Fashion & Politics On The Runway & The Front Burner
Breathtaking haute couture from Hungary? Who would’ve guessed?
Heads up: New York/Milan/Paris. Hungary is challenging.
The Washington premiere of Katti Zoób fashion was on display during a runway show Tuesday at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington, D.C. The models -- all from Hungary -- wore stunning capes, flowing evening gowns, coats and tops of many colors, but the predominant shade was mainly sophisticated black for evening wear.
Most of the clothes bore the distinct touch of classic Old World Hungary – born again in the 21st Century.
This oft-elaborate fashion is structured for those who want to make a Wow statement when they enter a ballroom. Definitely not for wall flowers.
Among the models were a few kids, and of course, kids always are show stealers, especially the ambassador and his wife's young daughter Zsuzsu, who nonchalantly walked with a pacifier while wearing a fancy dress.
The reception for 200+ guests also celebrated the conclusion of Hungary’s presidency of the Visegrád Group, a cultural and political alliance of Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia.
It’s all part of the diplomatic mission of Hungary’s ambassador Dr. László Szabo and his wife, Dr. Ivonn Szeverényi, to introduce Hungarian commerce and culture to the United States. Just by chance, it also was the birthday of Dr. Szeverenyi. Participating among the fashion models were the couple’s two young daughters.
The show’s organizers included public relations guru Aniko Gaal Schott, who the ambassador described as “the social animal of the city.”
Earlier in the day, the ambassador hosted a salon for journalists to discuss Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s reelected government and Hungarian-American relations, among other topics.
When asked about the phone call President Trump made to Orban on Saturday, the ambassador said the two leaders saw eye-to-eye on illegal immigration.
“President Trump … spoke about the importance of border protection and agreed that a country that cannot defend its own borders is no longer a country,” according to the embassy which issued a statement.
“The prime minister ensured the president that Hungary is committed to continuing its migration policy and protecting Hungary’s borders…Orban stressed that it is important to Hungary for the European Union to win backs its competitiveness, considering that almost 80 percent of the country’s exports go to other EU member states.”
So what, in his words, “pisses off “ Szabo in undiplomatic ways nowadays?
“When we are accused of'" following policies that we don’t, said Szabo. “…a shining example is when we are called far right;” he named the Washington Post and New York Times as prime culprits.
He said Hungary is a democratic nation that has close economic and cultural ties to the United States. That relationship, he said, has improved from when President Obama was at the White House.
It was clear there will be few tears shed in Hungary if German Chancellor Angela Merkel is ousted. Dr. Agoston Samuel Mráz, CEO of Central European Perspectves, said in his remarks: “if Merkel is gone…it would be a victory for Mr. Orban…the change would be a good message for Hungary.”
Hungary has tightened its borders to reduce the flow of illegal immigrants into the country.