What Would Your Story Look Like in Clothes? - RAD DUET: MARIA

Maria Vanyovszki

Last year at this time, I began my appreciation of RAD DUET's collection by saying that the Polish designer duo's clothes speak from soul to soul, like world-famous works of art. With their latest garments, presented at the BCEFW event at the Museum of Fine Arts, they have put Marie Curie's challenging life experiences into clothes, providing inspiration for all women.

The "two storytellers", Maciej Józwicki and Juliusz Rusin, founded their brand in 2017, which was named RAD DUET in honour of Maria Salomea Skłodowska, aka Marie Curie.
Each of their collections for the coming seasons tells an inspiring story of a woman. The 'Wiesia' line starred Maciej's grandmother, 83-year-old Wiesława; the following 'Irena' line also paid tribute to two individuals, Juliusz's grandmother and Maciej's great-grandmother. Through the person of the chemist and the seamstress, a tribute was paid to all women who contributed to the development of the Polish People's Republic through their own individual struggles.
The new collection just launched at the BCEFV event is a return to the beginning. The brand has consciously built this trilogy of female icons, the third part of which is dedicated to the eponymous Maria Salomea Skłodowska Curie.
"This is our signature collection, using the creative tools of fashion to pay tribute to the great scientist, a hero of our nation, for her unique contribution to science and her challenging life," - they said after the show.
In this interview, Maciej and Juliusz also introduced me to the fact that each garment in the recent collection, MARIA is an episode, an experience of Marie Curie's life, represented in clothes. 
The fifteen looks are thus a rewritten tribute inspired by a true story:

1. Look - CUTOUTS
A look inspired by the feminist attitude of Maria Skłodowska Curie.
"We cut out symbols related to the scientist and feminism on white and grey eco-leather. Maria loved roses, the rose petals refer to that, and the sharp graphic cuts also refer to the suffragette movement."

An all-white silhouette that evokes the lesser-known, romantic side of the two-time Nobel Prize-winning researcher.
To create it, the designers used recycled lace. As they told me after the show, they are constantly collecting second hand curtains and other unused textiles. This collection is full of upcycled elements.

The shadowy figure, created with special tailoring, represents Maria's grief and longing for her husband, who died in a tragic accident.
"In our imagination, this is the figure of Maria Skłodowska's beloved husband. An image that "haunted" her for the rest of her life."

4. Look - RAD - RADIUM
The first silhouette, where the phosphorescent greenish material appears in the form of a corset and earrings. A reference to one of Maria Skłodowska-Curie's most important discoveries, the chemical element radium.
Just as RAD DUET broke new ground in dressing with crystal glass appliqué pieces in last year's collection, this time they experimented with a phosphorescent look in the form of a dye. The recycled lace pieces have been given not only a new lease of life but also a very special look.

5. Look - RADIUM
Coat with vintage throws in a retro pattern. Another silhouette inspired directly by the chemical element RAD - RADIUM GREEN
The coat, styled with silver accessories, is an exciting reinterpretation of the designer duo's earlier coats with historical references, and a striking piece that looks good on any body shape.

A black and white silhouette inspired by the everyday life of Maria Skłodowska. 
The white gloves indicate the conditions in the laboratory and Maria's dedication to her work.

7. Look - THE GOLD - (Au, aurum)
The first silhouette from the show inspired by metals. 
In this case, the effect of liquid gold was achieved using metallized jeans. 
8. Look - Modest in its originality
Silhouette cashmere sweater with leather eyelets on the sleeves and trousers made of recycled lace and black eco-leather.
The upcycled retro look of the front lace-up trousers has become a favourite for many of us.

9. Look - GOLD & SILVER
The second silhouette from the show inspired by metals: silver and gold jacket and skirt. 
An interesting feature of the skirt is that the length can be adjusted with metal rings, which are reflected in an exciting dialogue with the visual elements on the sleeves of the jacket.
10. Look - Maria dressed for festive, special occasions
"In this woolen coat we used laces that we felted using a special felting machine."
Coat shape was inspired by laboratory equipment.

11. Look - MERCURY - Hg (hydrargyrum)
Third silhouette inspired by metals.
The occasional dress, made exciting by cut-outs on the shoulders, has the effect of liquid mercury.

12. Look - Cashmere dress with adjustable waist and length
Metal rings appear several times in the collection and symbolize the history that comes full circle.

13. Look - Tie-dye coat
The chemical element evoked here is chlorine.
"We dyed white jeans using the tie-dye method and then discolored it using bleach. Hence the highlights in the pattern and blue 'clouds'."
The ruff glows in the dark.

A silhouette inspired by the cult heroine of the "Alien" series.
"This character has many threads in common with Maria Skłodowska: a strong, heroic female character."
Lockstitch lines and buttons glow in the dark...

15. Look - FANGOR
The chemical element RAD is once again expressed, this time inspired by Wojciech Fangor's op art paintings.
"A patchwork dress with our own print glows in the dark thanks to luminescent threads."
The collection is spectacular in its overall effect, and acts as a cool, contemporary clothing line. Any of its elements would fit well in the wardrobe of a woman, supporting her freedom of expression at any stage of her life.
Which look is your favourite?
The author, Maria Vanyovszki is a coach and entrepreneur, founder and editor-in-chief of
Photos: HFDA/The Sparkle Content

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