An Afternoon with Orsay


WORDS: Madeline Chesnut

I spent a lovely afternoon with Orsay at The Grand Mark Prague Hotel for the launch of their 2016 autumn/winter collection. Thumbing through racks of new merchandise for the upcoming collections started my morning in a vibrant way that no shot of espresso can achieve. All of my fellow fashion addicts can attest to the feeling.

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Orsay does a great job of appealing to young to middle aged women who have an eye for fashion, but who also keep an eye on their wallets. I enjoyed seeing how they staged their outfits with a mixture of traditional and modern styles. While I must admit that they are carrying boho out a season too far, I really appreciated the idea of traditional styles paired with modern aspects.

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The dominant trend that Orsay is suggesting for the upcoming season is faux fur and neutral colors. I saw faux fur repeatedly throughout the collection on collars, vests, handbags, boots, and just about anything else that you can sew it to. I have a love-hate relationship with faux fur because it can be so good, but it can go so bad, so easily. It is a very fine line. I’ve seen the multi-colored faux fur vest come back for its third season now, and I honestly thought we were past that stage.


Hidden amongst the beige sweaters and ponchos is a fresh floral tunic with a delicate pattern that is refreshing for the eyes.

blue coat

Bravo Orsay. They did fur right with this beautiful, periwinkle coat. The soft, cream fur collar adds the perfect amount of class and glamor to a simple, classic coat. This was by far my favorite coat for the upcoming collection.


Although the fur vests were not my favorite, I must admit that this black and white vest gives the outfit an extra dash of sass. Paired on top of a leather jacket, the vest adds another layer of texture while letting the yellow skirt remain as the star of the show. I really enjoyed the pop of yellow in these looks, and I wish that I saw more of it. I’m glad that they are showing black booties with their collection because black boots are a staple item for autumn and winter.

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Neutrals work really well in their men’s wear inspired collection. This rack was the highlight of my experience with its to-die-for coats in variations of black and white. If there is one thing that Orsay did well with their upcoming collection, it is their coats. You are sure to find one that suits you when the collection hits the stores.


Dusni 3 embraces Black Friday

Designer goods up to 90% off during the three day Christmas Bazaar at Dusni 3

DUSNI3 interiér


The Black Friday sale has come to Prague and no where will you find better deals this Friday through Sunday than Dusni 3.

Expect shoes, dresses, handbags, jewellery and accessories between 50 to 90% off! I’ve seen the preview of pulled pieces and there are no crappy duds to be found. Designer heavy weights like Diane von Furstenburg, Vivienne Westwood, Victoria Beckham, and Helmut Lang are just a few of the designers in this massive sale.

Doors for the event open at 10:00on Friday and Saturday morning and 11:00 on Sunday morning. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Tereza Maxova Foundation, which focuses on helping mothers and children in shelters.

Kabát Collette by CD, původní cena 13 790 Kč, cena po slevě 4137 Kč (579x800)

Colette Coat was 13,790 CZK NOW 4,137 CZK

Šaty RDM by Rue du Mail, původní cena 12 390 Kč, cena po slevě 990 Kč (566x800)

RDM dress by Rue de Mail was 12,390 CZK NOW 990 CZK

Bunda Pyrenex, původní cena 26 590 Kč, cena po slevě 4990 Kč (505x800)

Pyrenex jacket was 26,590 CZK NOW 4,990 CZK

Event Details:

Dusni 3 Concept Store
Dusni 3, Prague 1
Friday, November 27 – Sunday, November 29
Friday and Saturday: 10:00 – 19:00
Sunday: 11:00 – 18:00
Credit cards and cash accepted

Another season, Another go – Mercedes Benz Prague Fashion Week SS16


Mercedes Benz Prague Fashion Week is now in full swing kicking off the first of three fashion weeks for the Czech Republic. Those looking to partake in the fashion action will enjoy cocktail parties, pop-up stores and hedonistic after party programmes until Sunday, September 6 many of which are free; though there are quite a few – like all of the fashion shows -where an invitation, tickets or accreditation of some kind must be secured ahead of time.  { Tickets can be purchased through the MBPFW website}.

