Teresa Helbig

Luggage packed and ready, capes and turbans, trunks full of spell books. By train, by boat, by balloon. We are in January 1952, and the Annual Bruges Convention is about to be held in some secret location on the border in Bratislava, where the Alps intersect with the Carpathians.
They come from Mexico, Shanghai, Paris, Tokyo, Edinburgh, Bucharest, Lyon, Prague. They wear turbans, kimonos, capes, slippers. They speak different languages, they are of different ages, they have led different lives, but they understand each other.

We turn away from the witch as a symbol of the unknown, the evil, the hidden, the irrational. The woman suspected of being free, the woman defamed, the woman pointed at. We want to strip the witch of her dark, supernatural, political, religious, archetypal burden. She inspires us, instead, as a synthesis of an independent woman, who follows her instinct, who believes in a shared ancestral feminine wisdom. The witch who laughs at herself: the witch who loves to be called a witch.

The witch has a power, which is her infinite freedom, her inner strength. Fashion -like work, like love, like friendship- is a spell that makes us powerful. When we wear our favourite clothes, magic begins: we attract luck, we are more lucid, we look at the world more kindly. A dress can be a lucky charm, a magic wand, a broom on which to fly away from the ignorant looks that judge, that whisper and distrust. Witches? Yes, and very honourable.

The Bruges Convention only happens once a year, and asks for the best clothes. Each witch represents her country, and -whether veteran or novice- wants to be worthy of such a great event. This spell-making syndicate wears plumetti, organza, velvet, leopard, raffia on tulle, tartan, mink. Nature accompanies them: stars, mountain ranges, owls, lemurs, beetles.

The result is an exotic, opulent, dreamy and festive collection.