Posts Tagged ‘Budapest’

Árkád: Budapest’s Top Fashion Mall

When it comes to fashion style, Hungarians are described more as radical and creative. Every Hungarian in the capital city loves to experiment their attires to look more unique as compared to other Europeans. One big reason behind Budapest’s thriving contemporary fashion industry is the number of local designers that find ways to incorporate Hungarian culture to fashion. Among the top Hungarian fashion brands that find haven in Budapest are Instant Hungary, Lokalwear, and Printa.

There are a lot of promising fashion designers in the city and the place where their creations are found is at the Árkád Shopping Centre. This shopping mall, which is situated at the Örs vezér tere 25/a I. Emelet Street at District 14, homes several fashion and designer shops, drugs tores, bookshops, and supermarkets. However, what makes it stand out is the wide range of local brands that cater to those who are looking for unique and fresh fashion style. In the shoe department, there are Carpisa, Deichmann, Geox, Humanic, Kibabaya Store, and Monarchy. On RTWs, there are Gina Laura, ZARA, Devergo and Friends, Brendon Babaáruház, and Mayo Chix. Currently, there are more than 100 shops in the Árkád Shopping Centre, with more brands expected to come in the next few months.

The Árkád Shopping Centre is not all about fashion. The establishment also has fun activities that local or international tourists would definitely enjoy. The centre is now trying to become a complete shopping venue through a bingo salon. The people behind the project are riding on the shoulders of Árkád, just like how English bingo enthusiasts get a lift from Over the years, the UK bingo scene has survived because of the support by online bingo sites. Now, Budapest hopes to awaken its bingo industry through a deal with Árkád. Bingo is not really popular in Hungary and by putting a huge bingo salon in one of the country’s top shopping districts, there’s a big chance for bingo to become more popular.

Local designers who have their creations sold at Árkád can also reap fruits of this bingo salon project. Bingo today is played by people from different age bracket. The more people will go to the bingo games, the more potential customers that each shop in Árkád will have.

Printa – Budapest’s new screen print boutique

By Joel Alas

On a narrow street in Budapest’s vibrant Jewish Quarter, a new design shop offers a glimpse beneath the city’s cultural radar. It invites local street artists to display their designs on the wall, then echoes the motifs across clothing and furniture. Called Printa, the shop is a mix of gallery, café, boutique and screen printing workshop.

A palate of black and white dominates the store. It’s a start-yet-effective colour scheme that allows the art and products to stand out. The clothing range, too, is primarily a two-tone selection, and it works perfectly for the style of design favoured by artists here.

From the clothing racks hang edgy t-shirts, dresses, scarves and even aprons, while around the shop are second-hand furniture items, re-upholstered with smartly printed fabrics. There’s lots of textile recycling going on here: bicycle tubes turned into bags and purses, old washing machine drums revived as cushion-covered foot stools.

Printa opened in November 2009, offering an outlet for Budapest’s dynamic street artists. The city hosts a number of talented designers who began in the medium of graffiti, and have moved toward paper, canvas and sketchbook work. Printa’s founder is Claudia Martins, a Brazilian photographer disillusioned with her medium, who turned to screen printing as a new outlet.

“I always question: Do we need so many images? In photography we are overexposing the world,” Martins says over a café latte in Printa’s coffee corner. “Screen printing is pretty much the same technique as photography. Print shows the internal processes of each person. I’m totally in love with screen printing.”

The engine of the store is the printing workshop at the rear, with a rotating screen printing tree, rinsing basins, work benches, and shelves of old screens in their wooden frames. Here artists create their designs, then copy them by hand onto t-shirts and other fabrics.

There’s a small gallery space at the front of the shop where the designs are displayed in their original form – on paper or canvas, hung on the wall. The same patterns can be seen throughout the shop. As well as walking away with a canvas, you can take the design on a limited-run t-shirt.

Looking out onto the street is a small café area with an adjoining shelf of locally produced art books, plus editions from the ubiquitous Taschen design library and an obligatory Tom of Finland hardcover.

You’ll find Printa at Rumbach Sebestyen utca 10, almost directly opposite the ornately-decorated Status Quo synagogue.

Nearby, in the busy shopping district around the Vorosmarty Square, another creative clothing concept is taking shape. A group of young fashion design students have renovated a cheap apartment space overlooking the busy square, and have transformed it into an atelier and private clothing showroom. Called Kepp, the space is another example of initiative projected by the young creatives of Budapest.

A rack of fashion samples greets the visitor as they enter the small apartment, with designs ranging from simple to experimental. The designers here are all still studying at the local art university, and their ideas about material, texture and shape are fresh and exciting.

Kepp is a private showroom, so you’ll have to arrange a visit. E-mail info(a) to make an appointment.

Rumbach Sebestyen utca 10, Budapest VII

Kepp Showroom
Vorosmarty ter 3


– By Al Jackson

In a city gripped by recession tighter than most, precocious good-time guys are urging the youth of Budpest to get out, get happy and get partying.

Bence Meyeri, the brain behind Wacky Parties, who together with Andras Eichstaedt, Janos Prorok and Matyas Lendvai of serial party/production/DJ crew Sick As A Dog, have been throwing dynamic pop-up guerilla raves in the metro stations, underpasses, and abandoned buildings of Budapest for the past year.

The likely lads recently hosted iLLFEST, a libertine mid-January weekender who’s first night took place in the concourse of the Astoria metro station. Chosen precisely for the heavy footfall of Friday night revellers traversing busy Karoly Kut avenue, attention was guaranteed and the minimal tech-house pumping from a makeshift DJ booth of trellis tables and ironing boards outside a news kiosk managed to attract quite a crowd.

After a couple of hours, the 100-strong party halted as the power (jacked straight from an outlet in the wall) failed. Perplexed cops looked on while Plan B seamlessly clicked into action and the throng was whisked to a club where the tunes continued to spin.

Hitches and glitches though are simply par for the course for Bence and the boys. Indeed, they seem to revel in the off-the-cuff ethic of what they’re doing. Importantly, the party goers are all plugged-in to the same attitude too and are eager to be part of it.

It’s just as well ‘cos Saturday night’s installment, in a freezing underpass off Ferenciek Square next to Erzsebet Bridge, was hit-up by the riot squad. As tear gas brought an end to a party that, Budapest’s likely lads at the helm, was thriving on its ‘stolen moments’ vibe, it was a case of grab a lap-top, korg or ironing board and leg it to the van a few streets away.

However, this being a more focused, recession-era, Budapest, the 200 souls who had been waiting for this all week, or had simply stumbled across it and liked what they saw, were defiant. They were not ready for the authorities to kill their weekend (in addition to their economy). Not even at two thirty in the morning.

Again, exit strategies were already in motion and iLLFEST rumbled on in the eclectic Tuzrakter Cultural Centre. The squat-like former school building an inspired choice to sustain the hi-NRG D.I.Y. fun and keep us hedonists drinking and dancing well into Sunday.

In these troubled times it’s heartening to see that Andras, Matyas, Janos, Bence and associates, are throwing down the gauntlet: underground in Budapest, it’s invention vs recession and it’s kicking off.