VOLUME | 13
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SOFFA: JOY FROM THE HEART OF EUROPE Discover the best and most beautiful from the Czech Republic and Central Europe: exquisite design, inspirational stories, unknown interiors and amazing, hidden locations well worth visiting.
ISSUE THEME: THE BODY Issue 13 is about the HUMAN BODY: The body is the be-all and end-all for every living thing. Let’s discover the secrets of not just our own bodies, but the bodies of animals as well!
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CONTENTS - VOLUME | 13
01 | DIY PROJECT Beneficial Foot Balm
03 | TRAVEL Not to Miss When in Prague
04 | CREATIVE PEOPLE Glass Sculptor Martin Janecký
Hair Salon in Los Angeles 6
06 | QUIZ Animal Body Coverings
02 | CZECH DISCOVERIES Czech Medical Discoveries
05 | INTERIORS Flat in the Very Heart of Prague
07 | FASHION Who am I?
Past and Present
08 | PEOPLE GALLERY What is the Ideal Body?
10 | STORY All About Adam and Eve
11 | RECIPE Architect in the Kitchen
09 | EDITORS’ CHOICE Spoil yourself!
12 | ON A VISIT Creative Organic Laboratory
THE BO DY A S A F O UN DAT I O N text: Adéla Kudrnová I styling: SOFFA
Do you know that feeling when you think nothing can surprise you anymore and everything under the sun is clear to you, and then you slowly begin to realise that in fact the opposite is true? The same thing happened to us when creating this issue of SOFFA. Our thirteenth issue focuses on the subject of the body, not only the human body but also the bodies of animals. If you think you know everything about your body, we believe that this issue will make you realise that’s not the case.
We consider the body to be a sort of starting point for everything, and so we have tried to look at this phenomenon from every angle. An unconventionally illustrated article will teach you about Czech medical discoveries in a way that we hope you will really enjoy. Have you ever seen Antonín Holý holding a monkey’s hand? A story where the human body is expressed in numbers will make you feel like going on a date. Admire glass skulls, heads and bodies created by Martin Janecký. Our people gallery will amaze you with all that can be done to the human body and how subjective and individual beauty is. A large part of this issue is also devoted to body care. Visit an unusual hair salon in Los Angeles, or learn how to make your own foot balm. And to be fair, we have set aside some space for animals as well. Have you ever asked yourself why snakes shed their skin? We’ll tell you! We hope this jam-packed issue will provide a lot of inspiration and spiritual fodder. And if one issue of SOFFA is not enough to satiate you, don’t forget that you can get a full year’s subscription to our magazine! Wishing you pleasant reading and lots of surprises, Your SOFFA team
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MÍT BROUKA V HLAVĚ | HAVE A BUG IN YOUR HEAD Something’s eating you (to worry, an unpleasant thought that you can’t get rid of)
DI Y PRO J EC T Home foot care
BE NE F IC I A L F O OT B A L M text & concept: Lukáš Paderta | styling: Lukáš Paderta, SOFFA | photo: Lina Németh
NO OTHER PART OF OUR BODY BRINGS US IN CLOSER CONTACT WITH MOTHER NATURE THAN OUR FEET. THEY CARRY US THE WHOLE DAY, THEY MIRROR OUR PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH, AND YET FEW OF US PAY THEM THE ATTENTION THEY DESERVE. IT’S TIME TO CHANGE THAT! DIFFICULTY: very easy TIME: 10 min. to prepare, 30 min. to macerate WHAT YOU NEED: organic coconut oil (preferably aroma free) organic dried or fresh rosemary organic rosemary or tea tree essential oil a pot a container a wooden stick a pestle and mortar a fine sieve (optional) a cosmetics container with lid and label
SOLVE ET COAGULA (Latin for dissolve and coagulate) is a core principle of spiritual alchemy, where the elements fire and water interact with salt and sulphur to create the mysterious Merkurius, otherwise known as the philosopher’s stone, the essence of all matter. Coconut oil represents sulphur and ground rosemary represents salt; together, in a fire-heated water bath, they will create Merkurius, an effective balm for your cracked, tired or eternally cold feet. Coconut oil moisturises your feet and rosemary, with its woody scent, warms them. DIRECTIONS: Use 5 grams of dried rosemary (or 10 grams of fresh rosemary) per 100 grams of coconut oil and 5 drops of essential oil. It’s best to use aroma-free coconut oil. Place the container with the coconut oil in a water bath. Heat the water to 70°C.
► RIGHT: The basic ingredients to make balm, and the balm itself against a background with an ancient alchemical diagram depicting the origin and nature of matter.
COCONUT OIL BALM
SOLVE ET COAGULA
While the oil is melting, crush the dried rosemary using the pestle and mortar or finely chop the fresh rosemary with a knife. When the oil has completely melted, add the crushed rosemary and mix it all up with a wooden stick until thoroughly combined. Turn down the heat to make sure the water doesnâ€™t boil, and leave to macerate for 30 minutes. Take the container of oil out of the water bath. Now it is up to you to decide whether you want to filter the mixture through a fine sieve or pour it directly into the cosmetics container. Note that the pieces of rosemary are a great exfoliant. If you decide not to filter the balm, leave it to cool to body temperature and then add the essential oil. If you do filter it, add the essential oil after filtration. Pour the balm into the cosmetics container while still liquid. If you would prefer the balm to be really solid, keep it in the fridge: coconut oil melts at 24Â°C. Your feet will surely thank you for this fragrant, moisturising balm with antibacterial and antifungal properties. TIP: We have designed a label for your container. You can download it for printing from our website: www.soffamag.com â– Before you start making your foot balm, please ensure that you are not allergic to any of the ingredients. SOFFA bears no liability for any health complications caused by intolerance to any of the ingredients in the product or the product itself.
CZ EC H DI S COV ER I ES Six medical discoveries â€“ seven men
CZECH BREAKTHROUGH DISCOVERIES text: Tereza Cífková | illustrations: Martin Poláček / Various.cz
HEALTH IS THE ONLY THING WE REALLY NEED TO LIVE A GOOD LIFE. FOR SCIENTISTS, IT IS THE DRIVING FORCE FOR THEIR WORK, AND THE HUMAN BODY A NEVER-ENDING SOURCE OF QUESTIONS AND MOTIVATION TO CARRY OUT RESEARCH. SIX DISCOVERIES AND DEEDS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD HAIL FROM THE CZECH REPUBLIC. SIX DISCOVERIES, SEVEN MEN. We can thank Otto Wichterle for our being able to put away our glasses and use comfortable, soft contact lenses instead. František Burian and Arnold Jirásek are responsible for making plastic surgery an independent scientific field. Antonín Holý’s drugs against HIV have given millions of HIV-positive patients hope. Jan Jánský was an important psychiatrist famous for the by-product of his research – the discovery and classification of four blood types. Jan Evangelista Purkyně contributed to criminal science and dactyloscopy (fingerprint identification) by describing nine basic fingerprint patterns. Last but not least, Johann Gregor Mendel, a Moravian native, formulated the basic laws of heredity thanks to the pea plant, thereby laying the foundations of genetics. ■
OTTO WICHTERLE CONTACT LENSES
Today, contact lenses are used by 100 million people the world over. Just like Fleming and his discovery of penicillin or Nobel and his discovery of dynamite, chemist Otto Wichterle would probably not have been able to discover soft contact lenses were it not for a series of accidents. In 1952, Wichterle was on his way to Prague by train. He sat down beside a man who was reading a medical journal. He glanced at what his fellow traveller was reading and saw an advertisement for tantalum eye prosthetics. As a plastics expert, it immediately occurred to him that perhaps plastic would be better tolerated by the eye than metal. It was then that chance again played a lead role. According to Mr Wichterle’s wife Linda Wichterlová, we now know that the idea to create contract lenses from gel, i.e., coagulants, came to her husband when he was mixing his coffee with a spoon and was observing the surface, which was forming a parabola. Over the next few years, Wichterle and his pupil, Drahoslav Lím, worked on developing gel substances suitable for the production of contact lenses. In 1955, chance came to the rescue one more time. One day, Lím forget to finish the work he had started because he was rushing home. In the morning, however, he discovered that the substance he had been preparing had formed into a soft, transparent material with properties ideal for making soft contact lenses. The first prototype of the “lens machine” was built by Wichterle using Merkur, a popular children’s building set, driven by a dynamo from his adult son’s bike. On Christmas Eve 1961, the first four soft contact lenses were made in Wichterle’s home. However, as Otto Wichterle was a thorn in the side of the Communist regime, he did not get the recognition he deserved for the 152 patents in his name – one of which gave women nylon stockings – until the totalitarian regime fell in 1989.
FRANTIŠEK BURIAN AND ARNOLD JIRÁSEK PLASTIC SURGERY
Tweaking your face or the size of your breasts, changing the shape of your nose, pulling back your ears, augmenting your lips, smoothing your wrinkles or simply changing your overall appearance to make you happy – all that is a matter of course in modern medicine today. Although the history and foundations of plastic surgery have their roots far from the Czech Republic, and this field is blossoming and enjoying great popularity in other parts of the world, this branch of medicine was first recognised as independent in 1932 by the then Czechoslovakia, since which time it has been taught at the country’s various medical faculties. Physicians František Burian and former president of the Czech Medical Chamber Arnold Jirásek, in particular, deserve credit for this. Burian gained his first experience with plastic surgery during the First World War when treating soldiers suffering from serious trauma. The first plastic surgery clinic found its definitive headquarters at Královské Vinohrady Hospital in 1937, the seat of the clinic to this day. Here, František Burian treated people with obvious congenital deformities of the face, genitals, limbs and abdomen or with skin tumours, burns and cosmetic defects. He created and described a host of operating procedures, thanks to which he is considered a true plastic surgery genius. Surgeon and populariser of medicine Arnold Jirásek was a distant relative of the famous Czech writer Alois Jirásek. An interesting fact is that on 28 October 1939, Czechoslovak Independence Day, Jirásek operated on Jan Opletal, a medical student who was shot in the stomach during an anti-Nazi demonstration. Unfortunately, Jan succumbed to his injury the next day.
ANTONÍN HOLÝ ANTIVIRAL DRUGS
Today there are over 37 million people in the world living with HIV. This is an incredibly large number, considering how it all began. AIDS was first recorded in 1981 in the United States. Research teams discovered that the pandemic began in 1920 in the Congolese metropolis of Kinshasa. A huge railway network was being built at the time, and millions of people from all over the continent came to work on it. As the vast majority of the workers were male, the sex trade flourished there. The infected individuals then returned home, thus spreading the disease to other parts of Africa. And how did the first person become infected with HIV? Scientists have long been of the opinion that chimpanzees were the source of the infection. Some hypotheses point to infection through the consumption of chimpanzee meat, others to sex with these animals. Whatever the case, HIV long appeared to be unbeatable. Today, there are about 30 drugs used to treat HIV, and more than half of them were created in the laboratory of Czech chemist Antonín Holý. The most effective of the drugs bears the name Viread. Although it does not kill the virus, it affects the ability of the virus to replicate, which delays the onset of AIDS and extends the life of patients for 20 years or more. Viread is also used to treat Hepatitis B. Antonín Holý also gifted the world on the day of his death, when his drug Truvada was approved in the United States for use to reduce the risk of HIV infection, which is especially high for partners of HIV-positive people. Holý’s drugs are also used against the smallpox virus, shingles and cancer of the lymph nodes. More than one billion Czech crowns are paid out each year for sixty licences related to patents where Holý’s name figures. Alongside Jaroslav Heyrovský, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for inventing the polarograph, Antonín Holý is on the list of world-renowned chemists.
