BEST-IN-SHOW (Serbia): Bata Spasojević 

Defiance. This is the moral of the story told by Bata Spasojević at Serbia Fashion Week in Novi Sad. The formal inspiration for the fall-winter 2015 collection may have ranged from Clockwork Orange to Orange County, but one idea held it together and kept it up like those bright red belts. Defiance: disobedience, insubordination, noncooperation, cheekiness. It weren’t even the gun-toting theatrics… To me militarism always seems superfluous in fashion, but if there were contextual places wherein one could not be phased by a gun at any wedding-funeral-catwalk… the aggregate “Balkans” certainly would be it. However, when fake guns turn into real go-pro cameras in the hands of the models, we are ushered into the space of zeitgeist social weaponry. The fuck-off styling with goth-eyes and various masks becomes a thinly veiled critique of a surveillance culture. What are you looking at? Nothing and no one to see here! Never mind my scarf with an iPad pouch! Cute mittens and legwarmers with traditional folk patterns contrast the dark machismo of constructed urban personae. The garments themselves are fine-tuned clusterfucks. For example, there is a casual sports jacket with business-wear collar/wrists altogether recut to resemble a uniform of some yesteryear worker: a factory bookkeeper, a village apothecary, a railway engineering apprentice… Eras and lifestyles collide in these stark gray-red-white oversize knits. I. LOVED. IT. As long as the likes of Bata Spasojević keep stirring that proverbial melting pot, Serbian Fashion should keep its fighting spirit intact. Hear! Hear!

Check out my own defiant search for Serbian Fashion and follow Serbia Fashion Week in Novi Sad on Instagram and Facebook!


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