What to expect – a lot of pushing, extravagant outfits, and people desperate to sit front row. Also, the show – which will start late – will be about 15 minutes total so keep that in mind before shelling out tickets

Want to shell out money for tickets – here are my picks for Friday, Saturday and Sunday:

Friday: 19:00- Zuzana Kubickova and Katerina Geislerova

Saturday: 19:00 – Jakub Polanka and LaFormela
21:00 -Petra Ptackova and Martina Spetlova

Sunday: 10:30 – Student’s Collections
15:00 – Michael Kovacik Prague and Tiqe by Petra Balvinova
21:00 – Dolce Vita presents London College of Fashion


For the Full Schedule please visit the MERCEDES BENZ PRAGUE FASHION WEEK website.


Hear ye! Hear ye! MBPFW designers, location and dates announced

Location is everything and MBPFW made sure to be in the literal centre for their spring edition

Location is everything and MBPFW made sure to be in the literal centre for their spring edition

The first ever Spring MBPFW opens for catwalk business March 21 and 22 at the Živnostenské bank and ZIBA Museum of modern glass under the watchful eye  of Czechoslovak models and the Blue Paper team.

The fashion weekend promises to be the runway equivalent to binge eating five sacher cakes in a row; we all know those models don’t eat cake, at least not cake that they keep down.  The six shows and over twenty designers over the course of two days include a lot of familiar faces; Chatty, Petra Balvínová, Pavel Berky, Pavel Brejcha, Mirka Horka, Michael Kováčik, Zuzana Kubíčková, LaFormela, Lukas Machacek, Ivana Mentlová, Klára Nademlýnská, Denisa Nova, Odivi, Daniela Pešková, Jakub Polanka, Petra Ptáčková, Vladimir Stanek, Martina Špetlová, and Pietro Filipi with Silverline, the collection by Ivana Mentlová.


Two very big names in fashion media will also descend upon the capitol that weekend; Nowfashion, a live-stream website that covers the New York, Paris, Milan and London shows will also film Prague (now I can finally be like Cathy Horyn and watch the shows in my PJs). is said to be heading to Prague to shoot street style, giving a lot of our current street-style bloggers a run for their money.

Tickets and VIP passes will go on sale shortly so keep checking the MBPFW website for more information.

Prague’s Black Friday at Dusni 3

Prague Boutique offering 70% off selected merchandise

Black Friday, that one day a year in which retailers in the US pray that their books will finally go from the abysmal red to the glorified black. In Prague, we never get to experience the insanity that is Black Friday; long ques, hustling for the latest technology, and 2+1 buys that are all too-good-to-be-true. Hell, we’re lucky if we can actually find goods that are a true 70% off and not from three seasons ago (I’m looking at you Zara).

DUSNI3  however plans on changing that. For three days the boutique carrying the likes or Tara Jarmon, Victoria Beckham, and Vivienne Westwood will be up to 70% off the original price. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Tereza  Foundation to the “Made By” project.





Dušní 3, Prague 1

Opening Times:  Friday, November 28 : 10:00am- 7:00pm

Saturday, November 29  : 10:00am – 7:00pm

Sunday, November 30   : 10:00am – 6:00pm


Shopping late night: Prague holds second fashion night out event


Event proves fashion has a place in the Czech capital

The opening of Prague Fashion Night 2014 in Old Town Square

The opening of Prague Fashion Night 2014 in Old Town Square


On March 27 the second Prague Fashion Night, held in conjunction with Harper’s Bazaar Czech popped the champagne and extended shops hours for the city’s shopaholics. In a city known more for its golden spires and cobbled streets – which has ruined more than one good pair of heels – the idea of a fashion night out is somewhat of a foreign concept. Barbora Bergova and Karolina Bosakova, the duo behind Dreft Fashion Week and Fashion Week Prague, know that people in Prague are hungry for fashion and are eager to give them what they want.