JAN JÁNSKÝ BLOOD GROUPS
After graduating, Jan Jánský began working at a psychiatric clinic at a time – the turn of the 20th century – when psychiatry was still viewed with contempt. Jánský first shocked his peers by introducing work therapy to his patients. One of the tasks was the refurbishment of their ward at the clinic. During the work, however, a window happened to break, and one of the patients hid one of the shards. During the night she tried to kill herself and lost a lot of blood. Although transfusions were banned at the time, Jánský allowed the woman’s husband to donate his blood for a transfusion, which ended up saving her life. Not long after, he heard that a boy who had received blood from his mother had died as a result. This led Jánský to the thought that there might be a connection between mental illness and blood clotting. Paradoxically, however, he became famous for a by-product of his research and not the research itself. Jánský was wrong, of course: there was no connection between blood clotting and the mental state of patients. Nevertheless, regardless of the health or mental state of patients, blood could be divided up into four basic blood types, which he designated with the Roman numerals I – IV. Unfortunately, Jánský was the not the first to discover blood types, just missing this distinction by months. Instead, the Nobel Prize for this discovery went to Viennese pathologist Karl Landsteiner. Jánský had not been aware that Landsteiner had described three blood types – A, B and C (today O) – almost a year earlier. Landsteiner, however, did not know of the existence of the fourth and rarest type – AB – and it was Jánský who was the first to describe it thanks to the blood samples of 3,160 patients that he had collected. Jan Jánský was a great supporter of giving blood. Today, blood donors in the Czech and Slovak Republics are given a certificate bearing Jan Jánský’s name.
JAN EVANGELISTA PURKYNĚ FINGERPRINTS
Each person is unique, not only in their personality and physical traits, but also due to certain specific markings, specifically finger, toe, palm and sole prints. The pattern that you see on the skin of these parts of the body is created by the lower layer of the skin (the dermis) forming finger-like protuberances (papillary lines) that extend into the epidermis. The structure of the papillary lines is about 90% genetic, with the remaining 10% dependent on external factors. This 10% ensures that no two people in the world have the same fingerprints, not even identical twins. The first mention of the use of fingerprints can be found in historical documents from ancient China, but it is not clear whether they were used for rituals or whether their true meaning was known. In criminalistics, the uniqueness of fingerprints has been used since the 19th century. A great contributor to the establishment of dactyloscopy was Czech physician, naturalist, poet and philosopher Jan Evangelista Purkyně, father of the important painter Karel Purkyně. Purkyně was far from the first to study papillary lines in detail, but was the first to notice that the spirals, ellipses, circles, double swirls and diagonal lines appeared again and again. He recorded them and became the first to classify the nine basic dactyloscopic patterns. His study of papillary lines was purely biological, but his work was pivotal for the field of dactyloscopy. In the past, there were many criminals who tried to outwit dactyloscopy by trying to get rid of their fingerprints by cutting their fingertips or burning them with fire, lye or acid. Most of these attempts were futile, because if the dermis is not removed, the skin and the fingerprints will grow back. The few who succeeded did so by transplanting the skin on their fingertips with skin from the chest, for example, where there are no papillary lines.
JOHANN GREGOR MENDEL GENETICS
People have always noticed that children and their parents share similarities in appearance, but it was Johann Gregor Mendel who was the first to formulate the basic laws of heredity. Although born in Moravia, his name was not Czech at all. He was born into a German-speaking family at the height of the Austrian Empire, a time when people of many nationalities moved within its borders. He wanted to become a teacher of natural history, but a lack of money forced him to exchange secular pleasures for life in a monastery. He later became an abbot at the Augustinian cloister in Old Brno. The cloister gave him the foundation for his scientific experiments where he observed heredity by crossbreeding plants, specifically the pea plant, for which he later earned eternal fame. Mendel observed a number of different traits of the pea plant: seed shape, flower colour, pod colour and stem size. In 1866, he published the results of his work, which today are known as Mendelâ€™s Three Laws of Heredity. The less famous plant with which Mendel worked was the hawkweed (Hieracium). However, his second choice of plant for his experiments was unfortunate: cross-breeding this plant did not confirm his previous results, and Mendel himself become convinced that his laws did not have general application. Poor Mendel could not have known that hawkweed is a unique plant that produces seed even without fertilisation, and so the offspring of the plant are clones of the parent. Mendel did not receive credit for his work until the early 20th century. He and his research colleagues could not have imagined at the time that cross-breeding the pea plant would lay the foundations for a branch of science that in the 21st century would be working on cloning or gene therapy.
T R AV EL SOFFA Prague Travel Guide
NOT TO M IS S W H EN I N PR AG UE text: Martin Sova | styling: SOFFA | photo: Lina Németh and company archives
LOOKING AT YOUR CITY WITH A FRESH PAIR OF EYES IS ALWAYS WORTHWHILE. SOFFA HAS TRIED TO DO THIS WITH PRAGUE. THE CITY, WITH ROOTS REACHING WAY BACK TO THE 6TH CENTURY, IS ATTRACTIVE NOT ONLY BECAUSE OF ITS MONUMENTS AND THOUSANDS OF SPIRES. THE METROPOLIS ON THE BANKS OF THE VLTAVA RIVER PULSES WITH A DISTINCT RHYTHM AND IS FULL OF SPELLBINDING STORIES. WE WOULD LIKE TO SUGGEST THE PLACES IN OUR HOME TOWN THAT WE NOW ENJOY THE MOST. IT’S A BIT LIKE INVITING SOMEONE ON A FIRST DATE.
Prague’s current appearance is naturally the result of its history, which in the case of the Czech capital is quite colourful. Since the 9th century, when the Přemyslids chose it as the seat from which to build their princedom, Prague attracted not only tradesmen, but also scholars and Church dignitaries. Charles IV was behind the settlement’s sudden prosperity in the Middle Ages when he made it the capital of the Holy Roman Empire in the 14th century and established the first university north of the Alps and east of the Rhine. About two hundred years later, Rudolf II made the city a cultural centre. He invited artists and scientists from practically the whole of Europe to his court. The industrial revolution then led to an influx of new inhabitants, and Prague expanded exponentially. Once surrounded by fertile fields, orchards and vineyards, of which there are only remnants today, the town gradually grew into a modern city where factories and a port stood beside grand palaces and venerable monuments. Prague nevertheless remains one of the most compact European capitals and a person can easily get around it on foot. The tempo here is not sleepy, but neither is it rushed: it’s just right for strolling through its most beautiful locations. ►
MAIN RAILWAY STATION address: Wilsonova 8, Prague 1
A train station – currently incarnated as a 100-year-old Art Deco building – has been located on this site since 1871. It was first named after Austrian emperor Franz Josef I and then after American president Woodrow Wilson, who played a part in establishing an independent Czechoslovakia. Today it is a fully modern transport hub. Don’t forget to visit the renovated Fanta’s Café located in its heart!
STŘEŠOVIČKY | NA KOCOURKÁCH address: Na Kocourkách, Prague 6
Old working-class houses snuggled against a sandstone cliff create one of the most preserved sets of villagetype architecture within Prague city limits. Cobblestones, miniature front yards and the compact houses here work together to create an atmosphere that is almost Mediterranean. A former vineyard manor house from the 17th century forms the centre.
ST WENCESLAS CHURCH | VRŠOVICE address: nám. Svatopluka Čecha, Prague 10
This church was designed by architect Josef GoÄ?ĂĄr in the late 1920s and is a revelation. Not only does it merge Functionalism with church architecture in a very elegant way, it is also situated unconventionally on a hillside and surrounded by a park. The bell tower used to house five bells, but they went missing during the war. The two new ones were put in twenty years ago.
web: Pragtique.com address: Pasáž Platýz, Národní 37, Prague 1
Many people associate a certain type of kitsch with Prague, especially if they only stick to the busy streets and alleys of the Old Town. For travellers who desire souvenirs but prefer originals to cheap trinkets, Pragtique is a dream come true. Tomski&Polanski, Daniela Olejníková, Funkfu and Vendula Chalánková are some of the designers whose beautiful keepsakes are on display.
ODIVI web: Odivi.cz address: Masarykovo nábřeží 12, Prague 1
All labels are too narrow to describe the fashion designed by Iva Burkertová under her Odivi brand. This description is a clear indication of whom it is intended for: men and women who don’t like to be dictated to by convention. You can see her work in the showroom that she opened in the centre of Prague with jewellery designer Tereza Houdková.
web: Pagefive.cz address: Veverkova 5, Prague 7
Originally an attempt by two students from Prague to create a space where they could amass their favourite art magazines and books and sell posters and prints, today this place is an established institution. The shop and publishing house of two people obsessed with paper and visual culture offers the best products from the Czech Republic and around the world. Their passion will infect you!
KRYMSKÁ STREET address: Krymská, Prague 10
What was once a somewhat overlooked part of Prague, Vršovice came to life a few years ago, and the driving force behind it all is Krymská Street. It is slightly reminiscent of Christianie in Copenhagen or Kreuzberg in Berlin, but a lot smaller and “a la Czech”. Nevertheless, you can come here for food, great coffee, live music, literature and education.
Every city can be unlocked with a number of keys. In the case of Prague, one such key is music, be it Smetana’s My Homeland, which refers directly to the city in some of its movements; Mozart’s Don Giovanni, which premiered here almost 230 years ago; or INXS, whose video to Never Tear Us Apart was shot in the Old Town cemetery. You can wander through the Old Town and the narrow streets around the synagogue with Gustav Meyrink and his Golem or with Umberto Eco, who named a recent novel The Prague Cemetery. Bohumil Hrabal can tell you about the proletarian Libeň of the last century, and there’s Franz Kafka, of course: where else should you open The Trial than at his monument on Široká Street? If you find film more inspirational, Prague will quickly become familiar. In Amadeus, Prague played the role of Baroque Vienna; in Hellboy, the huge National Monument in Vítkov serves as the secret headquarters of the BPRD and the home of the main character. Prague played itself in the adaptation of Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Or let your intuition guide you through Prague with the same buoyancy. There’s more than enough magic in Prague for that. ►
OŘECHOVKA address: Ořechovka, Prague 6
One of the most prestigious addresses in the city. This residential quarter near Prague Castle was established a hundred years ago in the location of former artillery warehouses and laboratories. Its architecture seems not to belong to Prague at all: many of its houses are reminiscent of England or France, but you’ll also find houses in Rondocubist (Czech Art Deco) style.
CAFÉ LETKA web: Cafeletka.cz address: Letohradská 44, Prague 7
It’s everything you could wish for: during the day it is a café located in an original space with a stunning vintage spirit and a big pinch of hominess, diverse breakfasts and first-class coffee; at night it is a dance venue with DJs and rising stars from all the subjects taught at the Academy of Fine Arts.
