As soon as you enter the little store called Repertory you feel a light stream of essential oils floating in the air. Dried flowers in picture frames hang from the walls. The wooden shelves hold minimalist necklaces and scented candles. The white walls and the warm colours of the clothes displayed are in harmony with the small details and many potted plants, which give the store an aura of real well-being.

This is where the young designer and founder of the Hungarian fashion label Daige (pronounced: [deːʃ]), Melinda Tóth, works. She talked to The Budapest Times not only about the history of her brand but also about where she gets her inspiration and the meaning of the "Slow Living" philosophy that is reflected in her designs.


From London to Budapest

She did not always plan on becoming a designer, she says, and she never dreamed about creating her very own fashion brand. However, she was always interested in aesthetics and visuals. For this reason, for her environment it was not a big surprise when she decided to step into the fashion business.

Tóth recognised that fashion and design are not only important in her private life but could become her job too after she spent a year studying in London. Especially the London College of Fashion motivated and inspired her to turn her passion into business and to strengthen her love for fashion.

When she moved back to Hungary, Tóth decided to study fashion design in her home, Budapest, too. Shortly after finishing she founded the fashion label Daige in 2012. Success did not take long, as the following year she was already nominated as best designer for the Hungarian Instyle Style Award, in 2014 she was nominated for the award Glamour Woman of the Year and in 2015 she once again got an Instyle nomination.


Various inspirations

The inspiration for the clothes is different for each collection, Tóth thinks. She has already designed collections that can be categorised as vintage and resemble the clothing of dancers from the 1920s and 1930s, or the Golden Age of Hollywood. Her last collection is also a jump back to the fashion of the past, a homage to New York’s Studio 54 and the matching style of the disco era.

Although there are several sources from which she gets inspiration, Tóth joins all the Daige collections with a red thread, which appears throughout all the items. Every single piece has to be fit to everyday wear and symbolise a relaxed lifestyle, which the label represents.

"When the clients get up in the morning and wear something from Daige they should have the feeling that their day is starting well," Tóth explains. She would like her clients to feel comfortable through wearing her clothes, which emphasise their natural beauty in the meantime.


"Slow Living"

Daige is primarily for women who think that quality is the most important when it comes to clothing. The individual pieces are easy to combine with many different styles, so the clientele of Daige is not limited to a certain target group. Its audience ranges from young women who are fond of trends and versatility to ladies who prefer a classic business style, as Daige offers the matching clothing for a wide range of different occasions.

However, according to Tóth the brand does have one limitation: it would like to adjust itself to "Slow Living" and address first of all those people who are turning towards this way of life.

"Slow Living" means breaking away from hectic everyday life and saving time for enjoying everyday rituals, such as shopping for clothes, for instance. This explains why Tóth places so much emphasis on creating a relaxing atmosphere at the Repertory store, where the client is allowed to escape the stress of metropolitan workdays for a little while. Furthermore, "Slow Living" stands for a more conscious shopping, meaning only buying clothes that really do fit you.


Inspiration from the East

The newest Daige collection celebrated its first appearance in Repertory in May, and in the meantime it’s also available for shopping online.

This time she was inspired by the Far East for her designs. To be more precise, her focus was placed on India and its Hindu culture. Although Tóth confesses that she has never been to Asia, she is very fascinated by India. She researched the Hindu gods a lot, and watched a lot of Indian films to find inspiration for her new collection. It has helped a lot, as she asked herself the question: What would I wear, if I was in India?

"I tried to imagine how visiting India would be and I asked myself what kind of clothes would make me feel good there." So she created comfortable tops and items that reflect the especially colourful Indian lifestyle. Orange, purple and green and even pictures of the Hindu goddess Ganga can be spotted on several pieces of clothing.

As with earlier collections, fitness to wear is in focus. After all, the designer pieces should enable clients to dress in a fashionable way without compromising their comfort.


You can find the Daige clothing pieces at the designer store Repertory and online at www.daige.bigcartel.com

Repertory
Budapest, District XI, 5 Budafoki Street
Open Monday to Friday 12.00 to 20.00, Saturdays 11.00 to 18.00
See https://www.facebook.com/repertorystore/



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