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 Ljubinković, Ivana Pilja and George Styler.
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.
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. 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. 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.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! Watch this space! [nggallery id=4]
All photos, unless otherwise stated are courtesy of the designers.
What are your thoughts on Eastern European fashion? Any favorites?