Photo by Kristīne Madjare. Styling by Sabīne Groza

Twisted Crystal, the latest collection of the clothing brand Tribal Hotel, is based on a digital manipulation of memory, inspired by the travels of the Latvian Cubist painter Niklāvs Strunke in the 1920s. In October, the collection was shown at the Paris Fashion Week industry show Premiere Classe.

Stories Editorial November 3, 2022

Tribal Hotel creates design through research by processing and combining often incompatible ideas. Designer Simona Veilande and artist Miko, the authors of the Twisted Crystal collection, have combined the cubism, the impressions of Strunke’s travels, as well as the multifaceted nature of crystals.


«The idea of the collection is based on the illusion of memories — on how memory assembles its own interpretation of an event from pieces, resembling a cubist painting. We tried to achieve the same effect by researching and combining different ideas,» says Simona. Crystals, which visually resonate with the forms characteristic of cubism, are a reference to digital design. «Crystals are an important part of our contemporary lives. They form substances both useful or harmful — LCD screens and sugar come to mind, both essential for the digital designer,» Simona continues.

The collection borrows the colour palette and shapes characteristic of Strunke’s paintings, creating digital speculations about his memories with 3D software. The digital constructs are transformed into fashion pieces made of manually manipulated layers of fabrics, as well as knitted and crocheted yarns


Twisted Crystal is not the first work by Tribal Hotel that focuses on Latvian modernists. The previous two collections were dedicated to the constructivist Gustav Klucis. As Simona points out, ideas for new looks often grow from the research of previous collections. «The aesthetics and thoughts of the painter Strunke fit organically into both the compositional and conceptual aspects of the collection. While studying historical materials, we were also attracted by his fashion style, ideas, and expressive personality.»

During their research, Tribal Hotel found out that on his voyages, Strunke was awestruck by the small towns in the mountainous Italian countryside, seeing them as «Cubist paradise». This scenery became a constant source of inspiration for his paintings, theatre sets, and costumes. During his visits to Paris, the fashion sense of its residents made a lasting impression on Strunke, and he dreamt of opening his own fashion boutique.


At the beginning of September, Tribal Hotel went to Paris to present their collection at the fashion trade show Who’s Next. WSN Paris, the organisers of the event, invited the brand back to participate in the Premiere Classe industry show during the Paris Fashion Week, which took place in early October. You can follow the news of Tribal Hotel on the brand’s Instagram account.