The re-invention of knitwear

fashionshootA unique Polish label created using linen yarn and heritage European knitting equipment will be making its debut at Fashion Exposed Sydney in March.

Zuza-Bart is the creation of Zuzanna Bartecka, whose love of knitwear dates back to her biochemistry studies at the University of Wroclaw in Poland, where a passion for experimentation made the leap from test tubes to knitting needles and easy one. Her first creations landed the designer a permit from the Polish Ministry of Culture and Art to perform the occupation of artist of fabric and knitwear.

Attracted by the unique textural qualities of the yarn, Bartecka began experimenting with linen around 17 years ago. With modern knitting machines not constructed to handle linen, she turned to older machines, maintaining a hands-on approach to the creation of each Zuza-Bart piece. Garments are often created when members of the Zuza-Bart spontaneously swathe lengths of fabric on mannequins to form the inspiration for a particular design.

Now sold worldwide including Norway, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, France, Spain, Greece, Ireland, Great Britain, Ukraine, Switzerland, Canada, the US and Mexico, the brand had strong promise in the Australian market, Bartecka said.

fashionshoot for zazabart“We’d like to offer a new style to Australian women, because we are sure that our style and Australian ladies’ taste and temperament have a lot in common. Our label targets mature women who know what they want, are self-confident, and like to express themselves through original, unusual clothing.”

Lyn McNair, proprietor of Woodend (VIC) boutique Woodend ‘L’, has secured exclusive Australasian distribution rights for the label, marking her first foray into wholesaling.

“I’ve been looking for something really original for some time,” McNair said. “These pieces are truly beautiful and unusual – think hemless, asymmetrical, high design knitted linen pieces that really bring out the unique qualities of knitted linen. They are high end, slow fashion pieces made from completely natural fibres,” she said, adding that with sizes up to XXXL, the range suited a broad age and body-shape spectrum.

“While typically each Zuza-Bart piece is unique, Zuzanna is creating a summer range for me, which I’ll be showing at Fashion Exposed for August 2011 delivery, comprising around 40 pieces including frocks, skirts, jackets and leggings. I’ll also have a couple of winter pieces to show on the stand. I’m really hoping to get this unique brand into niche boutiques across Australia.”

Zuza-Bart will be a key feature of the designer womenswear showcase at Fashion Exposed, taking place from 6-8 March 2011 at Sydney Exhibition Centre.


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