23 November 2021 / Juli Lami
Why is wine and wine culture the inspiration for your current collection?
I like to work around a specific theme each season and want the details of inspiration to weave themselves through the collection like a guiding thread. My subjects are usually Hungarian or Eastern European related subjects that are somehow connected to me as an experience or memory. The idea for the wine-inspired collection comes from the fact that harvest is the one event in autumn that we look forward to before the cold weather sets in and we retreat into our homes. It’s a communal experience where the focus is on the vines and the wines. I wanted to bring some of that vintage cheer into the collection, so I was pretty sure I would once again be working with a very colourful palette to create unique designs.
Do you see parallels between making wine and making clothes?
Absolutely. I mainly see a parallel between sustainable slow fashion brands (like mine) and family wineries. The dedication and precision with which a dress or a wine is made is very similar. My clothes are not made on a production line, but by hand by tailors and ladies’ dressmakers. Everything from designing the pattern to sewing on the last button is done in-house, and the materials are made in Italy from the highest quality natural materials. Love and respect for the profession is evident in every piece of clothing, just like it is in the taste of every quality wine.
Items from the latest Tomcsányi collection try to convey the spirit of the vintage
You are a master of patterns. How did vines and wine inspire the patterns in this collection?
I started with the vine, wanting to show it in as many different scales and colour combinations as possible. Some designs depict the vine in an abstract way, while others bring this inspiration to life with eye-catching colours. The colour palette also includes some of my all-time favourite colours like ultramarine blue, lavender purple and burgundy.
Where do you see the connection between style and wine?
Perhaps the quality-quantity relationship is similar in this case. You don’t need an infinite amount of clothes, you need well-chosen items that are of good quality, suit your personality and make you feel good. My thoughts on wine consumption are similar. I’m much more interested in drinking a wine with character than downing a litre of spritzer. When I drink wine, I like to do it the right way, just as I don’t make any compromises when it comes to choosing clothes.
Do you remember your first encounter with wine?
I’d rather say I remember my first encounter with a really good wine. When I was a teenager, I had a party while my parents were away, and I took one of their wines, hoping that maybe they wouldn’t notice. When we opened it, I could tell from its aromas that it was something very different from the wines I had encountered before. It was a Cuvée Carissimae from Tiffán Ede Winery. Of course, my parents did notice and were not entirely happy about my introduction to wine. Since then, I have always loved red wines with character. How have you seen wine culture changing in the last 10-15 years?
I am not a wine expert, just an enthusiast wine lover. However, the most striking change for me is the emergence of wineries and restaurants. It’s wonderful that there are increasing numbers of estates where you are welcome to visit, and there is a way to spend time there. I really like the wineries in the Balaton Highlands, where you can taste locally made wines in a beautiful setting.
What kind of wine drinker are you? When do you like to drink wine?
I don’t know whether I’m a conscious wine drinker. It certainly makes a difference what I drink. I prefer to drink wine in company. I like big dinners and like ending them with chocolate and red wine.
What do you think about Hungarian wine?
I really like Hungarian wines. I am familiar enough with Hungarian wines that I feel comfortable recommending them to foreign friends in a restaurant or taking them as a gift for a dinner party. Basically, my first choice is always Hungarian, but I think that most people are biased towards their own local wines.
The designer in one of her favourite items from the collection (left)
What are your favourite wines, what do you most like drinking?
I have recently discovered the wines from Tomcsányi Family Winery, and their pet-nat has become one of my great favourites. Later it turned out that we don’t just share the same surname, but we are also descendants of the same Tomcsányi family and are distantly related.
Do you have an unforgettable wine experience?
I have many unforgettable experiences, for example, István Balassa’s Nyulászó Furmint was my favourite for years. One night I was having dinner at my wine expert friend, Ági Peller’s house, and she just kept opening great bottles. When I mentioned that Balassa wines were to die for, she just sent me home with a box of Nyulászó Furmint. I was so pleased with her gift that I could have jumped for joy.