Thursday 25 April 2013

Encounter with ANA LJUBINKOVIC

Serbia may not have the best opportunities for taking care of fashion talent but as Ana said it "there are some hidden treasures".
Ana Ljubinkovic is one of those treasures but no longer hidden as she has has gained various successes in her short career.
I have been a follower of her work for a while now and in particular her latest collection triggered me to find out more about her story.

Read Ana's interview here and find more about her work, her inspirations and have a look at the stunning images. Enjoy!

Q & A with Ana Ljubinkovic

B.P. Your educational background? 
A.L. From an early age I knew I was going to be a painter (as my father is), so I’ve graduated from Faculty of Fine Arts, major in painting, here in Belgrade.

B.P. Where are you based at the moment? 
A.L. I live and work in my birth city Belgrade, Serbia.

B.P. How is your life as a designer in Serbia? 
A.L. Doing fashion, in every part of the world is fun. It is dynamic, exciting, but it is a constant struggle. In Serbia, you need to spend twice as much energy to convert your ideas into reality. You have to design in reverse: First, you have to figure out what fabrics are available and what kind of printing possibilities? Can I find the desirable material for coats or not? Than I can start sketching. I have to adjust my ideas to the reality of 'making fashion' in Serbia. What use is to fantasies about an all mint collection, when it is just not possible to find proper fabrics.

B.P How is the fashion scene in Serbia? 
A.L. In the couple of last seasons, it lacked courage, creativity and originality. I have to say that there are hidden treasures to be found. However in general it has lost it`s potential lately.

B.P. Which city do you find most inspiring? 
A.L. I would say, Bangkok (Thailand). I felt like I`m on another planet. A parallel world.

Photography Milos Nadazdin, illustration BECHA Vesna Pesic, model Zorana Kostic,
hair O`livio, makeup Marko Nikolic / FAAR Magazine Belgrade

BP. What inspires or fascinates you in general?

AL. Universe and nature wonders. Comprehending what is at the deepest waters of the ocean, what is behind our Milky Way and beyond. Human incredible inventions that have changed the world. Trying to make an original. Directing my thoughts and my skills to make something that has never been seen or done before. If I ever manage to do it, I`ll be complete.

B.P. How would you describe your own design aesthetic? 
A.L. I would call it urban couture. Kitschy, sculptural, thoughtful. My apparel is designed to bring good luck to the one that is wearing it. A little positive energy is put in every pocket. I am not joking, my new labels say “ANA LJUBINKOVIC good luck apparel”.

Fish Lullaby: photography Milos Nadazdin, illustrations Becha, model Ivana Momirov,
hair O`livio, makeup Nena Ilic /  FAAR Magazine Belgrade

B.P. What is the concept behind your latest collection? 
A.L. This is kind of “frankenstein” collection, made by mixing my s/s 2012 and f/w 12/13 collection. It has been specially designed to be represented at International Fashion Showcase 2013 in London. I decided to use what`s the best and significant of my previous work and show it to UK audience for the first time.

B.P Who is your muse?
A.L. Suppose it is Elisabeth Frazer, former singer of Cocteau Twins. Or her voice to be precise. It opens parallel dimension for me. Creates surreal atmosphere.

B.P. Can you describe your work in few words (tags)? 
A.L. Precise, fun, original. Urban couture.

B.P. Is your collection available for sale and where? 
A.L. At the moment you can buy it only in Belgrade in my boutique in Belgrade Design District. But I am working on it. First it will be available on Not Just A Label site. Living in Serbia makes some silly problems, such as exporting clothes which is a huge problem. I am trying with couple of my colleagues to solve this problem but we are constantly getting into ridiculous troubles with papers and regulations. Our government is not making it easier for us.

B.P. What can we expect from you in the near future? 
A.L. Where do you see yourself in five years? Within a year I hope I will be able to sell my collections outside Serbian borders. Also I want to develop jewelry and shoe line. I pretend and imagine to be worldwide fashion design name in five years. Let`s talk again in five years? Imagination is powerful force.

B.P. Did you always wanted to be a fashion designer? 
A.L. No, as I explained in first question. During my painting studies I had a sketch book filled with fashion designs. Now is reverse.

B.P. Tell us something about your creative process? 
A.L. Usually I have a few ideas in my “drawer”. I always record my ideas, even the smallest ones, because you never know which one will grow into collection. But for me, it is always about building a perfect image on human silhouette by putting shapes, colors, patterns and details in perfect a visual harmony.

B.P Do you like to work with other creatives? 
A.L. When I`m making collection, I am “one man show”. I do my own cuts, and if time would let me, I would sew everything myself. I like to be with myself and my thoughts, the drawing, the analyzing, loving and hating my collection in the making. It is also time for introspection. Once it is completed, I let other people enter. I love working with photographer Milos Nadazdin, and lately, with illustrator Vesna Pesic BECHA. Together we have created some amazing work.

B.P. Designer or artist that you admire or are influenced by? 
A.L. I try visually not to be influenced. I don`t keep track of what`s going on in fashion world because I have a strong visual memory and I don`t want to “corrupted” by someone else`s ideas, not even a bit.

B.P If you weren't in a fashion, what would you do? 
A.L Guess, I`d be an visual artist. Maybe, that is my future.

B.P. What is so far your dearest memory from your career? 
A.L Opening my first boutique with my good friends Boris & Saki. Belgrade was different at that time, much more positive and hopeful. People were more cool. It is only 6 years ago, but the energy has changed completely.

B.P. What songs do you have playing on repeat in your studio/work space? 
A.L I am crazy about Cocteau Twins. I`m not even joking, for about five years I listened exclusively to their magnificent opus. This obsession started 1990, when I was in primary school, I had recorded the “Iceblink Luck” video and played it million times. My first fashion show started with their song “Carolyn`s Fingers”, and nowadays I am into their first albums “Garlands”, “Head Over Heals” and “Treasure”. In addition I also listen to David Bowie, Kate Bush, Bat For Lashes, Lana Del Rey, Depeche Mode, The Knife..,

B.P Fashion is...
A.L the way of thinking.

More information:

ANA LJUBINKOVIC 'Never Forever' AW 2013/14 collection

Photography Milos Nadazdin
Model Ivana Momirov
Hair Olivera Milicevic for O`livio hair salon & cosmetics
Make-up Nena Ilic


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