Light, silky, elegant, simple, hand-embroidered and, most of all, flattering. Those are some of the ways to describe the formal dresses by designer Dominika Sedláčková, who, together with her mother Jaroslava Sedláčková, has been one of the best fashion designers in the Czech Republic for several years now. They have traveled all around the world with their unique models and have dressed not only the beauties competing in the Czech Miss pageant for several years in a row, but also a wide range of celebrities who swear by their elegant fashion. I had the opportunity to wear a dress of their creation myself at the opening ceremony of the international festival in Karlovy Vary. And I have to tell you that I really didn't want to take it off.
Domča, when did your dream to become a fashion designer come to be?
I'll admit that it was related to Mom, who began designing and I actually just joined her. I remember that she used to fit all dresses on me, because it was still possible back then. (laugh) And I really enjoyed it. Even as a child I wanted to be like her.
So you can say that you looked over your mom's shoulder since childhood?
Yes, since childhood, you could say that. Mom made clothes for me and my sister when we were in elementary school. That was great.
What were your beginnings like and how do you remember that time?
Thanks to Mom it wasn't hard for me. The name was there, so the customers came to Mom and could look at my things too. Sometimes they'd even get something made by me. So you could say that I had it a little easier because of this. Of course, retaining the customers then, I had to fight for that myself. And even now I actually have to keep fighting and going forward.
What is it like, working with your mother?
Amusing. Very. (laugh)
Do you critique each other?
Of course! Mom is the kind of person who will come up with anything. She's unbelievably creative. For me it's an honor working with her, she's an inspiration and I take her advice to heart.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
As I mentioned, my mother is my inspiration. Both of us get a lot of inspiration on our travels. Just a while ago I was in America, for example; inspiration was waiting for me at almost every corner there. But I often get ideas when walking through Prague, for instance, it really varies. Sometimes dresses even appear in my dreams, so I wake up in the middle of the night and say to myself, "Okay, so I really have to draw that!" (laugh)
You have a large number of shows under your belt. What are all the places you've been to?
All over. Like Chile, Peru, or even Monaco. We had a show in St. Petersburg at the fashion industry international fair. We were invited there to open the whole fair with our show at the beautiful Smolny Convent. The travels were amazing, we even dressed the royal family in Thailand. I do like remembering that.
What's characteristic of your dresses?
They're airy, light, elegant. Mom and I like pretty things. You won't find any great extravagance or crazy experiments among our stuff. My mom has a very refined taste, so she knows what women look good in and what fits people best. Not just the colors, but the cuts too.
The main thing is also that we sew all our dresses ourselves. We both embroider together, so I'd say that the specific process of dressmaking is important to us too. It's not just about drawing something, coming up with it and letting somebody else do the main body of work. I consider being there throughout the whole process a big advantage. So sometimes the dresses turn out totally different than originally intended, but that makes the work better and even more fun.
Could you say that your success lies specifically in simplicity?
Sure, that too.
Do you keep up with current trends? Do you follow them?
Yes, of course, but we still stay in our lane and aim to make women look feminine, beautiful, elegant. And most of all - to make them feel good in our dresses.
How about some kind of collection for men?
No, not for now. We design for young women because I have two nieces and mom has two granddaughters, so we sew for them. And, of course, our customers' daughters.
Which materials do you work with?
A lot of silk, we like light materials.
How long does it take you to make a dress? Is it very individual?
It depends a lot on the model. If the dress is easy, it could be three days. But then there are dresses like the ones I've been embroidering for a year. (laugh) Then we run into dresses where Mom and I say: "Sure, we'll be done with that right away." And the moment we say that, we know that it's going to be all different, the other way around. (laugh)
You work a lot with celebrities. What is it like?
Mom and I were lucky in always getting approached by nice people, so the encounters were always lovely.
What are you working on at the moment? The film festival in Karlovy Vary is over, you probably had a lot of work preceding that, didn't you?
We did, but it's always really nice work. At the moment we're working on a new collection and we're planning to hold a show this autumn.
Can you tell us what the new collection will be like?
It will actually be the aforementioned embroidered dresses that we are embroidering ourselves. So it will be rather time-consuming, but both of us are looking forward to it.