Supermodel Petra Nemcova opens the second Prague Fashion Night in Old Town Square Photo Credit: Hermina

Supermodel Petra Nemcova opens the second Prague Fashion Night in Old Town Square
Photo Credit: Hermina

With Sports Illustrated beauty Petra Nemcova as the official ribbon cutter for the event, the fashion frenzy began promtly at Old Town Square with stores like Tiffany & Co, Tod’s, Simple Concept Store, Beata Rajska – just to name a few – all with special events and champagne to entice the would-be shopper.


Now… here are the things worth knowing…..

Hand Crafted at Tod’s

Collection of spring/summer 2014 shoes at Tod's Photo Credit: Hermina

Collection of spring/summer 2014 shoes at Tod’s
Photo Credit: Hermina

The newest luxury store to open on Parziska in Prague was that of Italian brand Tod’s; who took the opportunity during Prague Fashion Night to hold their official launch of their new Prague store. The impressive 110 square meter boutique will carry the newest collections of both men and women’s shoes, handbags, and accessories. Known for their impeccable attention to detail, the brand beloved for their driving loafers flew over one of their artisans to demonstrate the craftsmanship of each Tod’s ‘Gommino’ loafer.  Through precise needle work, the artisan crafted and sculpted each pair or shoes to perfection – a movement that not even supermodel Petra Nemcova could resist trying.


New Jewelry line launch at Simple Concept Store pavlina nemcova simple

Petra Nemcova wasn’t the only supermodel on hand during Prague Fashion Night. Pavlina Nemcova, another Czech beauty was at fashion-forward Simple Concept Store, promoting her new jewelery line Gioia, hand-made in Czech goldsmithing studios. Using rose, white and yellow gold each piece is constructed careful using old-world techniques with solitaire diamonds. “The name Gioia symbolizes joy and happiness [and] that the heart of the metal is not necessarily a heart of stone,” explains Pavlina of her flagship collection. The sixteen different designs went on sale at the end of March and are available at Simple.

If you missed the pop-ups, DJ’s spinning London-worthy tracks, and free champagne don’t worry… the third event – I have on good authority – will be back in September during the fashion weeks.











The Prague Opera Ball: A Look inside the stunning event

A night devoted to Strauss with special guest Paul Potts

Women dressed in formal gowns, glistening gem stones hanging from their kid-gloved arms, and men donned in white or black tie, sip champagne in respite from the opera stage after their second round of the waltz: this is a splendour that is specifically European, and once you have had a taste of the opulence that is the opera ball, it’s hard to look at any other dance quite the same.

There are many balls around the Czech Republic, but none that like that of the Ples v Opeře (The Prague Opera Ball) held this year at the Prague State Opera on Saturday, February 8, 2014.

The opera house gets dressed up, too
The opera house gets dressed up, too

While the Vienna Opera Ball may be one of the most famous balls on the continent, thanks to an extensive PR campaign that attracts high-profile international celebrities, it should be noted that the first ever opera ball was in fact a Parisian affair permitted by Louis XV in 1715. It wasn’t until 162 years later that Vienna received permission to hold the first opera ball in the emperor’s opera house; interestingly enough dancing was forbidden.

Though the ball season was always popular during the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the First Republic, Prague didn’t receive its first opera ball until January 1948.  It was, as Zuzana Vinzens, Director of the Prague Opera Ball, explains, “a place where intellectuals, artists, and people of society could all meet.” Sadly, as with so much of Czech history, the communist regime all but wiped out the tradition and for over 44 years the idea of the opera ball lay dormant only to be reintroduced to society in 1992.

