Welcoming Polish designer, Magda Butrym to the Parlour X fold. Defined by a modern and refreshing approach to ‘dressing up’, Magda Butrym’s designs are characterised by celebrating the female body with silky, draped dresses, exaggerated shoulders and sumptuous fabrics like sequins and velvet. It is these elements that have established the label as an immediate favourite on social media and among women who want to look polished, elegant and feel special – for any occasion, not just evening. X-FILES welcomes exciting talent Magda Butrym and asks the designer how her collection makes every day, a special occasion.
How did you become a fashion designer, was it always your chosen path?
I was always very interested and aware of fashion, but the decision to become a fashion designer was definitely a gradual process. I was still working as a stylist and a in-house designer for a local Polish brand when I did my first designs. It was a personal response to what I learnt from the women around me. I was working with actresses, journalists, women of all sizes and wardrobe needs, so I created pieces that I thought were missing. Luckily I’ve got a positive feedback which gave me the courage to take it further.
How did your tenure as a stylist prepare you to take the plunge and transition into designing?
Being a stylist is really about listening. Its not only about “your vision” and “your idea”. You really have to look at who is in front of you, be attentive, understanding and humble. You often see your client in a quite vulnerable position, you know her/his insecurities. Your role is to make them feel comfortable and beautiful. I see the role of the designer in similar way. I don’t work from “the big vision” and hope women will understand. Quite the opposite. I am an observer and I like to hear what women want and like to wear, what makes them feel beautiful and comfortable. That’s always my starting point.
Do you take an intuitive or analytic approach to creating collections?
I think its combination of both. I consider myself quite an intuitive person, but of course you can’t just “feel” it all out, being designer is also a business and you’re responsible for people that work for you. I always take time to analyze the feedback of previous collection. I want to understand what women liked and wore, what they didn’t and why. I am not afraid of criticism. It’s a constructive point for me.
Describe the Magda Butrym-wearing woman.
I don’t like to think there is a very specific type, but I suppose my designs attract women who are quite feminine, comfortable with being and feeling feminine. I think nowadays with quite a lot of androgynous fashion, along with unisex streetwear, being feminine is not always so popular, as it doesn’t feel “cool”. Well, I want to give women clothes that will make them feel both feminine and cool!
What has been the most challenging aspect of creating the brand?
I guess every beginning is challenging. Believing that you can do it. I think you really need a good support system around you to push you through the tougher moments.
The most rewarding?
Seeing women wearing your clothes. Very surreal but a wonderful feeling.
Handcrafted excellence is a staple in your work with hand woven textiles features by local craftspeople all over Poland. What is involved in carefully crafting a specific style with unique details and refinements?
We have a wonderful, devoted team of craftsmen working with us, and they are really my core. They are very open to my ideas, very enthusiastic to create something new together. Sometimes it takes a lot of time to get it right, they are very patient and never give up!
Do you feel that your Polish heritage has permeated your creative process and influenced your designs?
I think the element of Polish craftsmanship has certainly influenced me a lot. I don’t apply its philosophy only to the traditional craftsmanship pieces, I really want all the collection to have that feeling of craft behind it.
What does a classic day look like?
It’s divided between spending time with my little son and my studio. I am quite religious about my studio time, I think I missed maybe a week after I had my son. I really value that routine of sketching, drafting ideas, doing fittings with my seamstresses. I also spend some time communicating with my clients. That continuous feedback is very valuable to me.
Has motherhood changed your creative process or your approach to designing? If yes, how so?
It really does put everything in the perspective, it grounds you. I think I am more focused when I design now. The motherhood has also really made me appreciate women even more.. As everyone always say, you can’t really understand what being a mother means until you become one.
What is next for the label?
We are working on expanding the shoe and accessories collection, it is really exciting to be able to offer a “the full look”, the message then becomes a complete story. I would also love to do some more haute couture project. I am naturally so obsessive about the details and quality that it would be a dream come true!