Bianca Popp is a Romanian-born designer, who grew up surrounded by the uni-dress code during communism. Thus, her decision of starting a clothing range was based on an obvious need of individuality and self expression. With a former background in the semiotics of theatre, she graduated from Istituto Marangoni Milan and worked as a clothing designer at 10corsocomo, before founding her own label in 2008. In March 2015 Bianca Popp showed her AW 2016 collection at Paris Fashion Week and in September 2016 she showed her SS 2017 collection at New York Fashion Week.
The eponymous brand is a Bucharest based fashion label of contemporary womenswear.
Inspired by the carefree woman who is always true to herself, the clothes come alive as subtle conclusions of a conversation between sartorial research and clever concepts. Each piece is thoroughly thought over to encapsulate subtle artistic and historical references. Destined for the refined perpetual traveller, designs make use of highly architectural shapes and technical fabrics. While many garments are one cut only, they follow shape and structure organically. There is a certain easiness reflected in the choice of fabric, that is unusual for clothing, but practical and wearable. Highly processed and natural fibers combine in colours like white, black, grey, blue, or yellow to a timeless effect.
There is a perceivable love for costume that never disappeared. It just shifted, as life unfolds, adapting itself to telling a whole different story.
This is how Bianca Popp tells her story:
I AM MAKING ARCHITECTURAL CLOTHES FOR DISOBEDIENT BRAINERS
I was born and raised in a communist country. I have been longing not to be in a uniform all my childhood and my early teenage. I started making clothes because I wanted to be dressed like myself not like anybody. The aesthetics of those years, the minimal, the restrained, the industrial, the dry, the emptiness, still haunt me. For a long time I rejected them, I fought them, I denied them by being colourful, and full, and rich, and loud. But after all these were consumed, after everything settled, I realised those things from my past shaped me, and I let myself discover and explore the beauty in all of it. I discovered how, when well balanced, minimal can be amazingly powerful without being loud and without being boring. I had two moments of epiphany. One was when I visited Bocconi in Milan and the second when I saw Pompidou in Paris. They made me feel safe and at home and it took me a bit of time to realise why was that. They felt like my communist Bucharest, but more orderly and more clean, and more intentional. From that moment on the concern became clear, to reshape and reinterpret the past, without denying it.
There is a sense of irony in the clothes I am making, a sense of disruption, of not taking things (life) too serious, that perspires from the clothes I am making but also from the way I present the showroom, the atelier, even myself.
There is also a playfulness about it, from the scratch, from my process, all the way to the showing of the product. There is a hidden little girl in the back head of every powerful woman. There is a Carla Sozzani playing with her pony tail while managing an empire. I’ve seen it so many times. I would almost say that the new saying, as the empowerment of women is happening right in front of our eyes, has become ” there is girl behind every powerful woman” instead of ‘there is a woman behind every powerful man’.
And there is also the ludic part, that makes a flirt out of the most serious and apparently covered woman. I appreciate and encourage women to seduce with their brain. It is a femininity that is not about the body and the skin, but it’s not against them either. Like there is no shame in having a body, but there is no pride either. Seduction is intellectual. It is through ideas that one opens and becomes available. The body only accessorises the idea.
The structure comes from a genuine love for mathematics, geometry and space. Tailoring takes a lot of math, and my process, which is investigative design, takes a way more than the classical tailoring. My process is : what happens if I cut, what happens if I fold, what happens if I add, what happens if I substract, what happens if I multiply? And what happens is that I am obtaining new volumes and new lines, that at first look disorderly and I need to adjust and readjust the other lines to put everything in a new order. It’s building, it’s volumetric, it’s layered, it has edges, it has limited surfaces, and it has textures. It considers gravity, wind, water. In the end, the building ( that is my product) must be not only beautiful, but also comfortable and useful.”