IDENTITY DRESS 2014 Ana Ljubinković

Designers, IDENTITY DRESS 2014, News, Past Editions, People

Ana Ljubinković

30 Sep , 2015   Gallery

Ana Ljubinković’s name was no stranger to me. In fact, as a buyer I had come across her work that got me right at the first glance. Her dramatic yet playful use of colours, shapes and details felt intriguing. I never got to meet her in person, but I must tell I admire her path so far and her approach to fashion, in a limited market, in a limited industry. To me Ana represents the fighter, she knows why she is here to design for; without compromising her ideals and visions she manages to break through in her region and domain.

 

Ana Ljubinković (Serbia)Ana Ljubinković (Serbia)

 

[Feyrouz]
Ana, if you would meet someone for the first time, what would you tell them you do?

[Ana]
I think I would like to say I am doing art, because I graduated from Faculty of fine arts in Belgrade with MA in painting. I approach fashion in a manner where every item is a piece of art. I am not interested in fashion in any other way. Creating everyday fashion I would feel empty. Do not get me wrong, I am not saying seamstresses are shallow! I think good seamstresses can sometimes be compared to artists, say it masters. I see my fashion as art. But then again, art, for me, is sacred. It is a complete other territory. If I can approach art this way I am fine. Well, I hope one day everyone would dress to show their personality. I can not always dress in the same way, I do like to wear showpieces, but I do not want to be stared at, nor being the centre of attention. You see, I am not brave enough, as I do not like to stand out. So I wear jeans and I blend in… (Laughs)

 

[Feyrouz]
I understand you in a way. I assume the environment you live in affects that as well. I suppose living in Belgrade is different compared to Paris, London or New York. It used to be the same with me, living in Luxembourg. I love to dress up! I find it fun, attending events all dressed up… It is a form of art you are making of yourself, your visual appearance…

[Ana]
And you can also transform yourself into a different person, dressing in another way you usually do. There is a certain power in it, which I like to use sometimes, but not to extreme.

[Feyrouz]
Just when you need it? Anyway, do you like to wear your own designs, or do you often not have the occasion to?

[Ana]
I also design some more down-to-earth pieces, as I have a store here in Belgrade for many years – of course there are not many people who would wear the so called “extreme” designs. Honestly I do not find these too extreme, but I feel I would not be able to run a successful store here by just offering the showstoppers. Therefore I create slightly more conventional clothes too, and I wear those.

[Feyrouz]
From the business point of view it is very smart you play it that way and keep your identity too. I am wondering what is the main characteristic of your “conventional” designs, how do you infuse your artistic identity into basic pieces?

[Ana]
I mix basics and details. What I am really interested in are the details. If I run into one that I find interesting to incorporate in my collection, I design clothes to wear that certain detail. I see clothes as a pedestal for details to place onto, and I play with them. Well, I do exactly the same for my basic line called A. The cuts are more “normal”, I play with details, colours and it seems to work. From every collection there are a few items people connect to and like to wear, so I always make those items for my store. I can never be certain about which garments would that be, I do not have that ability… I make fashion the way I like it, but there are always items from collections that girls really show interest in – I keep those pieces in my store and they actually are good sellers, so… fashion is weird.

 

[Feyrouz]
Did u have any bestseller, or is there any specific piece that you would consider as such?

[Ana]
Oh yes, there is a dress from my Spring/Summer 2012 collection! It is a pretty simple piece that goes along with the body. I think it is a sexy dress with big pearls all over it. The girls are constantly asking for it, so I have kept it in my store for 3 years. But that particular dress was actually a mistake!  It was unfinished when I put it on the show, it was supposed to be another part on the dress… Undone, but pretty anyway, even if it was not meant to be like that!

[Feyrouz]
This reminds me of the identity. We usually tend to have a complete control over the design process, but sometimes we realise that the moment we slightly loosen that control, some amazing results can happen.

[Ana]
Exactly! It was a good lesson for me, as I have the need of having things under control. I like to experiment, and sometimes I create pieces which, at the moment created, I do not find good enough… But when taking them off the rack again a few months later I realise they are actually really good. (laughs) Of course, sometimes it is the complete opposite! I say to myself “Wow that’s a great show piece” , but later, after seeing photos from the fashion show, I realise it was actually a big mistake. You can not always be right.

[Feyrouz]
That is true. As a designer you are often very defensive about your own work and you can not bare the thought of letting the outside world have any input or alter your vision – be it clients or a project such as IDENTITY DRESS, which has also been a kind of a mission to show us as designers… The idea of what happens if a designer is no more the king of designs he or she created, by being submitted to guidelines and conditions, changes the position of the creator to a subject for which he has to produce something nice out of the restrictions.

[Ana]
I think it is a great idea. It is a very simple cut, but then you have to make a dress out of it. You turn it around. It is a great project, I enjoyed it!

[Feyrouz]
How did you come up with the dress you designed for the IDENTITY DRESS project? Was there already a concept that you had in mind for your own collection, or was it a complete experiment for you?