MAYDA/TYFORMY web: Maydafashion.com / Tyformy.cz address: Panská 8, Prague 1
www.maydafashion.com www.tyformy.cz www.facebook.com/ty.formy www.facebook.com/maydafashion
Two sisters – Magda and Pavla Vachunová – creatively merge the worlds of fashion and ceramics. Magda designs distinctive clothing; Pavla accessorises it with porcelain jewellery. Their original styles will captivate anyone wanting something truly exceptional. You can now find their Mayda and Tyformy brands together in a joint showroom in the city centre.
CIHELNA CONCEPT STORE web: Cihelnaprague.com address: Cihelná 2B, Prague 1
This space, which is paradise for everyone who has fallen for contemporary Czech design in its many diverse forms, is located just a few steps away from Charles Bridge. The works of the most renowned and talented designers today – such as Jan Plecháč & Henry Wielgus, multiple-awardwinning Dechem Studio, and locally and globally recognised Eva Eisler – are housed under one roof.
PHILL’S CORNER web: Phillscorner.cz address: Komunardů 32, Prague 7
Good businesses proliferate, and so Phill’s Twenty7 in Holešovice got itself a kid bistro brother around the corner. This simple space in Scandinavian style is perfect for breakfast or snacks throughout the day: great sandwiches, smoothies, fresh juices and, last but not least, gourmet coffees and Moravian wines. All this with a design shop to boot.
SUPER TRAMP COFFEE
web: Facebook.com/supertrampcoffee.cz address: Opatovickรก 18, Prague 1
It used to be mainly students who were aware that a passage existed between Spรกlenรก and Opletalovรก streets, and other than being a shortcut, it did not have much else to offer. Now, however, the smell of excellent coffee and pastries and the sound of vinyl records from Super Tramp emanate every day from the courtyard of the old building through which the passage cuts.
ART HOUSE HEJTMĂ NEK web: Arthousehejtmanek.cz address: Goetheho 17/2, Prague 6
This family-run business transforms a personal passion for collecting into an experience that is hard to compare with anything else in the Czech Republic. The eclectic mix of art, antiques and design can be found in a house dating back to the 17th century. Have a look inside and feel that you have entered a somewhat surreal cabinet of curiosities, each of which has its own unique story to tell.
As the Czech metropolis grew to its present size only relatively recently, the new districts that were incorporated into the city also endowed Prague with amazing natural locations. All of these spots are easy to get to, even by tram. On the northern edge you can find Divoká Šárka, a nature reserve with cliffs that rise dramatically above the stream Šárecký potok and eventually melt into grasslands and deep forests. The area includes the natural lake Džbán, a popular place to go swimming and cool down in the heat of summer. Hostivař Reservoir and the adjacent forest park serve the same purpose. They are located in the south of the city, surrounded on all sides by housing estates. You would never know that civilisation was so close, however, when strolling through the mixed forest or swimming and fishing by the reservoir. Prokop Valley (Prokopské údolí) is a true gem in the southwest of Prague. This nature reserve includes Děvín and Dívčí hrady, a group of hills that afford beautiful views of the city. It is rich in geological monuments, fossils and even minor karst formations. Although the nature here is not completely pristine (limestone was quarried here in the past), it is rich enough to surprise you with something beautiful and new each time you visit. A dazzling lake – a home to perch, swans and ducks – is what remains of a former quarry, and its dramatic appearance has been used many times by Czech and foreign filmmakers. Lots of interesting information about Prague can be found here: www.prahaneznama.cz ■
ŠTVANICE address: Štvanice, Prague 7
This Prague island has experienced a number of diverse fortunes. Štvanice (which means hunt or chase) got its name from an arena built here in the 17th century for hunting games. Most recently, it was used for sports. Come here now if you are interested in culture or civil engineering – a Neoclassical power station is located on the tip of the island. Theoretically, its production should cover all of the city’s street lighting needs.
HOLEŠOVICE address: Přístav Holešovice, Prague 7
Today it is hard to believe that Prague once had a harbour district. The last remnants of a period when heavy freight was transported along the Vltava River can be found in Holešovice, which is becoming prettier by the day, and neighbouring Libeň, which is still awaiting its rebirth. Let yourself be entranced by the unique atmosphere of Libeň Island: you’d be hard pressed to find garden houses and allotments in the centre of other cities. 52
ST. TERRITORY web: Martimaty.cz address: Čelakovského sady 8, Prague 2
Some months ago, the established fashion stylist Martina Matyášová decided to change direction and get into hair. Just a few steps from the National Museum she created St. Territory, where she brings together her old and new passions: people come here not only for a new haircut, but also for handmade soaps, style advice or to be photographed.
opera PRESENTED AT THE NATIONAL THEATRE
JULIETTE FOTO: ADAM KŘENA
(THE KEY TO DREAMS)
CONDUCTOR: JAROSLAV KYZLINK STAGE DIRECTOR: ZUZANA GILHUUS PREMIERES: 24. & 25. 3. 2016
CR EAT I V E PEO PL E Glass sculptor Martin JaneckĂ˝
WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY text: Adéla Kudrnová | styling: SOFFA photo: Alžběta Jungrová and Martin Janecký’s archive
WE COULD NOT IMAGINE ANYONE ELSE BUT MARTIN JANECKÝ BEING SHOWCASED IN THE CREATIVE PEOPLE COLUMN OF OUR ISSUE ABOUT THE HUMAN BODY. MARTIN IS CURRENTLY CONSIDERED ONE OF THE BEST CZECH GLASS SCULPTORS IN THE WORLD! HE CREATES HUMAN HEADS, BODIES AND SKULLS OUT OF GLASS WITH SUCH EASE AND SKILL THAT IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO BELIEVE IT, EVEN WHEN YOU SEE IT BEING DONE WITH YOUR OWN EYES. WE DID A PHOTO SHOOT WITH MARTIN WHILE HE WAS WORKING ON A SKULL MADE OF A SINGLE SOLID PIECE OF GLASS AT THE LINDAVA GLASSWORKS. Today Martin teaches and demonstrates glassmaking in glass factories and schools the world over. He learned his trade, however, at the Secondary Industrial School of Glass in Nový Bor. His excellent knowledge of glass as a material, and the experience he gained both as an apprentice to and working with world-renowned designers and glassmakers, allow Martin to create incredibly realistic statutes out of glass (heads, skulls and even entire bodies) without using forms. The technique that Martin uses is called Inside Sculpting – modelling from inside an inflated bubble – and only a few artists in the world have mastered this technique. Martin has been using it for over ten years. However, his first ever skull made out of a single, solid piece of glass was created while we were watching. This other technique is more physically demanding, and Martin devotes less time to it. Martin has been fascinated with heads and the human body since he was a child. He never studied anatomy, but his amazing imagination ►
allows him to work directly in glass from memory, without drawings or sketches. When asked what he would most like to create but doesn’t know how, Martin responded: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way!” What is most important is a great deal of patience. Creating a glass head or figure can take three to six hours! No less important to his work is his assistant, without whom glass sculpture would not be possible. When working with blown glass, four hands are often required. We spoke to Martin about his relationship with glass and his plans for the future: WERE YOU ALWAYS DRAWN TO GLASS AND DID YOU ALWAYS WANT TO MAKE A LIVING AT IT? I grew up in a family of glassmakers: my mother was a glass painter and my father was a glass technician. When my father established his own glass factory, that was that. My brothers and I spent all our free time there. There was never any question in my mind what I was going to do. Thanks to my father’s factory, I could learn from the best glassmakers and sculptors in the country. And then I went abroad to study – but I never managed to learn how to draw. ► RIGHT AND NEXT TWO PAGES: The heat of the glass with which Martin is working is 1,100°C. He uses an oxygen burner to preheat certain parts of the glass, which he then works on using a palette knife and other tools. He designs and makes his own tools as needed. Working with glass demands sensitive hands; therefore, stacks of wet newspapers – a great helper in the initial phases – are always readily available. More than anything else, the Inside Sculpting technique used by Martin – and glass sculpture in general – requires patience. The skull that Martin and his assistant made right before our eyes took just over three hours to create. Larger works can take six to eight consecutive hours.
IS GLASS STILL ABLE TO SURPRISE YOU AFTER SO MANY YEARS? Every day. It is truly a material that you learn to work with your entire life – that is if you don’t do the same thing over and over again, but try to develop and grow. WATCHING YOU AND YOUR ASSISTANT WORK TOGETHER IS LIKE WATCHING A SYMPHONY! HOW IMPORTANT IS YOUR TEAMWORK? Ondřej Novotný and I have been working together for almost ten years, save for a few breaks in between, so he knows exactly what to do and we understand each other. Before working together, we always discuss how we are going to make something, and then we only focus on work and who is going to cook lunch the next day. I have other assistants around the world. Whom I work with depends on where I am and who happens to have time. DURING OUR PHOTO SHOOT YOU WERE MAKING A GLASS SKULL, BUT IT WASN’T YOUR FIRST SKULL, WAS IT? It was the first one I made out of a single piece of solid glass. I have made skulls out of blown glass using a technique I have been using for the last ten years. Moreover, this skull was a Christmas present for a good friend of mine. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW AND WHAT’S IN STORE FOR YOU IN 2016? Until the end of the month I will be teaching in Brooklyn, New York, and then I’ll be focusing on my own work in Alaska and Corning, NY. During the year I’ll also be teaching at schools in Pittsburgh, Seattle and Corning and taking part in glassmaking festivals and conferences in France and Spain. So never a dull moment! You can find more information about Martin and his work on wwww.martinjanecky.com ■
GLASS SCULPTURE AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL: AT 35, MARTIN JANECKÝ IS ONE OF THE WORLD’S BEST IN ARTISTIC GLASSMAKING. HIS WORK CAN BE FOUND IN THE WORLD’S TOP GALLERIES.
