Polish born, American raised, Italian and French trained (she served as studio director for Sonia Rykiel before going out on her own) Mona Kowalska is the founder and designer of sixteen-year-old cult label and store A Détacher. The name means “to detach” in French but it’s a misnomer, Kowalska’s clothes, designed consummately from her own personal affections, are objects of desire and induce a high level of attachment for those who appreciate and wear them. Her collections, a mix of sly engineering, sympathetic notions of womanhood, and a vivid wit are a rare delight in a superfluous sea of fashions. Independent and delicate, nuanced but approachable, the clothes cut through the smoke and mirrors fashion often uses to drum up false appeal and get to the matter at hand: to offer something special yet wholly believable for a woman to wear. Designing with integrity, drafting the patterns herself (no mean feat, Kowalska’s shapes wonder as much as they flatter the female form) and made with the finest fabrics, each garment is considered from the inside out. She is the very ideal of a modern clothing designer, her clothes representing not just a style or a look but an attitude, a world, one that she offers without hesitation and through her collections and in her store she serves in spades.
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