The 14th edition of Ljubljana Fashion Week in the stunning new creative hub, Center Rog, a former bicycle factory, was a brilliant showcase of 30 Eastern European (mostly Slovenian) established and emerging designers, including some interesting collaborations and comebacks. Open to the public, LJFW is an independent fashion platform, headed by the super energetic Melinda Rebrek who says “in addition to having a focus on sustainability, Ljubljana Fashion Week embraces all forms of creativity with joy and pride, showing a diverse range of aesthetics and trends, from avant-garde couture to streetwear chic.” Here is a selection of some of the most interesting brands on this year’s catwalk, in Slovenia’s charming capital.
One of Eastern Europe’s most loved designer brands opened this edition of Ljubljana Fashion Week. Sister duo Mateja Lukač and Mia Aleksandra Lukač create designs that are always eye-catching, if not downright flamboyant. Contemporary, playful, rebellious, real standout pieces on the catwalk were an oversized overcoat and trousers, both in silver metallic.
A well-established fashion designer in Slovenia, Ana Jelinic’s ready-to-wear womenswear features natural fabrics with gentle colors and attractive circular graphics on some pieces. Based in a small town near Ljubljana, her very wearable designs can be found in her own shop and online.
This brightly colored, vibrant collection was made exclusively from recycled men’s suits, shirts and other women’s pieces. The fresh collection, inspired by the French Riviera, is designed for those who don’t want to take fashion too seriously. It is playful and rich in its mixture of colors, patterns and cuts, with a nod to the 1980s. And livening up the runway show even more was the accompanying performance by popular Slovenian singer Masayah.
Tanja Pađan’s coloful gender neutral streetwear brand is influenced by science fiction, contemporary culture and experimental video. Kiss the Future’s unique, colorful fashion pieces are made in small runs, all from deadstock fabric so any purchase is in effect a limited edition work of art. The wacky looks on the catwalk did not disappoint with their riot of colors, fabrics and designs.
Nataša Hrupic has run her own label since 2006, alongside teaching at the Department of Textiles, NTF, at University of Ljubljana. Navy and cream wool cape coats were standout looks in this award-winning Slovenian designer’s catwalk show.
One of the most highly anticipated returns to Slovenian fashion is longtime costume designer, Milan Gačanovič, with his new brand Gacho Couture. The thirteen made-to-order suits shown at LJBFW were not only lavish and ornate in design but genderless and ageless. Asymetrical hemlines and fabrics usually associated with upholstery, decoration and theatre, make these made to order suits both glamorous and unique.
As a Royal College of Art graduate, Slovenian born Matic Veler perceives fashion as art and his love of Baroque architecture can be seen in the embellishments on his beautiful designs. Raised in a family of tailors, his garments are made in small quantities as he’s keen to avoid unsustainable overproduction. In addition to long gowns for women, for the first time he showed menswear. Laser cut trousers and fine, transparent tulle tops were a strong look on the catwalk.
Designers Ana Malalan, Tanja Pađan, Kaja Cergonja, Nastja Mezek and Ana Ščuka create vibrant, timeless gender-neutral clothing made exclusively from unused vintage materials, making every piece completely unique. The brand sources dead-stock fabrics from forgotten warehouses, local flea markets and from retired seamstresses. This year’s collection evokes nostalgia and honors handwork and craftsmanship. Modern looks have been created with old techniques, often involving hours of manual work. There is a lot of patchwork technique and many inserts, using small pieces of fabric.
This ready-to-wear collaboration between the brands Almirasadar and Petja Zorec is a unisex collection of urban clothing inluenced by sports (primarily badminton) and movement. Sweaters with diamond patterns, checked trousers and mini skirts were among the wearable looks.
A sustainable, genderless brand based in Skopje, North Macedonia is committed to working exclusively with 100% natural fabrics like cotton, silk, flax, wool and cupro. Dragan Hristov, who studied at the Brera Fine Arts Academy in Milan, designs collections that feature minimalist, monochrome silhouettes that reflect the dynamic shifts of gender within Western societies. Natural fabrics and natural dyeing techniques are used in this strong collection of avant garde, futuristic garments.
This Croatian fashion brand founded by Mateja Dujić and Neira Sinanbasic features made-to-order, handmade designs. Adopting a conscientious approach to fashion, many pieces from the collection are seasonless. The collection includes leather coats and pants, woollen jackets, coats, and suits, as well as more formal pieces. Oversized coats and blazers mixed with lace bodysuits, and leather garments styled with suits, the collection has a hip, street style vibe, playing with wearability, designing pieces that can be worn whenever and wherever.
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