reminiscent of the flapper era as they feature flirtatious feathered skirts on cocktail dresses.

Michaela Frankova Hand embroidery and beading on a  Michaela Frankova sleeve. Photograph: Kristine Krupenny

Born in the town of Jakubov in Slovakia, Frankova who is a twin, grew up watching black-and-white films from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Her affection for the silver screen manifested in a admiration for actresses like Marlene Dietrich, Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly, and Jean Harlow and she cites Alfred Hitchcock films, To Catch a Thief, High Society, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s as her favourite films. The opulent fabrics Frankova favours, like satin and lace,  plus her aforementioned penchant for hand embroidery/ beading echoes the rich designs of Hollywood’s heyday. A woman can metamorphosise into a siren by changing into a Frankova gown and she refers to this effect as “the transformative power” of clothing.

michaela-ss-17-1325A design from her SS17 collection. Photograph: Rene August

Frankova recently showed at London Fashion Week SS17 with a collection entitled Seductive Explosions, a reference to her collaboration with London-based Austrian artist T-Mo Bauer who as well as being a photographer is a licensed pyrotechnican.


Michaela Frankova, T-mo Bauer and Bill Roedy from MTV Staying Alive eventFrom left: Bill Roedy, Michaela Frankova, T-mo Bauer at the MTV Staying Alive event

Another successful collaboration between the two was their contribution to the MTV Staying Alive Foundation’s fundraising gala that was hosted at Tramp Nightclub in October this year. The Staying Alive Foundation is a charity dedicated to stopping the spread of HIV among young people through the production of content and support of grassroots HIV prevention projects.

michaela-ss-17-1234A design from her SS17 collection. Photograph: Rene August

Frankova’s own personal grace and delicate in many ways qualify her as the perfect ambassador for her own brand. She represents exactly the sort of person she designs for yet is endowed with such humility. It is safe to see she may not even realise this herself. Lack of vanity is such a rarity these days with people experiencing a flurry of public interest. Frankova may be having what fashion-types call her “moment” now. It is safe to say, Frankova’s moment will be a sustained one.

by Yasmin Bilbeisi

LFW presentation. Photographs: Kristine Krupenny

Collection looks. Photographs: Rene August

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