Julia Brendel fabric designs showcased in the opera 'Halka' by Stanislaw Moniuszko

Last year I had the great pleasure to collaborate with The Grand Theatre in Lodz, Poland on a production of ‘Halka’, an opera by famous Polish composer, Stanislaw Moniuszko, directed by Jaroslaw Kilian.

Highlanders dressed in Julia Brendel fabrics

'Halka', Highlanders

Photography. :: Katarzyna Ulanska, Costume design :: Weronika Karwowska, Director :: Jaroslaw Kilian

The occasion for this special production was the 50th anniversary of the Opera House in Lodz.

The premiere took place on the 21st January 2017.

'Halka' tells a dramatic story about a highlander girl who falls in love with a man above her social status who is engaged to be married to a noble lady. The action takes place in the Tatra Mountains in Poland.

Wedding scene

Photography :: Katarzyna Ulanska, Costume design :: Weronika Karwowska, Director :: Jaroslaw Kilian

Weronika found me through my Polish jacquard weaver and after seeing my fabric designs, decided that they would be perfect for her vision of highlanders’ costumes.

Over 2,000 metres of fabrics with patterns from our Memory and Arabica collections were jacquard woven on historical looms in Zyrardow, in Poland.

Press conference before the premiere

Photography :: HaWa, Costume design :: Weronika Karwowska, Director :: Jaroslaw Kilian

I was delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate on this project, mainly because of my personal nostalgia towards Poland. The inspiration for the fabric patterns used for the production came from my core passion for textiles, folk design and old craftsmanship.

Arabica and Memory fabric woven in Zyrardow Mills

Photography. :: Katarzyna Ulanska, Costume design :: Weronika Karwowska, Director :: Jaroslaw Kilian

I always find the process of creation the best part of any project. It is inspiring to see the level of skill of all the involved trades. From sketches, through choosing yarns for the cloth, the weaving process, to finally seeing designs materialising is absolutely magical!