Plastic babies, prams by Jeremy Scott, pornographic eyewear, cardboard cut-outs, sequin hair and more polka dots than one could possibly count. On first impressions you may be forgiven for thinking I’m describing a Berlin, London or Hong Kong fashion week, you would, however, be completely and utterly incorrect. I introduce to you, Ljubljana Fashion Week.
Cementing itself as a platform not to be ignored, LJFW played host to this years’ Fashion Scout South East Europe contest, showcasing 15 designers from Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Hungary, Austria and Montenegro.
All presenting capsule collections to a panel of five industry experts (I included) consisting of Martyn Roberts, founder of Fashion Scout and Managing Director at Graduate Fashion Week, Biljana Poposka-Roberts, Special Projects Manager at Fashion Scout and GFW, Lewis Robert Cameron, Fashion Stylist (Fucking Young, Pansy Magazine, KALTBLUT Magazine, Vogue Italia), Gili Biegun, Editor-in-chief at Joys Magazine and Giorgia Cantarini, Fashion Editor (Vogue.it.).
It was an extremely tight race and a very tough decision, with a few favourites in the mix, like designers Dejan Petrovic, 19-year-old Mirjana Josifoska and runner-up duo Sestres, but the award finally went to Gala Borović who will go on to showcase her full collection at the critically acclaimed Ones-to-Watch show in London in September 2019 as part of the Fashion Scout schedule during London Fashion Week.
Heavily influenced by personal chaos, Belgrade born Gala’s collection is entitled “The Base” and explores the thin line between fashion and art and their importance to helping the youth of today escape through total independence.
One noteworthy theme running throughout the SEE designers was the aspect of duality. Contrasting two opposing elements, like Serbian designer Ivan Divan’s conceptual “Meat Market” offering up his own personal take on the insta-obsessed world, what we perceive and what we believe, what we show to the world and what we hide from it at the same time.
The designers of LJFW aren’t one to follow everyday seasonal trends, catwalk fads or high-street must-haves, instead, they serve us individuality, eccentricity and a well-polished blend of commercial and creative freedom. Presenting collections with themes from gender fluidity to clashing graphic knits, polka dot pile-on and the occasional explicit visor. OK, Ljubljana, we see you and we hope the rest of the world will too.
Photography by Samantha Kandinsky