RUKA RUKU MYJE | ONE HAND WASHES THE OTHER Scratch my back and Iâ€™ll scratch yours (doing someone a favour and getting one in return)
I N T ER I O R S Flat in Prague & hair salon in Los Angeles
F L AT IN THE VE RY H EA R T O F PR AG U E text: Helena Novotná | styling: SOFFA | photo: Lina Németh
WHEN YOU ARE ABOUT TO ENTER THE FLAT OF SOMEONE WHO OWNS A DESIGN STUDIO, YOU EXPECT THAT IT WILL BE WORTH IT AND YOU LOOK FORWARD TO IT. VERONIKA BAJEROVÁ FROM SCULPT DESIGN STUDIO DID NOT DISAPPOINT. SHE TRANSFORMED A RAVAGED FLAT IN THE CENTRE OF PRAGUE INTO HER OWN VISION OF A HOME – IT IS FULL OF COLOURS, PLAYFUL DETAILS AND FURNITURE RANGING FROM THE 1930S TO THE PRESENT. The flat, located in a classical, late 19th century apartment building in the beautiful quarter of Josefov, was renovated by Sculpt design studio, the brainchild of Veronika Bajerová, David Töpper and Miroslav Mařík. Five years earlier, the interior was in a terrible state. The features that could be saved could be counted on one hand. According to David Töpper, the flat’s poor state actually helped the refurbishment: “We started from the ground up and worked slowly and diligently. We cleaned everything right down to the base, restoring the flat bit by bit.” This large flat, which the previous owners had split into two, was joined together again and completely renovated. Veronika and David decided to keep only those original details that were truly worth it: the two remaining original window handles were used as templates to make new ones, and they made a copy of the one surviving glass door panel that had a sand-blasted pattern on it. ► LEFT: The hall is designed using three colours: white, dark red and purple. A red-chequered couch from the furniture shop Modernista dominates the seating area. An asymmetrical chest of drawers by Sculpt cannot be missed, thanks to its irregular shape. Devon knitted pillow, House in Style; www.coclea.cz
VERONIKA’S FLAT IS VERY COLOURFUL. THANKS TO THE ZONES OF COLOUR, IT WAS POSSIBLE TO DIVIDE THE FLAT INTO DIFFERENT PARTS. A DECORATIVE ROLLER, FOUND BY THE OWNER IN HER FATHER’S ATTIC, WAS USED WHEREVER IT WAS NECESSARY TO BREAK UP A SOLID WALL OF COLOUR.
The history of each piece of furniture is unusually diverse. Veronika collected the pieces gradually over time and from all over the place – from auctions and antique shops to her relatives’ attics. She even found some treasures right on the street! Each armchair and couch has a story and a fixed location. The 1930s tubular ottoman was left there by the previous owners. It was reupholstered and today it is located in the kitchen under a modern, hexagonal shelf from the Hard Decore gallery. However, the piece of furniture that best represents the playful and colourful interior is the “Loos Armchair” in the living room. The dark yellow upholstered, chaise-longue-type armchair was created based on the same design used in the late 1920s and early 1930s by architect Adolf Loos for the interior of Müller’s villa. If you look from the kitchen through the living room to the study, a painting that bravely goes against the retro feel of the surrounding furniture will catch your eye. The modern, abstract artwork by Clare Woods is painted on two metal panels, and its effect is heightened by the cobalt blue wall behind it. Veronika admits the retro style predominates in her flat, but it is nothing strictly adhered to: “I would compare it to a judicious gathering of items that I like or have a connection to and that I know I won’t get tired of in a few years. That’s how I see this beautiful painting.” And that is exactly what Veronika would recommend to everyone who is furnishing or refurbishing a flat. “Layer! Every space has its own spirit.” concludes Veronika. Her flat is proof. ■ PREVIOUS PAGES: During the reconstruction, Veronika collected clippings from newspapers and magazines that were about her friends or that had some personal meaning for her. She then made a collage out of them, and the result adorns the ceiling of her bright and simply furnished kitchen. The room is made even more homey by the teapots painted onto the wall using a template. Devon and Rope knitted pillows and pillow inserts, House in Style; Nils throw, Walra; all www.coclea.cz
CONTEMPORARY ART CONTRASTING STRONGLY WITH THE RETRO FURNITURE CAN ALSO BE FOUND IN THE BEDROOM. A GREENISH BEDSIDE TABLE FROM NOVORETRO IS LOCATED BESIDE THE DOUBLE BED DESIGNED BY SCULPT. ON THE OTHER SIDE IS A CONCEPTUAL PAINTING BY VIKTOR PIVOVAROV. Nils throw, Walra; Sunshine Fringe pillow, Himla; Devon pillow, House in Style; all www.coclea.cz Hippo bed-clothes and Bird pillow, Tinne+Mia; www.coclea.cz
SOFFA & FRIENDS CREATIVE EVENINGS DIY, INTERIOR DESIGN, WEDDING WORKSHOPS AND DINNERS BY SOFFA AND OUR PARTNERS. COME AND JOIN US! www.soffamag.com/soffaandfriends
UN IQ U E HAIR S A LO N I N LO S A N G EL ES text: Adéla Kudrnová | photo: Ashley Randall
WHEN WE WERE LOOKING FOR AN INTERIOR TO SHOWCASE IN THIS ISSUE, WHICH IS ALL ABOUT THE HUMAN BODY, WE RECEIVED AN E-MAIL FROM HAIR STYLIST GAËLLE SECRETIN, WHO WANTED TO SHARE HER TRULY UNIQUE HAIR SALON, THE HUB FACTORY. IF YOU CAN’T GET THERE RIGHT AWAY FOR YOUR COIFFURE BECAUSE YOU JUST DON’T HAPPEN TO LIVE IN LOS ANGELES, YOU CAN AT LEAST TAKE A PEEK INSIDE WITH US! Hair stylist Gaëlle Secretin hails from France. She moved to Los Angeles from Paris in 2009, and in 2011 opened her first studio. Two years later she opened The Hub Factory in a newly renovated former factory warehouse. Out of the rough industrial premises she managed to create a communal area with an unforgettable atmosphere for cuts, colour and styling. Filled with vintage kilim rugs and tapestries, exposed brick walls hung with art from Gaëlle’s global travels, and shelves crammed with books and collectibles, the downtown space feels both intimate and vibrantly creative. Our interview with Gaëlle was not only about the salon, but also about hair cosmetics: HOW DID YOU COME TO FOUND THE HUB FACTORY? I envisioned The Hub Factory when I was back in Paris at the end of 2013. As I was wandering around the streets in Paris, I got deeply excited and inspired by all these small lifestyle shops with such a lot of character and curating awesome indie products. I wanted to create a neat space for my own community (hence the name Hub, and Factory because of the industrial vibe of the neighbourhood). I started to put together a mood board and write a business plan, and as soon as I moved back to LA four months later, that same week I found my envisioned location, ►
right in front of my current private studio at the time. I contacted the management company and signed the lease in August 2014. I maxed out two credit cards because I couldn’t get a loan (due to my non-residency in the country) and got started with setting up the space. It was such an exhilarating experience. CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR BEAUTIFUL AND UNIQUE SALON AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND IT? The Hub Factory is a communal space for cuts, colour and styling. I wanted to create a unisex, design-based aesthetic space for my community of clients and fill it with all the things that evoke something special to me such as vintage kilim rugs and tapestries, art from my global travels and shelves crammed with books and collectibles. I like to say that the inspiration has a Moroccan-mid-century-industrial vibe. YOU WERE BORN IN FRANCE AND RAISED IN AFRICA, FRANCE AND FRENCH GUYANA. HOW HAS YOUR COSMOPOLITAN CHILDHOOD INFLUENCED YOU AND THE DESIGN OF THE HUB FACTORY? All I know since childhood is how to be a foreigner, I’ve always been outside my comfort zone, so I guess I have my head filled with a lot of different scents, colours and tastes. I like what’s different, what surprises people. I guess I wanted to create a space that would catch my clients’ curiosity, open their eyes to my secret inner world. They still notice little details even though they’ve been coming to me for a while. That’s what I like about my studio – it’s filled with little gems here and there :) WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO FLEA MARKETS AND OLD THINGS? I grew up wandering in flea markets in the countryside of France with my parents; they’re both big fans of antique style, but we don’t like the same era :) I love going to the flea markets in LA and usually go there for inspiration too, since I also get to see a lot of cool people wandering around with amazing styles. I like the mix of styles in decoration, ►
Victorian frames next to a macramé from the sixties, a mid-century rattan coffee table on a kilim rug, etc. It tells a story, and each one of us can create our own, depending on what it evokes personally. WHAT INSPIRES YOU AND WHAT KIND OF THINGS DO YOU LIKE? I love colours and texture! I like a variety of things, for instance geometric pure lines, but I also like the dimensional texture of wall hangings from the sixties. I love Moroccan art and craft, you’ll find a lot of that in my studio, and African barbershop signs. I also have an old record cover with this singer wearing the most ridiculous hairstyle with a huge beard! This gave me a good barrel of laughs when I found it! WHO ARE YOUR CLIENTS? Most of my clients are in a creative field – artists or designers, actors, directors, producers, models, entrepreneurs, but also nurses, attorneys, stay-at-home moms, etc. They’re from all over Los Angeles, sometimes they don’t even live here. I have a special bond with them, I want them to feel free to be who they really are, without any judgement. We share a lot, and I love that they trust me in every way, about their hair but also on a personal level. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS WITH YOUR SALON IN THE FUTURE? I’m creating a hair product line that should be ready this year. I’m learning as I go along, but it’s been really fun and creative so far! I really want to expend my creativity throughout my industry, and still have fun while doing it! The hair products will be a “survival kit” for a casual hairstyle, two essential products you need when you want to create a natural beachy hairstyle: a leave-in conditioner to control the aspect of the hair and enhance the waves, and a texturizing pomade to create or tame volume and texture. I have already thought about the whole aesthetic of it! To be continued... :) More information at: thehubfactory.net ■
BODY CARE IN THE GE NTLE HE AT OF A SAUNA! Red glowing copper and dark-stained beech will create a radiant atmosphere for your sauna space. www.rentosauna.cz
ZAPSAT SI ZA UCHO | WRITE IT DOWN BEHIND YOUR EAR Tie a string around your finger (don’t forget)
QUIZ Animal Body Coverings
W H Y DO SNAK E S S H ED T H EI R S K I N ? text: Tereza Cífková | styling: SOFFA | photo: Lina Németh
THE HUMAN BODY IS COVERED IN SKIN. DID YOU KNOW THAT THE SKIN OF AN ADULT HUMAN COVERS AN AVERAGE AREA OF 1.6–1.8 SQ M AND THAT IT IS THE LARGEST ORGAN? LET’S HAVE A LOOK AT WHAT COVERS THE BODIES OF SOME OTHER ANIMALS...
WHY DO BIRDS HAVE COLOURFUL FEATHERS? They’re trying to attract a partner! Although it may surprise you, smell is the decisive sense for most animals when selecting a mate. Yes, smell plays an important role, albeit subconscious, when choosing a partner – even for humans. In the case of birds, however, sight plays the dominant role, which is why it is usually the males that are the most colourful.
WHY DO SNAKES SHED THEIR SKIN? Reptiles grow throughout their lives. Because they would simply not fit into their skin after a while, they get a new “set of clothes” every now and then. They take changing quite seriously, sloughing their top layer off completely, including that of the cornea!
CAN A BEETLE OVERPOWER A SPIDER? Spiders eat insects. If, however, the prey encounters the predator in a weak moment – when the predator is moulting – the tables can turn. A tarantula first retreats to its den and lies on its back. Then it sheds its old layer of skin. It rests for a few days, waiting for its new “clothes” to harden enough to be able to hunt again. During this time, however, it is at its most vulnerable, and what is usually its prey can end up being its killer.
ARE BUTTERFLIES HAIRY? Yes! If you look at a butterflyâ€™s wing under a microscope, you will see that it is made up of tiny, flat scales. These evolved from hairs. The scales are structured similarly to shingles on a roof, and their density can be as high as 600 scales per square millimetre. There are also butterflies without scales â€“ their wings are transparent.
DO ALL MAMMALS HAVE HAIR? Elephants and rhinoceroses have very little hair. Water mammals – cetaceans – have no hair at all. In mammals, hair has transformed into other features as well: claws, nails, hooves and horns.
