The art of detail

Ivana Novotná

As a designer, Ivana Novotná is modest to a rare degree. “I don’t want people to notice my dresses. I’d rather they noticed the lovely women wearing them,” she says.

IVANA NOVOTNÁ’S first practical experience with design was for the socialist firm Triola, designing mass-produced women’s attire, which gave her a basis in materials and cutting fabrics. She soon opened a fashion studio and began building her own brand, IVN. “Twelve years ago my friend Eva Hrabinová and I got together, borrowed CZK 20,000, and established a firm. We sewed many samples and produced our first limited series collections, which we then offered to boutiques around the country,” the designer recalls. She already had a clear idea for her artistic approach: “I always liked timeless fashion that can be worn for years, which places quality demands on both the processing and the selection of materials,” she says.
The fresh artistic hallmarks of IVN fashion are fine, unobtrusive details, simple cutting solutions, and subdued colors. There are no fashion excesses, and when trends are adapted to, it is in trendy colors or cutting lines, but even this is restrained. “I design typically feminine fashions for women with personality, those who don’t want to go along with the crowd. I like playing with the transparent effects of chiffons, but for suits I use modern types of wool that are processed with added elastan or various shiny threads,” Novotná explains. Fine glitter, or beads of the same color, are entertaining but inconspicuous details that you notice on second look. “I don’t like a dress that is made for itself, with the person in the background,” Novotná adds.
For inspiration she goes to exhibitions of contemporary art, design, and architecture. “But I most like watching people on the streets, I perceive a certain atmosphere, and it could become the basis for an entire collection,” she explains. “In fact anything can be inspiring, like remarkable faucet fixtures – once they captivated us so much that we used them as accessories for an entire fashion show. But I also design ‘serious’ accessories, like women’s cufflinks, ties, and steel jewelry.”
Another focus of the IVN studio is creating images for hotel management and staff. The Pupp and Imperial hotels in Karlovy Vary and the Radisson, Esplanade, and Paříž hotels in Prague are among some 80 clients. “Hotel uniforms are challenging, because you have to get into the spirit of the hotel’s style and atmosphere,” says this designer, who will introduce her 23rd fashion collection in Prague’s Hilton hotel on 16 October.

promenade in chocolate

Whether you’re heading for an autumnal forest or the safety of a warm café, you should always have a piece of “chocolate” handy to bless your outfit with the elegance of tasteful tones. Yum!

Leather booties, Tommy Hilfiger, CZK 4,290, Salamander, woolen pants, CZK 2,599, jacket, CZK 4,399, all Mexx

Leather slip-ons with rounded toes, CZK 5,190, Destroy

Felt hat, CZK 980, jacket, CZK 2,950, both Marks&Spencer

Chamois purse Nannini, CZK 5,490, Beltissimo, woolen shawl, CZK 1,299, Mexx

· Destroy, Palác Flóra, Vinohradská 149, Praha 3
· Salamander,
Na Příkopě 16, Praha 1
· Marks&Spencer,
Václavské náměstí 36, Praha 1
· Mexx a Beltissimo,
Slovanský dům, Na Příkopě 22, Praha 1


shop of the month

In the saddle: The first department store exclusively for riders and horses boasts a sales area of 800 m2. On the three floors of Dance and Jump, you’ll find the latest cuts of jodhpurs, vests, and jackets, and countless accessories – from derbies to chaps or high riding boots. Well-known names like Equiline, Pikeur, and Cavallo are joined by the Dance and Jump brand created in cooperation with fashion designer Daniela Flejšarová.

Dance and Jump, Milady Horákové 11, Praha 7






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