Monday, 21 August 2017

Contemporary Fashion Design at Ivan Asen 22

Alternative Cultural Guide to Sofia*   
Ivan Asen 22 is “an emotional space and a conceptual platform for the presentation of contemporary fashion design.” Housed in an apartment in an old building at the same address, the place is also known as “Neli Mitewa’s showroom.”

Mitewa graduated in fashion design in Trier, Germany, and designs her own collections – the brands nelmit and TARA with Youlian Tabakov. In founding the showroom, she created a space for the communication and public presentation of her colleagues. She transformed the old Sofia apartment’s interior into a cocktail of Rococo, Baroque, Pop Art and avant-guard styles and turned it into an ideal home for the collage-like nature of contemporary fashion design.

Initially, the space showcased group exhibitions of photography and video installations, fashion collections and jewellery, as well as young authors’ performances. In the past year, however, the focus shifted to the designers and the thematic presentation of their latest collections.

In the spring of 2009, the “SPACE RETRO” exhibition showcased fashion interpretations of utopias from the era of the exploration of space, which led to the birth of a new fashion style, marked by the geometrical silhouettes of André Courrèges and Pierre Cardin, Paco Rabanne’s jewellery-dresses, and Rudi Gernreich’s “emancipated” clothes. In the summer, the group show “Urban Jungle” literally played with the ‘city jungle’ theme, and the fall exhibition “A new home for my family 3000” showcased the eclectic retro home collection of the design duo HAM&EGGS. In it, with a large dose or irony, designers Alexander Gerginov and Kristina Nikolova stirred together a curious mix of futuristic notes with the tart taste of cyber-punk elements.

The thematic exhibition “Little Black Dress” and the designer weekend, dedicated to Georgi Florov’s models, were one of the most stylish and elegant events ever initiated by the showroom. The clothes on display stood out in the field of formal social rituals and – through clever details, playful references and unexpected surprises, proved that ennui can be avoided even in formal wear.

The showroom is open daily between 5pm and 8pm. Visitors can drop by, take a look at the models, try them on, speak to some of the designers and even have something made especially for them. The openings, in particular, combine the chance to take a first look at the clothes and rub shoulders with Bulgaria’s young contemporary designers. Even if you’re not from the fashion world, Ivan Asen 22 is open to dialogue.

* This story is part of the Alternative Cultural Guide to Sofia. The guide was created by students from Sofia University St Kliment Ohridski. Initiated by associate professor Alexander Kiossev, it was supported by the Sofia University’s Academic Research Fund. The texts, published in Bulgarian by the student magazine Piron, were edited by Lyuboslava Ruseva, and translated into English by




Foreign Wines Outnumbered Bulgarian Ones on Vinaria 2014 Competition

11 March 2014 | National wine tastings, preceding Bulgaria’s biggest wine fair, Vinaria 2014, started today with a surprise: foreign wines exceeded in number Bulgarian ones first time in history of the competition. Full Story

Curiosity Chest

Dimitur, who visualisеd the Bulgarian expression “Pumpkin Head!”

26 February 2014 | He is 26 and he tried to enroll in the national Fine Arts academy. Academics, though, refused to recognize his talents, and this is how he searched for consolation in food carving. Full Story


Bansko Jazz Festival in Bulgaria: The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Music

Although Bankso is still best known as Bulgaria’s biggest and most modern winter resort and a skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts’ favourite, the town – nestled in the Pirin Mountain, has also established a reputation among music lovers as the host town of one of the country’s biggest jazz festivals. Full Story