WHAT IS THE COURTSHIP RITUAL OF A CRAB LIKE? Don’t expect anything too romantic. The main role? Again the exoskeleton. As soon as a female crab moults, she is completely “naked” and the male mates with her. Fertilisation does not take place immediately. The semen is stored in the female’s body until the eggs are developed. The fertilised eggs are then carried by the female under her abdomen. WHY ARE INSECTS ALMOST EVERYWHERE? For insects to have conquered the world, they had to have perfected numerous abilities: multiply quickly, move well and be resilient. Their exoskeleton – a cutaneous layer made of chitin – makes this last attribute possible. They are in fact little “armoured knights”.
Ceny Czech Grand Design ČT art 19. 3. 2016, 20:20 NTM 23. 2. – 1. 5. 2016 www.czechgranddesign.cz
COOPERATING INSTITUTIONS: Prague City, Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, Czech Centres, The Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, The National Technical Museum; OFFICIAL SUPPLIERS: Parfumerie DOUGLAS, TONI&GUY, Veuve Clicquot, Heineken; fusion hotel prague, SONBERK; MEDIA PARTNERS: Architekt, Art+Antiques, CZECHDESIGN, Design&Home, Dolce Vita, elle.cz, ELLE Decoration, ERA21, Flash Art, H.O.M.i.E., lidovky.cz, Marianne Bydlení, Radio 1, Reflex.cz, SOFFA; THANKS: HM; PARTNERS: Vitra, CzechTrade, Národní divadlo
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FA S H I O N Masks and clothes
WHO AM I? text: Lukáš Paderta | concept and masks: Květinové lahůdkářství styling: Míša Roubínková and SOFFA | make-up: Valeria Cascino | models: Tereza Ovčačíková, Mikuláš Pavlík | photo: Adéla Havelková
THE MIND IS AN INTEGRAL AND COMPLICATED PART OF THE BODY. IT COMPRISES INTELLECT, FEELING, IMAGINATION, PERCEPTION AND WILL. JUST AS WE CANNOT FIND TWO IDENTICAL BODIES, NO TWO PEOPLE HAVE THE EXACT SAME MINDS. EVERYONE IS UNIQUE IN THE WAY THEY THINK AND FEEL. OUR OWN MIND OFTEN MAKES US FACE THE QUESTION OF WHO WE ARE AND WHAT IMPRESSION WE MAKE ON PEOPLE. OFTEN OUR PERSONAL DEMONS HIDING IN OUR SUBCONSCIOUS FORCE US TO BE SOMEONE DIFFERENT.
Our own distinct and unique identity, which we subconsciously seek throughout our lives, is what the contemporary Czech fashion brand CHATTY, the brainchild of friends Anna and Radka, constantly pursues in its creations. That is why we chose this brand. We matched their fashion line with similarly uncompromising masks made only out of natural materials. The masks play with the idea of conscious fears, hidden phobias, archetypes and viewing ourselves from a skewed perspective. Thus raw and seemingly inferior materials, such as dry wood or rotting spruce bark, and natural structures that, conversely, fill us with wonder, such as a hornet’s nest with pupae or a mass of oak moss, appear alongside high-quality and technologically processed fabrics. Although the clothes from CHATTY are made for women, we did not hesitate to put one of our male models, Mikuláš, in them. He and our other model, Tereza, experienced the physical side of their bodies through the intense cold that emanated through the walls of the industrial building where the photo studio was located. ■ CAN’T SEE hornet’s nest with pupae, natural cardboard Oversize sweater, CHATTY
ANTI-PLAGUE rosemary, thyme, fermented spruce phloem Red dress, CHATTY
TAURUS rotting oak and spruce trunks Oversize trench coat, CHATTY; trousers, modelâ€™s own
INDIFFERENCE oak moss, fermented spruce phloem Black shirt with fur, CHATTY
BIRDMAN carex brizoides, spruce bark Black dress, CHATTY
MIL E STO NE S I N WO M EN’ S FA S H I O N text: Helena Stiessová | illustrations: Lenka Hlaváčová
CLOTHING AND FASHION REFLECT THE DEVELOPMENT OF OUR SOCIETY. WHAT ARE THE FUNDAMENTAL ICONS OF A WOMAN’S WARDROBE? WE TOOK A TOUR THROUGH THE HISTORY OF CLOTHING AND DREW UP A FASHION TIMELINE!
16th century to 1900 corset
Very few fashion accessories are as graceful as a fan. It melds practicality and vanity, and when after centuries it finally found its way from Asia to Europe during the Renaissance, it relieved many ladies and gentlemen from sweltering heat. A fan is a miniature work of art and, according to some researchers, a means to communicate secrets. Today, we wave a magazine in front of our faces if it is hot and we have mobile phones for messages.
Queen Catherine de’ Medici is credited for the spread of the corset from Italy to the whole of Europe. The dramatic hourglass silhouette was considered the ideal of feminine beauty, so why not try to approximate this ideal shape with the help of a few whale bones, iron and lacing? For a while, even men donned corsets, but only the most dyed-in-the-wool dandies did not quickly abandon this practice. Women tolerated it for much longer.
The turn of the 19th and 20th centuries brought major changes to human history, and these changes were reflected in the way people dressed. The emphasis on a healthy lifestyle was also motivated by an interest in sport. The comfortable tunic with a woollen roll collar designed to catch the sweat of sportswomen became a popular part of our wardrobe, but today it is instead worn to keep warm.
The patent for the modern bra was awarded to American Mary Phelps Jacob in the same year that WWI broke out. Adieu corset! Iron was needed elsewhere. The shape of this supporting garment gradually changed over time, depending on current fashion. The unnaturally pointy jerseys from the mid-20th century were in sharp contrast to the 1960s, when the bra almost faded into oblivion. It managed to survive, however.
1926 little black dress
A beautiful and affordable garment that you never grow tired of: that is exactly what famous Coco Chanel had in mind when she and Jean Patou sketched a cocktail dress in a colour that had until that time been reserved for widows. The simplicity of this dress helped to bridge over a period of shortages and war and became a fashion design icon. The little black dress was made famous by a host of famous women, including Edith Piaf.
The fashion of short dresses meant uncovered legs, and silk stockings were neither cheap nor easy to come by. How delighted women were when the American company DuPont created a material called nylon! Nylons saw the light of day, followed by pantyhose a few years later. And so dresses could get shorter and shorter. In Czechoslovakia, women had their own version – silonky – thanks to Otto Wichterle’s invention of silon.
This two-piece bathing suite that two Frenchman – Louise Réard and Jacques Heim – presented in the same year independently of each other meant a revolution in beachwear. Women were hesitant at first and it took Brigitte Bardot and, after her, Bond girl Ursula Andress to finally convince them in the late 1950s and early 1960s that less material to weigh you down made it easier to swim and dive.
Throughout the 20th century, the hemline of skirts was like the variable in the fashion equation – sometimes shorter, sometimes longer. The 1960s saw a radical reduction in the length of the skirt when the miniskirt saw the light of day. During the sexual revolution, the idea of shortening the skirt came to a number of designers at the same time. As one of them, Mary Quant, slyly claimed, it was easier for women to run for the bus.
MIL E STO NE S I N M EN’ S FA S H I O N text: Helena Stiessová | illustrations: Lenka Hlaváčová
THE DISCOVERY OF NEW CULTURES, NEW TECHNOLOGY AND APPROACH TO LIFE – ALL THAT HAS INFLUENCED THE APPEARANCE OF CLOTHES WORN DURING VARIOUS PERIODS IN HISTORY. THIS ALSO APPLIED TO THE FASHION ICONS OF A MAN’S WARDROBE.
15th–16th centuries fly
The button is an elegant way to connect two parts of a piece of clothing. It originated in Medieval Germany. And while we’re on the subject of buttons, we must mention buttonholes, because buttons would be pointless without them. As soon as tight-fitting doublets came into fashion, buttons made of all kinds of materials dotted the belly of every proper man.
Due to its location, the fly is a slightly fastidious part of the trousers, especially if a man forgets to zip or button it up. It is, however, definitely more discreet and comfortable than its predecessor, the codpiece, which was an excessively bulging and often racy-looking suspensor. Another variation is the fall-front fly, which can still be found, for example, on Bavarian lederhosen.
When Croatian soldiers arrived in France during the Thirty Years’ War wearing the traditional scarf around their necks to support the king, Parisians pricked their ears. Fashion lover Louis XIV may have been born three years later, but already as a young boy he liked to wear a similar type of scarf, and this men’s fashion accessory, which holds a man firmly by the neck, went down in history.
Work clothes have to be resilient, and the strong cotton fabric that originated in the Italian city of Genoa seems to have been made for that purpose. American gold-diggers and cowboys were keen to get their hands on the trousers manufactured for them by German businessman Levi Strauss. He had his jeans patented without any idea of what a universal piece of clothing he had created.
1881 long johns
The end of the 19th century was about new ideals, and for these, it was necessary to dress practically. A big promoter of “ordinary clothing” was German scientist Gustav Jäger. His leggings were a favourite of Oscar Wilde. NB: Czech long underwear called “jégrovky” was, however, made by Jäger’s namesake and, unlike the long johns made by the German Jäger, who insisted only on animal-based materials such as wool, were made out of cotton.
Until British colonialists arrived in India, European men used to sleep in their birthday suits or, at best, a nightshirt. The comfortable two-piece garment made out of light material that used to be part of every wardrobe in India did not become popular worldwide until the end of the 19th century during the progressive Victorian era. Their only drawback is that a nightcap doesn’t really go with them.
If the blazer had not been created in the early 20th century, men would perhaps still be going to work dressed in a tailcoat. At the time, accessible and less formal clothing was already needed, and so they cut off the tails, modified the cut, and the result was a garment that looks great on a man. This does not mean that dress etiquette is no longer important, but the blazer is a gentle admonishment – Men, don’t take yourselves so seriously!
The modern zipper, which can quickly connect or disconnect two parts of the same piece of clothing, was patented by Gideon Sundbäck, an American of Swedish ancestry. It took a few years for this practical invention to move from shoes to clothing, and it was not until 1935 that it was first seen on the catwalk. An ingenious design for the impatient!
