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 How Eastern European Fashion turned out to be cool

It’s London Fashion Week and I am at the opening event of the L’ Impossible, part of London Fashion Weeks’ International Fashion Showcase 2013 at Serbia showroom where I find myself surrounded by  the trademark Serbian hospitality and energy radiating from the creations of today’s new fashion forces coming out from Serbia – Ana LjubinkovićIvana Pilja and George Styler.

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If you are wondering why Serbian fashion should be on your radar, don’t forget that it already gave us Roksanda Ilinčić. Although today she is most likely to be claimed one of the British fashion hottest properties as she established her label in London and now dresses the likes of Duchess of Cambridge, Michelle Obama, Gwyneth Paltrow and Keira Knightley, I believe she is still thoroughly Serbian, or as in her own words: Slavic and Eastern European, this being reflected in her work.

But beware, the group behind L’Impossible project, striving to make the impossible possible as it faces the political and economical constraints affecting their work in Serbia, is a different sort of animal altogether.



Ana Ljubinković

They have a highly philosophical approach, almost idealistic to their work. While Roksanda Ilincic is the designer of the glamorous practicality, the designs of this trio are theatrical and sculptural while the concept behind is to express the self- reflections, sociological observations and capture the transcendental  with these wonderfully  complex outfits. They are probably closer to another Serbian designer, Marko Mitanovski who appeared on London Fashion Week in 2009 and boasts  dressing Lady Gaga, Paloma Faith, Katie Melua in his outlandish creations.


Ivana Pilja

So this probably raises another question: how is it actually possible that fashion from Serbia which is considered an Eastern European country, could suddenly turn out to be cool, inspirational or even influential when the general view about the Eastern European fashion has always been the opposite.


Designer : George Styler

One of the answers to that probably is that actually, countries like Serbia and Croatia which were once part of Yugoslavia, are technically not Eastern European.

The reason is that Yugoslavia was always a non-aligned country and never part of the Eastern Block. There was communism but it was much more liberal in many ways and the arts, culture and fashion were nowhere as affected as in other Eastern European countries. Ex-Yugoslavians- Serbians, Croatian, Slovenians, Bosnians were free to travel anywhere in the world without any visa restrictions unlike countries from the Eastern Block. They always have been fashionable and well -dressed people, many of them exceptionally stylish. The influence of British and Italian fashion has always been there and what you would see on streets of other fashionable western cities would pretty much be what you would see on streets of cities of Ex-Yugoslavia. I would even dare to say that people from Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Slovenia are something of a natural born poser, many of them perfectly put together. Moreover, contributing to the fashion designers’ way of thinking is the excellent quality of education that everybody there would have a chance to get. A cultured person from there is a true cosmopolitan.

So, while I am standing at the Serbia showroom admiring these imaginative creations of Ana Ljubinkovic,  Ivana Pilja and George Styler, I am wondering whether the fantastic outfits  could actually find their place in the reality and  translate into sale too. And while I am thinking, a lady next to me actually decides to purchase the gorgeous deer print dress (the one I am holding in the photo below) and she tells me that she can’t wait to wear it.


I am holding a piece from the heavenly clothes rail of Ana Ljubinković
Photo: Damian Trawicki

 Yet, I know that living in Belgrade, Serbia  these designers still have a long way to become  globally acclaimed, however as we entered the age of online shopping , it has never been a better time for them to show what they got as they are doing it now at London Fashion Week!


Ana Ljubinković


George Styler

  Watch this space!

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All photos, unless otherwise stated are courtesy of the designers.

What are your thoughts on Eastern European fashion? Any favorites?


About the author

Viktoria Knoblauh

Viktoria Knoblauh is a Hungarian-Croatian actress, singer and performance artist who lives in London but is originally from Vojvodina(Serbia), ex-Yugoslavia. In order to creatively channel her ever increasing information hoarding tendencies, she engages herself in writing articles about art, culture and fashion. Viktoria holds a degree in English from Joszef Attila University (Szeged , Hungary) as well as European Contemporary Theatre Arts and Performance from Rose Bruford Drama School , London. She also studied visual theatre and puppetry at Institute Del Theatro, Barcelona and at Lecoq physical theatre method based London International School of Performing Arts .In the past she worked in a wide range of different jobs including 5 years of interpreting in psychotherapy for rehabilitation of torture victims from war (UNHCR and Cordelia Foundation).

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