Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fashion designer Emese Albrecht explores the world of performance art

Performance fashion installation by Emese Albrecht Image courtesy of the artist

There´s a firestrom of creative energies flowing from the Folt Cafe where about 20 members of the Forgacs Group congregate and create.

This is where the younger contemporary artists, writers, actors often meet and work and show their works in Szentendre, Hungary, about 20 kilometers north of Budapest.

This town of 24,000 claims 400 - 500 working, independent artists and historically, at least for the last century, produced some of Hungary´s best avant-garde and contemporary artists.
When I encountered Emese Albrecht at the Folt in June and July this year, I quickly grasped that there´s an element of genius in this 25-year-old trained artist.
Emese Albrecht Photograph by Stefan van Drake (2011)

As a professional journalist, my mantra is to show, not tell, to avoid superlatives and eschew adjectives.

When I realized the plethora of talent Albrecht owned and demonstrated (these portfolios represent only a small part of her works), I sensed this relaltive unknown needs knowing.

That is why I am showing you her various dimensions and disciplines. (I stress I am not an educated or trained artist, an art critic or art historian,)

I have come to appreciate, however, what may be the works of a maestro.

In an interview at the Folt, Albrecht said, while she loves designing and creativing fashions, considered one of the hottest of Hungarian designers, other dimensions such as drama, installation, performance, graphics, montage, collage and photography prod her to create contemporary fusion works.

Here are some representative images of not only her fashion designs as worn by these Szentendre models below, but also her dramatic direction of them in pose and performance.

Performance fashion: models wearing Emese Albrecht´s project designed garments Photograph by Lilli Bereznia

Emese Albrecht fashion designs in Szentendre, Hungary Photograph by Lilli Bereznia

A fashion design and performance persona by Emese Albrecht Photograph by Lilli Bereznia

Fashions by Emese Albrecht Photograph by Lilli Bereznai

A work designed by Emese Albrecht Image courtesy of the artist

What´s hot and what´s not in Szentendre, Hungary A male outfit/work designed by Emese Albrecht Image courtesy of the artist

Main street Szentendre catwalk for one of Emese Albrecht´s performance shows Image courtesy of the artist
“I am attracted to the surreal world, to children´s stories and motivated by subjects of life and death.” --Emese Albrecht (June 2011, Szentendre, Hungary)

Emese Albrecht´s ModArt first prize fashion design that showed in Paris in 2010 Image courtesy of the artist

Emese (Em-eh-shay) Albrecht (b. 1986) appears as self-effacingly humble as she is multi-talented, one of Hungary´s hottest fashion designers.

As well, she emerges as a multi-skilled contemporary artist: drawing, acrylic painting, performance, fashion installations, photography, collage, montage, textile and graphics.

Her new fashion design reputation brought me to the Folt Café in Szentendre, 20 kilometers north of Budapest.

A garment by Emese Albrecht Image courtesy of the artisft

Albrecht´s foray into fashion competition started in October 2009.

She designed and created a single garment that could be worn either as a jacket or dress.

Early last year, the artist competed in three rounds of ModArt of Budapest´s juried national competition with 15 other finalists, creating works inspired by one-word: “Illusion.”

This theme seemed a natural for Albrecht, who said she loves the surreal.

She recycled used men´s clothes into a woman´s garment that can be worn as a dress or a jacket.

On 26 January, the jury awarded Albrecht first place.

She won a week´s intense study at the Academy of Arts Visart, Paris in February.

“Emese Albrecht in the second round presented her drawings and exciting ideas, which attracted the attention of the jury, creating expectations for the showing of her garment in the third round,” wrote ModÁrt Budapest director Szilvia Horvath.

Conceptual design by Emese Albrecht Image courtesy of the artist

What did Albrecht learn in Paris?

“I gained lots of inspiration, learned many new techniques and became more acquainted with the Paris fashion industry,” she said.

Albrecht said she likes fashion installation even more than designing wearable clothes.

In fashion, you can go many different directions, she added, wearable versus non-wearable. “But more and more, I wanted to step outside these dimensions, more into graphics and installations.”

She started drawing and painting when she was age 15.

Albrecht was educated at Budapest´s Contemporary Art & Design School (Krea Kortavs Muveseti Iskola).

About five years ago, she joined with five Szentendre artists to work as a design collective. 

Now, she said, there are about 20 people of various disciplines in the contemporary art collective, Forgacs Group in Szentendre.

The Forgacs Group launches monthly fashion and art shows at the Folt.

Rock on and practice peace and love.
Stefan, the ArtTraveler™

Art travel to Andalusia, to our mountains for a week-long mosaics or sculpture workshop or walking holiday. See: and

Islamic art and design at Granada´s Alhambra, photograph by Stefan van Drake (2009)

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