P EO PL E G A L L ERY The body as an experiment
WHAT IS T H E I DEA L B O DY ? text: Sára Němečková | styling: SOFFA & Alžběta Jungrová make-up: Valeria Cascino | hair: Bomton Studia photo assistant: David Kerny | photo: Alžběta Jungrová
EVERYONE PERCEIVES THEIR BODY DIFFERENTLY AND TAKES A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO IT. SOME LOVE THEIRS, OTHERS HATE THEIRS, BUT MOST OF US TRY TO MODIFY OUR BODY TO MEET UP TO OUR EXPECTATIONS. SOME SPEND MORE TIME, ENERGY OR MONEY ON THESE MODIFICATIONS. SOME PEOPLE EXPRESS THEIR OPINIONS THROUGH THEIR BODY, SOME USE THEIRS TO SURPASS THEMSELVES, WHILE OTHERS USE IT TO MAKE A LIVING. ALL THE PEOPLE IN OUR ARTICLE HAVE A SOMEWHAT UNUSUAL APPROACH TO THEIR BODIES AND STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD. We brought a group of exceptional people together in the Colloredo-Mansfeld palace to have them speak about themselves and their approach to their bodies. One man had had his little finger amputated; another was a passionate bodybuilder; there was a woman who liked being suspended in mid-air from steel hooks. All of them loved their bodies, and for most of them, working on their bodies also meant working on their souls. Albeit pertaining purely to the exterior, these modifications helped each individual to become more self-confident, fulfil their dreams and overcome their limitations. Most of us would consider it hardest to overcome pain, despite its transience; but as one story points out, it is much harder to accept yourself if the way you view the human body differs from the way today’s society demands that you see it. These interviews prove that you shouldn’t judge a person by their looks, and that your opinion of someone can take an about turn once you get to know them. ■
CH LO RO P HY L AT FIRST GLANCE, CHLOROPHYL LOOKS LIKE AN ORDINARY WOMAN WHO’S INTO GOTHIC STYLE. BUT THEN SHE SPEAKS, AND THE VOICE YOU HEAR IS THAT OF A MAN. THE USUAL REACTION IS ONE OF ASTONISHMENT. MOST PEOPLE THEN AREN’T SURE HOW TO ADDRESS HIM. AND THAT IS SOMETHING THAT DOMINIK, A.K.A. CHLOROPHYL, ENJOYS. Chlorophyl began creating his distinct look a number of years ago. His unusual make-up style originated in honour of deceased singer Amy Winehouse, and since then it has become inherent to him, just like the wide earlobe stretchers or his split tongue. He likes fighting against prejudice, labelling and a black-and-white view of the world, which is predominantly the reason why he likes his gender to be ambiguous: he does not feel that he was born in the wrong body, but neither does he have a preferred gender pronoun. He likes to observe the reaction of people meeting him for the first time. He likes taking advantage of the way clothes and make-up can make him look completely different and change his appearance so much that he is unrecognisable. What he cherishes most in his everyday life, however, is that his appearance makes people stop and think about what and whom they have seen.
S H E MO N SHE MON IS ONE OF THE LEADING PERSONALITIES AT THE HELL STUDIO, WHICH DOES PIERCINGS AND TATTOOS AND ORGANISES THE LEGENDARY HELL PARTIES. MOST PEOPLE WHO ENTRUST THEMSELVES TO THE HANDS OF SHE MON ARE THOSE WHO DESIRE MORE PRONOUNCED BODY ALTERATIONS. ALL OF THE MAJOR MODIFICATIONS THAT YOU SEE ON THESE PAGES ARE HIS WORK. In childhood, he suffered from health problems. However, they gave him a different perspective of his own body. Very early on he began to be interested in more extreme body interventions and major body modifications. After thorough theoretical training, he slowly began to learn the practical side of the trade. Having studied philosophy and aesthetics, he focuses not only on the voluntary act of modifying bodily appearance, but also on the history of this pursuit and its social and psychological aspects. In addition to the actual work itself, the entire procedure first needs to be consulted thoroughly with the client to ensure that it is right for them and that they realise all that such a decision entails. The motivation to undergo body modifications varies: from the purely aesthetic or the desire to overcome boundaries, to the indescribable feeling that that is simply how it should be. www.hell.cz
MÍ ŠA WHEN YOU VISIT HELL.CZ, MÍŠA IS USUALLY THE FIRST PERSON TO WELCOME YOU. BLUE HAIR, A LARGE NUMBER OF DISTINCT AND COLOURFUL TATTOOS, NUMEROUS PIERCINGS, BUT MOST OF ALL POINTY ELF EARS AND A HUGE AMOUNT OF POSITIVE ENERGY MAKE HER A PERSON YOU CAN’T MISS. Míša is the only woman in the Czech Republic who can boast ears like this. At first glance, one might suspect that she is a fan of elves. In reality, however, Míša likes pointy ears on animals, and she adores animals. When the chance came up to have her ears modified, she didn’t hesitate. She also has distinct subdermal implants on both her hands. She loves the entire body modification process – the preparations, the procedure itself, the healing process and how the body gradually accepts the intervention. She never averts her eyes when having a procedure done: in fact, she watches everything carefully. She knows how everything works and the limits to which she can press her body. Each new intervention is an important life event for her and a successful overcoming of herself and her limitations.
KU BO ALTHOUGH YOU WOULD NEVER GUESS FROM HIS DISTINCT LOOK, KUBO IS A SHY MAN WHO LIKES PRIVACY AND DOES NOT LIKE BEING THE CENTRE OF ATTENTION. HE CONSIDERS THE STARES HE GETS BECAUSE OF THE TATTOOS ON HIS FACE AND HIS SPLIT TONGUE TO BE THE PRICE HE MUST PAY FOR HIS INTEREST IN BODY MODIFICATIONS AND SOMETHING HE JUST HAS TO DEAL WITH. Kubo sports one of the most extreme modifications in the country: he had a large portion of the little finger on his right hand voluntarily amputated. He had wanted to have this modification done right from the time he found out that it was possible, and from that point on he was just waiting for the moment when he could get it done. Just as sudden was his desire to modify his ears â€“ after having his earlobes removed, he looked in the mirror and knew that in order for everything to be as it should be, he would have to alter their shape even more. He gave himself a sufficiently long time to think over such a serious step. What he also finds so fascinating about modifications is that they are irreversible, that any procedure needs to be thoroughly thought over and that you have to realise that it will stay with you forever, just like your own personal life story. Compared to that, the period of pain that you have to endure after each procedure is then completely negligible.
MI CHAE L A WEIGHT LOSS IS A TOPIC THAT IS OFTEN DISCUSSED IN THE MEDIA. THAT SOME PEOPLE TRY TO GAIN WEIGHT INTENTIONALLY (SOMETIMES TO EXTREMES) IS NOT SUCH A WELL-KNOWN FACT, HOWEVER. MICHAELA BELONGS TO THIS GROUP OF PEOPLE AND ARE TRYING TO BREAK DOWN TABOOS IN THIS AREA. Michaela has been aware of her preference for a rounder body, overeating and gaining weight since childhood. For example, she felt a strange sensation when listening to stories that touched on this topic or her passion for stuffing pillows under her clothes to feel bigger. Only after browsing the Internet was she eventually able to come to terms with her differentness and contact people who also felt mental and physical satisfaction from their own or their partnerâ€™s obesity, gradual weight gain or the desire to feel excessively full. As this topic is not well known to the general public, it is erroneously considered an excuse for laziness or a lack of willpower in fighting obesity. Many of these people also live their lives in denial and are constantly at odds with their instinctive needs and their own rationality. While the thought of gaining weight is satisfying, this is offset by serious health problems and rejection by others, something that is not easy to come to terms with.
NIN A EVERYONE FEELS DIFFERENTLY ABOUT THE JAPANESE ART OF SHIBARI – FOR SOME IT IS A DRASTIC FORM OF ENTERTAINMENT, AND FOR OTHERS IT IS THE POETRY OF TRUST AND INTIMACY BETWEEN THE SUBJUGATOR AND THE SUBJUGATED. NINA ALWAYS GIVES HERSELF OVER COMPLETELY TO VENDY, WHO USES ROPES TO TIE HER UP AND IMMOBILISE HER IN ANY WAY SHE PLEASES. The first thing that most of us feel when seeing a tied-up person is helplessness, claustrophobia or pain. For Nina, however, bondage means many other things: happiness, relaxation, excitement, trust, but also shame. Usually it is part of an intimate relationship between two people – the feeling that you are giving yourself fully to the other and allowing them to do as they please with your body, and in return their giving themselves fully over to you. When Nina and Vendy met a few years ago, neither had any idea that their relationship would develop to such a level. Bondage for most people is a purely private matter – although Nina, for example, does not mind talking about it or having photos taken of shibari with those whom she trusts. So far, however, she hasn’t felt the need to be tied up in front of an audience.
HO NE Y HAIR HONEYHAIR IS A WORLD-RENOWNED MODEL IN THE FIELD OF FETISH PHOTOGRAPHY. HER DOMAIN IS BEING PHOTOGRAPHED IN ALL POSSIBLE COSTUMES MADE OF LATEX. SHE DEVELOPED HER LOVE OF THIS MATERIAL THROUGH HER ORIGINAL LOVE OF WEARING LEATHER OR ANY SHINY FABRIC. Honeyhair loves everything about latex: the way it feels on the body, its tightness, the way it highlights the shape of the body, even its specific smell and the way it attracts attention. She likes to wear it even when she isnâ€™t shooting, e.g., when going out to a club or attending a social event, where she is never overlooked. She has thus been able to make her passion her career and immerse herself in a world where latex rules. Her costumes are bespoke because her dimensions are unusual for a woman. Her large breasts, surgically enhanced a number of times, are the first feature to catch your eye. She started enlarging her breasts at a time when she had no idea that a career as a fetish model was in store for her. Today she is no longer considering any more operations, also because bigger implants are not normally manufactured and would have to be custom-made. www.honeyhair.net
BO R IS BORIS IS WELL-KNOWN AMONG THE INHABITANTS OF THE CITY OF ÚSTÍ NAD LABEM. FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS NOW, HE HAS BEEN BUYING OLD HOUSES IN THE BOROUGH OF PŘEDLICE (WHICH IS KNOWN MAINLY FOR POOR LIVING CONDITIONS AND HIGH CRIME RATES), REPAIRING THEM HIMSELF AND RENTING THEM OUT TO SOCIALLY DISADVANTAGED FAMILIES AT A LOW PRICE. He is also known for his unusual appearance: a face covered in tattoos, distinct clothing that also reflects his political leanings, and implants on his forehead in the shape of devil horns. Other than his face and places that he could not reach, he has done all the tattoos himself. His legs are covered in comics strips, stories and fairy tales. Each tattoo has a special meaning for him and in some way expresses his opinions. This makes him unique and different from everyone else! Boris believes it makes no sense for someone to wear tattoos unless they have a profound meaning for that person. For Boris, the horns on his forehead are the icing on the cake – they let those around him know his opinion on religion, which he disdains. It is not, however, an effort to look like the devil, but rather a wind-up. The only thing he regrets about his tattoos is that he didn’t start sooner.