[Ana]
I was working on my collection and have decided to create a piece that would fit the rest of the collection in a way I could as well showcase it as a part of my collection at Belgrade Fashion Week. I took elements I was playing with in my other designs and made a dress that looks like a facade. The collection was actually inspired by buildings and their facades. Inspiration for the collection focused on the moment when the catholic church started to welcome people through the appearance of architecture and facades… Not the gothic of course, but the period from Renaissance towards Secession. And that was also the inspiration for my IDENTITY DRESS.

 

IDENTITY DRESS 2014 by Ana Ljubinković (Serbia) / Photo: Vid VoršičIDENTITY DRESS 2014 by Ana Ljubinković (Serbia) / Photo: Vid Voršič

 

[Feyrouz]
Interesting… Architecture could also be considered as a form of art.

[Ana]
I agree. I do not like to attend fashion shows as a guest and I do not visit Style.com to see what is new in fashion. I never do that because I have a very strong visual memory, therefore I do not like to be spoiled with ideas of other creatives. That is my worst fear. I like to create originals. I like to get inspired by something completely different and I try to find it for every collection of mine… But I never buy fashion magazines or visit fashion related websites.

[Feyrouz]
A strong point! How did it start, when did u realise you were attracted to arts?

[Ana]
Well, my father is a painter, so I grew up in his studio. I was surrounded by art all the time, it was my environment, painters and all kind of crazy people around… So I decided to go with that, but I also like to design, from interior to graphic and fashion…I could not decide between fashion and graphic design, so I chose painting. It is something I was interested in since my childhood. During my studies in painting I had my sketchbook full of sketches. When I finished my studies I decided to do a fashion show and that was it. I never got back to painting. Well, I do have ideas and I do have a sketchbook, so it is a kind of reverse situation, but I think art is too serious to be a hobby. I want to do art, but I would need to dedicate at least 2 years of a complete focus into it; anything less would not be serious. Hopefully one day…

“I have to make it work and adapt. That is the real picture. That is the way we have to make our fashion. So if you want to do it, it is up to the surroundings. The crisis can be purifying. The strongest talents will survive, the creativity will survive.”

 

[Feyrouz]
In a way you are already projecting your art through your clothes. It is the matter of form or media used…

[Ana]
I also think that way, but I have good ideas for artistic installations which I would like to do, however fashion is unfortunately too…

[Feyrouz]
Present?

[Ana]
Too intense. And present, there is something new every six months and you have no time to breathe out.

[Feyrouz]
Tell me Ana, what is your next project?

[Ana]
The next mission: accessories, bags and shoes.

[Feyrouz]
Very viable products…

[Ana]
In Belgrade shoes are selling like crazy! My sister and I started to make the ABO shoes last year and it is going crazy. It is a small production, they are all handmade and the team manufacturing them is not able to execute more than 30 pairs per month. So, there is a line of girls waiting in front of our store when we announce the new collection is available! I have realised, for women, shoes are like magic and I plan to make more of those.

 

Ana Ljubinković Spring-Summer 2016 at Fashion Scout @ London Fashion Week / Photo: Chris DawAna Ljubinković Spring-Summer 2016 at Fashion Scout @ London Fashion Week / Photo: Chris Daw

 

[Feyrouz]
It is good to diversify, especially when the market you are being part of is not being considered as a very fashion-conscious…

[Ana]
And it is not only that! We have trouble finding fabrics, simple stuff… For example, I can not find a zipper in the proper colour, as there is no fashion industry per se. There are perhaps five to a dozen fabric stores to choose from, so everybody basically has the same limited resource of fabrics. In Serbia it is twice as hard… Let’s say I wish to create a mint dress, or even a whole mint collection, because I like the colour. It would be completely impossible to do so, because I would not be able to find different kinds of mint fabric… Perhaps one single fabric only, and that is it. Sadly I could not find different fabrics for a dress, a blouse, or a coat. It is impossible. A complete science fiction. So we have to be creative… Speaking of my collections I work in reverse; I design my sketches, but I do not make plans for colours and fabrics. Then I visit the fabric stores to take samples. Afterwards I decide which fabric would fit a particular idea etc. But it is never 100% the way I would want it to be, so I have to make it work and adapt. That is the real picture. That is the way we have to make our fashion. So if you want to do it, it is up to the surroundings. The crisis can be purifying. The strongest talents will survive, the creativity will survive.

[Feyrouz]
Ana, thank you so much for taking your time! It has been a pleasure getting to know the way you work with all this creativity you posses.

Please find more of Ana’s work on ana-ljubinkovic.com.

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Feyrouz Ashoura By    
Feyrouz considers herself as a fashion sculptor, graduated in couture at École Supérieure des Arts et Techniques in Paris. She also worked as a talent hunter for a Dubai based fashion store and managed to network with many aspiring fashion designers from around the globe. Feyrouz is in love with carefully selected vintage garments, but to keep it simple - offering her anything containing avocado or coconut makes her feel like on a rainbow!



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