With ball season in full swing for both Czechs and Austrians, it should be noted that there are a few differences between the two country’s opera balls. The debut of young women may be common in Vienna, it is not, Vinzens said, a tradition here due in large part to communist legay. “It [communism] changed society and this year we had a lot of discussions with Austrian groups and here in the Czech Republic [about bringing the debut to Prague], but I think it’s very difficult to start this tradition now.”

After the ball it's the afterparty
After the ball it’s the afterparty

The other difference visitors will notice is the lack of the dance that causes giddy hysteria among ball participants in Vienna; the quadrille. During a recent trip to Vienna I had the privilege of attending a ball at the Hofburg Palace and was privy to the 8-count, 18th-century dance that was performed with such enthusiasm you would be forgiven if you thought it was the newest dance craze.

These differences aside, Vinzens, who hails from Litomyšl, the same hometown as that of famed Czech composer Bedřich Smetana, became the event manager in 2010 and, finally, the director of the Prague Opera Ball. It was under her tutelage that the ball has been transformed into a sophisticated affair that is considered one of the most prestigious social events on the Czech calendar. And while an event of this magnitude attracts celebrities and royalty, it is also cherished among those who genuinely love to dance.

Waltz this way
Waltz this way

“We have a lot of guests that come every year. They buy the tickets the moment they go on sale for the following year, they want their favorite seats in the opera,” explained Vinzens.

While past years have been centred around modern themse like Bond girls or royalty, this year is all about Strauss, the waltz, the ballet and the opera. From the opening of Johann Strauss II, Die Fledermaus Overture to the midnight celebration of the Radetzky March, great care has been taken to preserve the very essence that is the opera ball. “This year we will focus a lot more on the music and the dancing, not only the waltz, but the ballet,” said Vinzens.

This year's ball will focus more on ballet
This year’s ball will focus more on ballet

Though Strauss and the dynasty’s history are the themes, 2009 Britain’s Got Talent winner Paul Potts is the special guest of honor for the 2014 ball. This was for Vinzens the culmination of a dream that she had been working on since 2011. “A funny thing happened; I gave an interview and said Paul Potts was my dream guest and one week later his manager  contacted me, saying Paul has a free date on the day of the ball. To be honest, I wanted Paul Potts for a few years because every time I see his story I have goose bumps,” she said of her dream guest.

The melodic sounds of Strauss and Mr. Potts can also be appreciated throughout the evening as one sits and enjoys two sets of meals provided by Intercontinental Hotel catering, both of which are included in the ticket price. Guests can savor veal, duck confit, smoked trout and salmon tartar, and should one still be hungry after midnight, a second round of food will be sent out to quell the appetite of the most avid dancer.

Delicious meals in opulent surrounds
Delicious meals in opulent surrounds

Of course, one thing to keep in mind is that the dress code for all balls, but in particular the opera ball, is taken very seriously. Men must wear black or white tie, while women must wear floor-length evening gowns. If a woman chooses gloves may be worn (I personally think that it pulls the outfit together especially if the woman has chosen to wear a strapless gown) but are not mandatory. Those not adhering to the aforementioned dress code will not be let into the opera ball.

(TIP: Buying a ballgown for night feel a bit out of reach? You can rent one here.)

The author at last year's ball
The author at last year’s ball

Though Prague may lack the debutantes and the quadrille, as well as the tireless press campaign of the Vienna Opernball, dancing the waltz or – after midnight – a more contemporary dance on the stage of the Prague State Opera is an experience unlike any other and afforded to very few. If you’ve considered going to the ball, this one is sure to be an extraordinary experience for first timers. Buy the ticket, enjoy the evening of food, culture, and Old World charm, if only for one enchanted evening.

Ples v Opeře 2014
Feb 8, 2014
Tickets are still available and at start at 2,500 CZK which included unlimited food and beverages.
Buy tickets here
See program here

This article first appeared on the webportal : Expats. cz on January 28, 2014