LIB O R / J U L IA LIBOR HAS ESSENTIALLY BEEN LIVING A DOUBLE LIFE SINCE THE 1990s: MOST OF THE TIME HE LIVES A NORMAL LIFE AS LIBOR, BUT IN THE EVENING WHEN HE GOES ON STAGE HE TRANSFORMS HIMSELF INTO HIS ALTER EGO, JULIA LANDIS. IN ADDITION TO EARNING HIM A LIVING, SHE SETS HIM FREE, HELPS HIM TO ESCAPE FROM REALITY AND ALLOWS HIM TO ENJOY THE STAGE LIGHTS. Libor can hide a number of things behind the persona of Julia. Whereas in normal life he is rather introverted and shy, Julia loves attention, has no problem communicating with people and changes her appearance according to what the audience wants. This does not pertain only to appearance, though: Julia is sometimes romantic, sometimes wild and at other times serious, but always self-assured and witty. Since she came to life, her character has developed like that of other mere mortals. Julia appears onstage at the moment when she finishes her show impersonating a famous actress or singer. Offstage, Julia does not interfere with Libor’s life at all – unlike transvestites for whom cross-dressing satisfies them and makes them happy, Libor only becomes Julia during the transvestite shows. She is not allowed into his civilian life. www.crazygoddess.cz
MA R TIN WHEN A PERSON ENCOUNTERS MARTIN AT THE DOOR TO THE BAR WHERE HE WORKS AS A BOUNCER, THEY THINK TWICE ABOUT CAUSING PROBLEMS. LOOKING AT HIM, IT IS CLEAR THAT HE COULD THROW SOMEONE OUT OF A BAR WITH JUST ONE HAND. MARTIN IS AN AVID BODYBUILDER, AND THE FACT THAT HIS MUSCLES COMMAND RESPECT IS USEFUL FOR HIS WORK. Martin has been into bodybuilding for six years, but it has only been in the last two years that he truly began to train for his first competition, which will take place in the summer. Bodybuilding is essentially a lifestyle, and preparation demands extreme discipline and effort. In the early years, Martin did not devote himself to it full-time, so he could not even contemplate a professional career. Today he has to cook for himself every day so that he can consume the mandatory seven daily meals, which have to comprise meat. Alcohol is not allowed under any circumstances, and he works out six times a week. Only then does he have a chance of gaining the 14 kg of muscle mass he needs to take part in the competition in his dream category. His aim is to win the competition and thus get a contract with a sponsor, as preparing for competitions is extremely expensive.
D E NISA ALTHOUGH DENISA’S APPEARANCE IS THAT OF A PETITE YOUNG LADY, AFTER SPEAKING WITH HER FOR A WHILE YOU REALISE THAT SHE CAN HANDLE PAIN MUCH BETTER THAN ANY MAN. SHE REGULARLY PERFORMS AT PUBLIC EVENTS, WHERE SHE SUBMITS ON STAGE TO VARIOUS PROCEDURES THAT WOULD SEEM UTTERLY EXTREME TO A REGULAR PERSON. Denisa’s body is covered in a great number of scars. These are caused by all kinds of penetrations of the skin, intentional branding and cutting. Her speciality, however, is being suspended from hooks. For this discipline, special steel wires are inserted through the skin at various points on the body and the person is gradually hoisted up into the air. There the person hangs for some time. Most suspensions are in the order of minutes. Although having her skin pierced hurts Denisa as much as any other person, she shows absolutely no sign of this at all during the show. She likes the feeling of overcoming the pain and is able to deadpan. She likes being part of something she finds visually appealing. During the suspension, her body produces a great amount of adrenalin and serotonin. That is why she feels charged with positive energy for a long time after each performance.
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WIN A GENTLEMEN SET BY THOMAS’S BARBER SHOP Send your response to the question “What style of shaving do you like best and why?” to info@soffamag. com (subject: BARBER) and win a set of four products from www.thomasbarbershop.cz: aftershave, beard brush, herbal shampoo for shiny hair and pre-shave oil. The complete set of rules can be found on www.soffamag.com
Vaše práce si zaslouží prostor s dobrou kávou a plno lidí s potenciálem kolem, přijďte si vyzkoušet moderní sdílený prostor pro práci ve SVĚTĚ HUB! — You deserve a have-it-all work space, with decent coffee, surrounded by people working to their full potential. Come and try this modern, shared working space.
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The House of Metaxa introduces the world to a dynamic alliance between AEN METAXA, the jewel of the House & Dimitris Tsigos. EVERNESS is an interpretation of eternal movement and perfect spirit. www.metaxa.cz
PRAGUE ZOO Prague Zoo opened in 1931, and today it is the runner-up to the most visited tourist destination in the Czech Republic. TripAdvisor users voted it the fourth best zoo in the world in 2015. Prague Zoo has a diverse collection of animals from around the world in 12 unique pavilions, and more than 150 expositions. The zoo has close to 4,700 animals and more than 680 species in its care.
PEČENÍ HOLUBI AŽ DO HUBY | ROASTED PIGEONS FLYING INTO YOUR MOUTH Live high off the hog (living well and eating good food)
E D I TO R S â€™ C H O I C E The latest novelties & the old favourites
SO M ET H I N G NE W F O R YO U text and styling: Tereza Gladišová photo: company archives
WE HAVE FOUND THE BEST NEW PRODUCTS ON THE MARKET, BE THEY CLOTHES OR HOME ACCESSORIES. WHAT DO THE LATEST PRODUCTS FROM THE WORLD’S DESIGNERS HAVE IN COMMON? THEY DON’T OVERDO IT WITH THE COLOURS!
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SP O I L YO UR S EL F ! text and styling: Adéla Kudrnová photo: company archives
YOUR BODY NEEDS CARE YEAR ROUND, BUT ESPECIALLY IN WINTER. IF YOU PUT IN THE EFFORT, IT WILL PAY OFF IN SPADES! WE HAVE THE BEST TIPS FOR YOU ON HOW TO KEEP YOUR SKIN, HAIR AND SPIRIT IN THE BEST SHAPE POSSIBLE!
REGENCY SHAVE BRUSH | www.truefittandhill.cz | CZK 2 040; MIRROPE RED MIRROR | www.editionnikolaskerl.com | Price upon request; CHAMPAGNE SAUNA BUCKET | www.rentosauna.cz | CZK 999; BSC LUMBERJACK OIL | www.gentlemanstore.cz | CZK 239; SAUNA THERMOMETER | www.rentosauna.cz | CZK 699; TOWEL BY HAY | www.artvoll.de | € 19; LUNAR CONTAINER BY AUTHENTICS | www.esuperstore.cz | CZK 390; FIRST AID TIN | www.kitchencraft.co.uk | Price upon request; INSTITUT KARITE PURE SHEA BUTTER | www.profimed.cz | CZK 159; PUMICE STONE | www.granit.com | SEK 69; TEK MULTICOLOR COMB | www.profimed.cz | CZK 309
W I N DE SI GN S PO RTS CLOTHE S F RO M SYN V PO HYB U! Send a photo on the theme Sport and You to email@example.com (subject: SYN V POHYBU). The author of the most interesting photograph will win a design sports set from Syn v pohybu. As an added bonus, all Soffa readers will be entitled to a discount of 15% off all products on www.synvpohybu.cz until 29. 2. 2016. just enter #soffavpohybu code (the discount applies to the entire purchase excluding postage). The complete set of rules can be found on www.soffamag.com
Move your body, move your soul!
www.synvpohybu.cz | U železné lávky 6/557 Move your body, move your soul!
TAHAT NĚKOHO ZA NOS | PULL SOMEONE’S NOSE Pull someone’s leg (to kid, fool or trick someone)
S TO RY About the human body â€“ in numbers
AL L ABO UT A DA M A N D EV E text and illustration: Lukáš Paderta
The discreet yet emphatic hoot of an owl broke the silence one Saturday afternoon in February to let Adam know that maybe the news, which he had been waiting impatiently for since Friday, may finally have arrived. A tremor of excitement passed through each of the 37 trillion cells in his body, the smallest being sperm cells. He got up, took a few steps around the dining table and made a prototypical movement of the human hand – a grasp – to pick up his phone to read Eve’s message. He knew it had to be her. He focussed both his eyes, each adorned with a greenish-blue iris with a low percentage of pigmentation, on the screen. The text, which was indeed from Eve, began to project on the retina. He made every single one of the 130 million rods and 7 million cones take delight in the short grey text and the two colourful, expressive emoticons. YESss, he hissed victoriously, and started to get ready. He had met Eve in September at Clair’s birthday party, where she had made an impression on him with her laughter, blonde keratin locks and a slightly eccentric account of her dream. Since then they had met a few more times, but only briefly. It was only yesterday that he had found the courage to invite her to dinner. Perhaps it had to do with the quiet, behind-the-scenes work of Adam’s adrenal glands that produced a sufficient amount of noradrenalin to make it happen. Eve put her mobile phone back down on the bedside table. She had just replied to Adam. What she found most amusing about Adam so far was his name. Adam and Eve, if it worked out between them. Eve was an architecture student. She had just finished studying for her exams and could no longer focus on the text about Czech Cubism in architecture. Her brain – comprising 80% water, ever-hungry for energy, consuming 20% of the oxygen in her blood and about a fifth of all the energy from food – was no longer able to absorb even a byte of additional information, although its capacity was close to a million gigabytes. Her agreeing to Adam’s invitation caused a small adrenalin storm to erupt, raising her usual blood pressure of 100/70 to 140/90 and dilating her hazelnut brown eyes. Adam, who had been working as a land surveyor since November, focused his pupils on his reflection in the mirror. He passed the back of his hand across his face, feeling the stubble that had not been there the day before, and decided it would be best to perform one of the 12 thousand shaving rituals that he would execute in his lifetime ►
if he shaved every other day, didn’t die and didn’t grow a beard. He thought it unfair that whiskers grew faster than any other hair on the body. He began the shave with a battle with his nose hairs, which, if left alone, would easily grow down to his heels by old age. He didn’t want that. He reached for the tweezers, inserted the pincers into one narrow nostril and pulled out one black hair. He sneezed – he expected that, as it happens to him every time. The tiny droplets of his saliva, of which he produces 1.7 litres a day, hit the mirror at 160 km/h. He wiped them off with the towel and continued in his efforts to be as attractive as possible, or at least as unrepulsive as possible. While Adam was applying shaving cream, which had reminded him of whipped cream ever since he was a child watching his father shave, Eve was running around her flat, not knowing whether to jump in the shower first or try on an outfit. Of course, she wanted to make a good impression on Adam, and she tried to imagine what to wear in order to look like a femme fatale. One thought after another was popping up like toast out of a toaster and within a minute she must have had at least forty, all having to do with different combinations of dresses, hairstyles and make-up. She decided it would be best to think everything through calmly in the shower, and so she got undressed, opened the shower door and turned on the water. Thin, multiple streams of water began to massage the 1.6 sq m of Eve’s skin, and the Ruffini corpuscles in her epidermis sent a signal along the 72 kilometres of fine nerves to her brain that the water was just right. She immediately began to hum her “bath song”, Space Oddity by David Bowie. Imperceptibly. The loudness of her voice was only 20 decibels and could barely be heard above the noise of the splashing drops. She turned off the water and reached for the bergamot scented glycerine soap to lather up and wash off the 32 million bacteria that lived on every square centimetre of her skin. Adam looked at his watch. They were to meet at the Birch Café in an hour, which did nothing to calm him and meant that he would have to cheat when getting ready. He calculated that it would take him half an hour to get to the café; however, he was still standing in the bathroom with a steamed-up mirror and wet floor and a towel ►
