Belgrade Fashion Week, established in 1996, was the first fashion week to take place in Eastern Europe and today’s show by Fashion Scout brings the best of the best of the Balkans to London’s Freemasons’ Hall.
The first look of the day was a bold one as the first model emerged with a face full of gold glitter. Ana Ljubinkovic is a master of contradiction as her designs pair traditional folkloric landscapes embroidered and intricately beaded across modern silhouettes. The collection spans across different time frames as cage like leather skirts recall fetish wear and exaggerated rounded shoulders create a futuristic aesthetic, and yet the amalgamation of all these different elements works effectively to create a dreamy and surreal collection.
Vlada Savic’s feminine silhouettes are the only similarity with the previous Serbian designer, as he favours a pared back surface with minimalist cutting. Wide leg cullotes are layered under long tunics and extreme flared kimono sleeves in thick white neoprene are brought back to centre with a black obi belt. The classic, A line silhouette appears throughout with the occasional bold striped print, and black and white form the basis of the collection, built upon with sparingly used primary colours. It’s a stripped down, simple femininity that’s ultra wearable.
Budislava’s designs also subscribe to the ‘less is more’ approach. Simple forms in a strict palette of white, black and grey let the clean cut of the rectangular pieces do the talking as they are layered for a graphic effect. Large black plastic visors cover the models’ eyes and foreheads, letting all focus remain on the garments in an eerie attempt to remove individual identities. The interchangeable models lend the idea that these clothes are meant for everyone and can be worn by anyone; clothing for the masses, maybe?
George Styler’s ethnic inspired creations were traditional with a twist. As Alaska Thunderfuck’s camp/drag anthem ‘Your Makeup Is Terrible’ rang out over the catwalk, folkloric motifs such as roses met exotic birds on patterned knitwear, bordered by intricately beaded bibs and collars. High leg bodysuits and dresses were at once overtly sexy and yet the thick knitted finish kept it away from vampy eveningwear. Adornment and swirling patterns give the collection a busy finish, balanced only by the bare skin on show whilst floral headpieces, crowns and what can only be described as hair sculptures matched the bold aesthetic, all brought together with a colour palette featuring neon pink and orange.
As the eerie first lines of Grace Jones' Corporate Cannibal play, we're not sure what to expect from Ivana Pilja's SS16 collection. A model appears, face covered by a white mask, a stark white wig contrasting with the theatrical black dress. A full skirt and wide, built up sleeves are Victorian gothic in subtle sparkles before optic prints dance across cuboid skirts and bird-like winged shoulders create drama. Faces are covered in matching printed fabric (as if the masks just weren't creepy enough) and layers of white strips fall from shoulders like sharp feathers. The sculptural ensembles overtake the human form, transforming it into an unrecognisable alien in a collection that is Gareth Pugh meets American Horror Story.