A Love Letter to Chopova Lowena
I am someone who believes that one's culture and roots can never be separated from their personality hence, the art that they craft. It plays such a big role in somebody's development and perspective that it has an influence on their way of seeing the world. If they choose to use their background in their art, I always believe that their art will be more likely to be striking and original. Chopova Lowena is the best example that proves my point.
Chopova Lowena is an English-Bulgarian fashion brand that recycle folkloric fabrics, headstock materials and utilizing traditional craft techniques. The two names behind the label; Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena bring a new life to fabrics and turn them into exquisite garments.
The fashion industry has often been criticized for not being inclusive enough and for making garments for a one specific woman type. When you see the emerging brands (and trends) you often see the thought process aims to serve a certain clientele. What Chopova Lowena does is taking something as important as culture (but ironically equally undervalued in the industry) and turning it into an everyday garment. Therefore they give exposure to Bulgarian culture and folklore. By doing this, they get to tell their story by their garments and pass on the uniqueness of their heritage.
Photo credit: Jamie Stoker
What got me interested with the brand was their one-of-a-kind skirts which isn't that surprising considering that the two bonded over their love for skirts. The skirts were inspired by Bulgaria's countryside and you can definitely tell that each skirt has their own story to tell. Each piece looks very unique and makes you think that you would have something that you'd definitely want to keep in your closet for years. This is an important aspect considering that we all are slowly but steadily trying to build our wardrobes to be more timeless and waste-free (or so I hope.)
When you open their website you see two frames side to side with professional riders riding horses. The dynamic opener shows you
1- that the clothes are very well suited for activities making them even more attractive
2- that Chopova Lowena actually has a brand identity with cultural themes embellished behind their label, making them way more interesting than dull brands who only try to navigate you towards "my shopping bag" segment.
"The sport of equestrian vaulting – where riders leap, flip and perform various contortions on moving horses – dates back two millennia, to ancient Crete, where depictions remain of acrobats hurdling over marauding bulls. It’s incredible,” - Laura Lowena
However the culture and heritage isn't the only interesting thing about their designs. The way that they execute their vision is equally interesting to me. They mix and match fabrics and different materials to obtain a complete look. Extravagant colors, big buckles and belts play a big role in Chopova Lowena's garments. They almost all have the same aspects however this doesn't take away from the originality of each piece. This, in my opinion really shows that a brand has found its own footing. They know what they're doing and where they are going. The dynamic horse riding from their new collection could almost be a metaphor of them speeding forward to change the fashion game for the better in which their designs play a crucial role.
Photography : Charlotte Wales
I appreciate brands who show the spectators a segment of life that they aren't familiar with. That's why I admire Chopova Lowena. Each of their collections show us a different heritage background that we wouldn't normally see on runways. They open our consciousness to beautiful sceneries and ideas we wouldn't get to experience elsewhere. Their brand is very multi-façaded. Chopova Lowena mixes themes that wouldn't specifically be attributed to fashion and create a whole visual and cultural show.