wrapped around his waist. I’ll just manage to brush my teeth and throw something on, he thought. Every time he thought about the date, he had a strange feeling in his stomach. Nothing sexual, just a mix of intense excitement and utter fear all at once. He was not a born conqueror of women’s hearts, but he felt that he stood a chance with Eve. At the same time as Adam, Eve picked up a comb and began to comb her wet, blonde hair, greater in volume than Adam’s dark hair but twice as fine. Women’s bodies are generally finer than men’s. Adam’s and Eve’s movements and overall preparations were now taking place almost synchronously. Eve put down her comb – Adam put down his comb. Eve picked up her toothbrush – Adam picked up his toothbrush. Both began to brush their ivory-white teeth, which are the only parts of the human body that cannot regenerate. Eve cleaned 32 and Adam only 31 – one wisdom tooth hadn’t grown in. They rinsed their mouths and turned off the water. Both ran out of the bathroom at the same time and headed straight for the wardrobe. Adam picked up his antiperspirant on the way and applied it to his armpits. Just to be sure. He didn’t want to be betrayed by his sweat glands and the bacteria that live off the sweat. He knew exactly what to wear. He removed one slim-fit shirt from a hanger and took out a pair of his favourite jeans. Taking advantage of the fact that the evening was unusual for the time of year – the fresh smell, the warmish gusts of wind and the occasional song of very confused blackbirds – Eve opted for the matte blue silk dress and light, black jacket. After blow-drying her hair, there was not much time left to put on make-up, so she just darkened her lashes and applied gloss to her lips. She put on her shoes and headed off into the night, where the air held the promise of spring. A few minutes later, Eve was waiting confidently at the lamp outside the Birch Café while the draught in the metro was still ruffling Adam’s longish quiff. He picked up his pace – he hated being late, especially on a first date. He saw her from a distance, and in the minute it took to get to her his heart beat 140 times. He gulped – she was truly beautiful. He managed a smile with all of the 72 muscles needed for that: Hi! Have you been waiting long? Eve shook her head, smiled and kissed Adam lightly on both cheeks. Each could smell the other’s scent, and to the pheromone receptors it was clear: the chemistry was right between these two. ■
WELCOME ALL MINDTRAVELLERS! Are you creative? Are you looking for a place where you can share your work and portfolio with others and make yourself known to the world? Introducing our new project, MINDTRAVELLERS by SOFFA. Through it you can gain access to real projects and connect with other creative people and companies! The MINDTRAVELLERS platform is intended for creative spirits from all fields the world over: illustrators, graphic designers, photographers, writers... not only other creative people, but also potential clients will be able to get to know you and your work. Upload your portfolio to www.soffamag.com/mindtravellers, look at the map that shows clearly the location of other Mindtravellers, get in touch with them, and look forward to new projects coming your way thanks to MINDTRAVELLERS! Be proud of your passion for creativity! www.soffamag.com/mindtravellers
Stephanie Franziska Scholz I Grace Russell I Martyna Wójcik-Śmierska
R EC I PE From imagination to taste
ARCHIT EC T I N T H E K I TC H EN text: Ellie Hall and Jagna Niedzielska recipe, styling and photo: Jagna Niedzielska / www.architekturakulinarna.pl
LOOKING FOR AN INSPIRING RECIPE FOR YOUR NEXT DINNER? JAGNA NIEDZIELSKA KNOWS WHAT IT TAKES, AND DESIGNS ALL OF HER RECIPES TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER OVER HER LOVE OF FOOD. LIKE HER SMOKED SALMON WITH MACERATED LEEK AND QUINOA DISH, SERVED WITH A YOGHURT AND PEA SOUP. THIS COMBINATION WILL DEFINITELY IMPRESS YOUR GUESTS! Jagna Niedzielska can be described with one word: love. She will not serve food, publish recipes, or start a project until she feels love for it. Whilst she loves contemporary forms, Jagna feeds herself with culinary inspirations from previous eras, and always pictures the end result to develop her imagination. Do not be fooled by what appear to be micro portions of food; Jagna produces creations, a part of food design, but she still cooks to feed – that’s for sure. As you can see in her featured recipe below, Jagna likes to serve dishes made up of two courses to make sure this is the case. Passionate about bringing people together through her love of food, Jagna organises urban dinners to bring groups of strangers together for dinner at one table, accompanied by a custom menu and live music. Jagna is soon to launch her new project, her new love: dishes. She is currently working on designing a series of plates through a ceramic workshop. It is clear to see that her work encompasses all it takes to make a dish complete from A to Z, from imagination to taste! For more info about Jagna, visit: www.architekturakulinarna.pl ■
P E A SO U P / SA L M O N / L EEK / Q UI N OA text: Ellie Hall and Jagna Niedzielska recipe, styling and photo: Jagna Niedzielska / www.architekturakulinarna.pl
PREPARATION TIME: 30 mins for the soup + 30 mins for the salmon ENOUGH FOR: 4 portions INGREDIENTS: SOUP onions 400 g peas (can be frozen) 300 g natural yogurt 2 tbsps clarified butter 1 tbsp honey pinch of salt (or two) pinch of black pepper water SMOKED SALMON/ LEEK/QUINOA 200 g smoked salmon 1 leek (w/o the green part) 70 g quinoa juice of 1 lemon 2 tbsps coconut oil
DIRECTIONS: Cut up the onions and fry them in a pan using half the clarified butter. Add the peas, keep frying, and pour in enough water to cover the peas by about 2 cm. Add salt and cook for 20 minutes. While the soup is cooking, cut the leek into very narrow strips and pour lemon juice on it. Put it aside until the soup is ready. In a frying pan, heat up the quinoa with the coconut oil. Keep frying it over medium heat until it becomes ruddy and pleasantly crispy. When the soup is ready, remove it from the heat and add pepper, honey and the remaining butter. Blend everything together and add the yogurt while stirring constantly. Push the soup through a sieve to give it a more velvety consistency. Mix the quinoa popcorn with the leeks. Serve the soup with the salmon and leeks. preparing the sauce. Cook the remainder (broth, and vegetable and bacon base) in the baking dish on the stove until all fluids are reduced to about half. Mix everything thoroughly with a hand blender. Serve the meat either in full portions or fillet it into thin slices. â–
MÍT VELKÉ OČI | TO HAVE BIG EYES Bite off more than you can chew (to attempt more than you are capable of doing)
ON A VISIT HermĂ¨s petit h Atelier
CR E ATIV E O RG A N I C L A B O R ATO RY text: Adéla Kudrnová | styling: SOFFA | photo: Adéla Havelková
DO YOU LOVE THE ICONIC HERMÈS HANDBAGS AND SCARVES, AND ARE YOU ALSO A FAN OF REUSING, NEW MATERIALS AND INNOVATION? READ CAREFULLY, BECAUSE THE HERMÈS PETIT H STUDIO, WHICH WE VISITED AND SHOT JUST FOR YOU, SYMBOLISES EXACTLY WHAT CAN BE CALLED A NEW ALCHEMY OF THE HIGHEST ORDER! The Hermès fashion house, which was established in 1837 by master saddle-maker Thierry Hermès, probably needs no introduction; nor do its legendary handbags, especially the Kelly and Birkin handbag, or its silk scarves, which are inseparably tied to this brand. What woman does not desire them? Hermès is a brand that has been owned by the same family for six generations and continues its trade in the perfect craftsmanship of its founder. Pascale Mussard, artistic director of petit h, who is part of the last generation of the Hermès family and has grown up with Hermès products, began to realise the limitations of the materials being used, the need to reuse them and the need for innovation. So in 2009, she decided to establish petit h: a kind of “child of big H” and a “re-creativity laboratory” that operates on the principle of workshops and cooperation ►
LEFT: The products manufactured at petit h are permanently for sale at the Hermès shop on Rue de Sèvres in Paris and in annual petit h “pop-ups” that always take place in two world cities. As each petit h product is an original, the display at the Paris shop changes as required. Involved in the design of each installation is Pascale Mussard herself.
among artisans and designers. Petit h was born when artisans from a variety of Hermès métiers came together in Pantin (a commune in the Parisian suburbs) to form a new kind of cross-disciplinary community, where, under the guidance of Pascale Mussard, the remnant materials from the Hermès factory floors (various textiles, leather, porcelain, glass and other items) are reimagined and reused for new designs and works. A handbag might be fashioned into the seat of a stool, and a silk scarf into packaging for a tea set. The process of creating petit h products is the exact opposite of the other Hermès products. At petit h, it all begins with material that arrives as leftovers from the Hermès factory. The designers then get together with the artisans to discuss, design and finally create finished products using these materials. Due to the limited amount of material, no two products are created alike at petit h! But make no mistake: the materials used at petit h are of the highest quality. The items used are in no way defective; they are leftover pieces of leather and other materials from past collections. ►
PREVIOUS PAGES: The materials used by petit h are ablaze with colour. You can find everything you could possibly imagine here – from leather, fabrics and thread to silk scarves, zips, buttons and pins. A veritable paradise for creative souls. Moreover, everything is kept in the utmost order and precisely recorded. Each shade of leather even has a corresponding thread allocated to it! LEFT: Approximately 30 artisans – specialists in working with leather, fabric and other materials – and 60 designers collaborate at petit h, which is located in Pantin, a commune in the Parisian suburbs. Even though the demand is great and the studio has the potential to grow much more, the aim is to preserve its creative, alchemistic spirit. “We want to stay petit,” says a local employee.
WHAT WILL BE MADE FROM THIS PIECE OF SILK AND THE REMAINS OF A CUP AND SAUCER? IT ALL DEPENDS ON THE CREATIVITY OF THE DESIGNERS AND THEIR COLLABORATION WITH THE LOCAL ARTISANS. AN ALCHEMIST’S LABORATORY OF THE HIGHEST ORDER!
THE THREAD, MANUFACTURED ESPECIALLY TO MATCH THE COLOUR OF THE LEATHER, IS WAXED BY HAND TO MAKE IT EVEN STRONGER. AT PETIT H, NEW MATERIALS ARE CREATED FOR USE AT HERMÈS’ OTHER MÉTIERS. UNUSED SILK SCARVES CAN, FOR EXAMPLE, BE TRANSFORMED INTO TISSUE PAPER.
Pascale Mussard’s original idea – to create a laboratory founded on the study of materials, reflecting the relationship between the creator and designer, and constituting a source of new techniques and combinations of materials never before used by Hermès – is become increasingly important. The petit h workshops have already developed new materials that have spread to the other Hermès métiers. For example, unused silk scarves are transformed into tissue paper. Another material that has begun to be used here to create home accessories, such as mirrors, and toys, is sugar cane. Just like the new materials, even some products originating in the petit h workshops end up, albeit in altered form, in the standard Hermès assortment. Although the chances of getting to see inside the petit h workshops are slim, its products can be admired at the shop on Rue de Sèvres in Paris, an establishment well worth visiting even just to see its amazing interior. A must-see the next time you’re in Paris! More on www.hermes.com/petith ■
RIGHT: The iconic orange boxes – one of the symbols of Hermès – used to be cream-coloured. The orange ones began to be manufactured after World War II only due to a shortage of material in other colours. The interior of the shop on Rue de Sèvres, which also stocks petit h products, is well worth seeing. The latest Hermès collections are presented here, a former Art Deco swimming pool from 1935. Petit h products include home accessories, toys, clothing and even photo albums. Guess which handbag was used to make the toy horse in the bottom photo?
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