“It was difficult, as everyone had been trying to find out what to do next, and also beautiful, as we were free. So as a designer, I could finally go to Paris, to see this fashion fair, or this trade show in Italy. So I no longer had to rely just on reproduction, as designers we could go there ourselves, to draw inspiration, to feel the atmosphere, to see how people had been living there. And I was like Alice in Wonderland, as I went to this fair, and I saw the goods they were advertising, those fashion trends they were promoting, they were going to manufacture, but the people had already been wearing that, you could see it in shop windows. So it was just much more natural.”
“I applied for secondary school, Economics of Communication. You don't know what you want to do, being a fourteen-year-old. I had wanted to be a designer, an artist, but I knew well that I didn't have what it took. That I could go to the conservatory. So we decided that I should do the Economics of Communication. And the interesting thing was that I didn't get in. As they learned from my reference, which every pupil had been given, that my family was religious. What nonsense. Whenever there was this 'Action Z', when you were supposed to work for free, to build supermarkets, to pave roads, my father was always there to help. We had been this model family, I would say. And my best friend's father wrote that sentence. I couldn't understand why he had done this. He was quite into that Communism thing, so maybe he just didn't like us. But me and his daughter, we were quite close, we would go together everyday, to school and then back home, we were quite soulmates. And her father did this to me. And due to that I just couldn't be admitted, as the director told me: 'There's no way for me to let you in, as your name is underlined in red. And I just can't risk doing something like this.'”
“I remember quite well that on August 21, at night, we suddenly heard this rumbling noise. As tanks were passing our house. And it had been such a roar that the window panes were shaking, and we were quite scared. My father was on a night shift, at the chamber furnaces, in Karborundum, this factory, where they had been making whetstones. We were sleeping, so we would just hold onto each other, two girls with their mother. Then my father came home and said: 'Well, here they are!' 'And who?' My mother had been asking. 'Someone came to visit us?' And my father said: 'Our brothers, the Soviets.' I asked if there would be a war. We were scared, not knowing what would happen. And I remember this: Benátky nad Jizerou were not far from Milovice, where the Soviet army base had been, and we would meet those soldiers quite often. So my first Russian words were: 'Idi domoy!'”
Textilana fell, yet she was able to preserve it in her book
Vlastimila Bergmanová was born on March 25, 1959, in Mladá Boleslav. Her father, Vladimír Dostál, was a carpenter, her mother, Lydie, had been working as an accountant. She had been living in Benátky nad Jizerou with her parents and her sister, in 1973, the family moved to Liberec. Vlastimila had grown up in a religious family, which had formed both her opinions and values. While attending elementary school she had been facing abuse due to her faith and the fact she didn’t join the Pioneer Organisation of the Socialist Youth Union. On August 21, 1968, she was afraid that a war had started, as tanks had been passing by her house. She wasn’t allowed to study at a secondary school of her choice due to an eager comrade from the Parent-Teacher Association who gave her a bad reference. She started to train as a seamstress at Textilana National Enterprise, starting to attend secondary school after a year and completing her education in textile at university. In 1983, she had started working at Textilana, where she spent the following twenty years, mostly at a design department. She enjoyed working in the fashion design industry and found her job creative, she also met many new friends at the job, including her future husband. During the November 1989 revolution, she was an active member of the local Civic Forum branch. From 2001, she has been teaching at the Faculty of Textile Engineering, Technical University of Liberec. In 2008, she wrote a book about the history of the original Liebig factory ‘Textilana Factory, Pictures and Facts.’ While in Liberec, she also met Paul Liebig, a descendant of the original owners. In 2020, she had been living and working in Liberec.