Winning outfit designs for the Poland Pavilion staff at the Expo

Published: April 15, 2024

Exactly one year before the start of the Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, the Competition for outfit designs for the Poland Pavilion staff was resolved. Karolina Augustowska was the winner.

Within the framework of cooperation with the Polish Investment and Trade Agency, Władysław Strzemiński Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź organised a competition for students of the Dressmaking Institute to design outfits for the Poland Pavilion staff at the Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai.

The design task was implemented in the educational process and teaching programme, and was distinguished by very specific assumptions and guidelines – not only technological and utilitarian, but also aesthetic ones.

Participants in the Competition prepared two designs for women’s outfits and two designs for men’s outfits – casual and formal – along with accessories. As per the guidelines, outfits must be characterised by original design referring to Polish tradition and by functionality, in addition to being comfortable, modern, aesthetically pleasing and corresponding with the Poland Pavilion. Due to the prevailing weather conditions in Japan during the Expo (temperature from 18 to 36 degrees Celsius), ensuring comfort for users in varying weather conditions was also an important evaluation criterion.

Already at the stage of planning the concept of Poland’s participation in the Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, we knew that we wanted to engage young and creative people in this project. During the previous Expo in Dubai, we invited the Technical University of Łódź to cooperate with us and successfully held a staff outfit competition. Łódź, which is the capital of Polish design, with a long and rich textile tradition, has numerous institutions that develop young fashion designers. This city also hosts many cultural events, including those related to the Japanese art, both traditional and contemporary one. We wanted to show it to the world, and this time we have cooperated with Władysław Strzemiński Academy of Fine Arts. The outfits designed by Ms Karolina Augustowska will certainly appeal to the guests of the Exhibition and I am convinced that the debut at such a prestigious event will contribute to many successes for this young person, says Eliza Klonowska-Siwak, Deputy Commissioner General of the Polish Section of the Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai.

Forty students of the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź took part in the Competition. The competition jury gave the highest marks to Karolina Augustowska’s work, and we will see the staff of the Poland Pavilion in outfits inspired by her design as early as next year.

I am vey thankful for appreciating my competition project. The inspiration for my designs was the ceramics of Bolesławiec, hence the predominance of navy blue in the costumes, and the main goal was to combine Polish tradition with Japanese style. I am very grateful that the outfits I designed will have a chance to appear at such a prestigious event as World Exhibition Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai. Thank you again for your appreciation – Karolina Augustowska, the winner of the Competition.

Academics and PAIH representatives stress the very high level of the designs. This also confirms the leitmotif of Poland’s participation in the upcoming World Expo – the Polish ‘gene of creativity’, which allows us to serve a better future, is a force that generates new ideas for technological and social solutions. Poland will be presented as a country whose main resource are creative, open and well-educated people.

The enormous ingenuity of our students is noteworthy – not only in terms of the form of clothing itself – its aesthetic and functional features, but above all in the context of interpreting topics of reference and sources of inspiration. It should be emphasized that all participants were very involved in the task and demonstrated creativity and professionalism throughout the entire creative process. We are pleased that they noticed so many cultural, identity and stylistic references to Polish heritage, which resulted in very interesting design solutions – dr hab. Sylwia Romecka-Dymek, Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź Professor, The Commissioner of the Competition.

The designs are really impressive and interesting, but also comfortable and have a professional, well-thought-out design. The sensitivity of young artists allowed them to notice non-obvious associations and connections between the cultures of Poland and Japan, and to transform these inspirations into original aesthetic solutions. Now, the winning project will be developed into detailed technological documentation and then submitted for implementation and production. We hope that the final effect will allow the Poland Pavilion to stand out at the Expo through its original and fashionable, but also elegant and chic appearance of the staff – dr hab. Olga Podfilipska-Krysińska, Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Design Arts.

The Poland Pavilion at the Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai will be handled by Polish university students speaking Japanese and English. The students will go to Japan for six months as part of their internship and will not only support the daily operation of the Pavilion and organised events, but will also represent Poland for Expo visitors.

The World Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai will begin on 13 April and end on 13 October 2025. Organisers predict that as many as 28 million people will visit the Expo during the six months.

We invite you to look at students’ competition works and inspirations

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