INTERVIEW DORA ABODI

Byzantine Grandeur with a futuristic edge

Our hearts always beat faster when we spot interesting talent from somewhere new – in this case, Transylvania, although to be fair, this designer actually grew up in Hungary. Meet Dorottya Abodi Nagy, young and blond, a self-confessed handbag addict and a hugely talented fashion designer. She loves nothing better than to create complex designs so opulently detailed that they recall the sophistication and allure of 17th-century Paris.

But let the designer describe her work: “My ‘Dora Abodi’ label is all about prêt-a-porter high fashion with detailed, feminine styling and ornate embellishment. Because beaded surfaces and digital prints actually have the effect of rebalancing a silhouette, I use prints, leather, silk and precious materials to develop new shapes and patterns”. She cites her richly bejeweled collaboration with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS as an example, which we call her ‘technicolor dreamcoat’ because of its Byzantine splendor offset with a certain edginess: “At first glance it seems royal, precious, medieval – but actually it’s a modern interpretation with a contemporary shape and ornamentation”.

This daughter and granddaughter of fine artists grew up around paints and pencils in their studio. With no childcare available, she’d go with her mother to the school at which she taught art and spend whole days drawing alongside the students, gaining an early reputation for being the most hardworking and interested student in class. This is great feedback in any circumstances, but she was four years old at the time! It was a foregone conclusion that she’d work in a creative sphere but just in case anyone thought that wasn’t enough, she first did a law degree alongside a three-year course in journalism!

But the Dora Abodi label was to cap all previous triumphs. She launched in 2009, her last year at Budapest’s Mod’Art International Art and Fashion Academy, whereupon her work was noticed by Glamour Hungary and by the creative director of fashion events agency, Nolcha. The next thing she knew she was presenting her final-year SS2012 collection in New York, and soon after, it picked up first prize in the Design am Rhein Düsseldorf Academy competition. Suddenly orders started coming in, and the business was off to an amazing start.


If that’s life two years after graduation, we can only wonder what will happen when she no longer has to perform miracles with restricted budgets, and she can enlist more design and managerial help than just her very capable boyfriend. As it is, she offers not just a clothing line, but also beautiful jewelry, and to-die-for handbags and footwear. SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS has been invaluable, she says, always understanding her needs and sharing their expert knowledge: “Sparkle symbolizes richness – it’s beautiful and it’s full of secrets, and what I really like is that crystals reflect and transform light, producing new colors.”

Next up, she may collaborate with another designer, a luxury fashion house, or both. Don’t take your eyes off Ms Dorottya Abodi Nagy, because the next time you check what she’s up to, this whirling ball of creative energy will have leapt several more rungs up the ladder of success, and you’ll have missed the fun along the way.

Swarovski Crystals Magazine #01 - Everyday Extraordinary

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