The State of Serbian Fashion (Weeks!)

What a gripping tale of mistaken identities and misguided tours! All I wanted … was to see Roksanda Ilincic’s peer group. “The most famous Serbian designer” shows and retails out of London. I was curious about the rest of Belgrade fashion scene. I reigned-in my Kusturica-fueled wild expectations and clicked… Belgrade Fashion Week turned out to be my first official post-paris disappointment. Gallery after gallery I was seeing practically nothing worth telling anyone about. “How could Balkan fashion be so boring?! Ok ok ok, it’s Serbian and not Balkan but c’mon … still” I lamented to a friend. “So write about that!” I didn’t want to write about that. After my Toronto/ETC post (where I felt I had to write something about every single one of TOM* presentations), I vowed not to write just to write something. My audience and I deserve to be inspired, impressed, intrigued, etc. Then yet another friend (I was going on & on about this!) told me that fashion week in Serbia is held outside Belgrade… Aha, Fashion Week Serbia in Nish! Here we go… oh no, how can a promo site be so poorly designed? Oh ok, maybe if it’s designed to promote such poorly executed events. The hard-to-find image galleries left me bewildered. I could not believe how sad the situation was! Then a friend of a friend messaged me: “It’s not Fashion Week Serbia in Nish. It’s Serbia Fashion Week in Novi Sad.” Seriously?! How many national fashion weeks can one nation sustain?! I was beginning to feel like a clueless character on a darkly comical quest in an Emir Kusturica film after all… 🙂 So, let me go on the record to say it. If you are looking for “Serbian Fashion” you will find it at Serbia Fashion Week in Novi Sad.

Now that I know, I will review a few individual collections next season. Here are some designers that caught my post-paris eye! Most of it fits the larger-than-life epic category: the whimsical magic-wear of Vasilije Kovačev in contrast with the dark glam couture of Zvonko Marković and Lazar Ilić set against the intricate detailing in lux-gowns by Danijela Božić and Zorana Miličić. Some pretty / awesome menswear was shown by guests Miroslav Mišljen and Andrea Lazzari from Slovenia and Italy, respectively. Meanwhile, hands-up best-in-show honors (and forthcoming separate review) belongs to Bata Spasojević who made my wild Serbian runways chase worthwhile! And also, last but in no way least, a very-very special mention goes out to one particular Lazar Ilić dress-model-look-situation-moment-of-grace-whoa… Kusturica would approve.


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