Since her London Fashion Week debut in 2005, there has been much buzz about Roksanda Ilincic. And with a new collection inspired by Josef Albers and a Mount Street store launch, there’s a lot to shout about for 2014.
The Serbian-born designer’s intense yet feminine use of colour blocking and elegant, clean lines, has been seen on some of the world’s most influential women; her pieces ladylike yet empowered; statement-making yet delicate; encompassing the modern woman in one fell swoop.
The Ilincic style is iconic yet unafraid of bright catches of colour which could once have been considered garish or harsh. It is the elegance of Ilincic’s designs which have secured her place along Mount Street, where she is to open her first London store in the new year after much anticipation.
She has recently teamed up with the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, to create an eight-piece capsule collection, which sees the evolution of her signature style, but also celebrates the work of a 20th Century great, the famed German-American artist Josef Albers.
Josef and Anni Albers, are today recognised as pioneers of twentieth century modernism, experimenters and leaders in textile print making and design. It is therefore no surprise that such dominant figures in the modernist movement of the 1920s have inspired Ilincic in her new line. Despite the Roksanda Ilincic flagship store not opening until early 2014, Ilincic chose to showcase the collection in the shop’s construction-site state to coincide with the Frieze Art Fair last month, much to the delight of aficionados.
Now available on Net-A-Porter, it is clear to see why these Ilincic’s designs have created a hype worthy of the hysteria surrounding the talented Serbian.
I had the opportunity to interview Roksanda whilst she was on her travels recently, and I had a lot to ask the incredibly busy designer. Here is what she had to say on her inspirations and new ventures.
FLUX: How did it feel to find out you were able to work with the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, drawing inspiration from an artist who you have admired for so long?
Roksanda Ilincic: It was an honour to dedicate a capsule collection to an artist who had such a unique use of colour and shape, the elements that are key to my designs.
FLUX: What was it about Josef Albers’ work which inspired you not only with regard to your new capsule collection, but in your own work as a young designer?
RI: I have always admired Josef Albers’ dedication to a study of shape and colour such as the series entitled ‘Homage to the Square’. This study inspired the colour blocking square patterns throughout the capsule collection. Josef Albers’ art provided us with a new perspective of shape and colour by using original combinations.
FLUX: I’m sure you can’t wait to open your new Mount Street store alongside so many fashion greats. What is it about London which makes it the perfect home for Roksanda Ilincic?
RI: I’m thrilled to open my first store here because it is the home of the brand. I love living and working in London because I am constantly inspired by the people and evolving movements in art, fashion, politics and culture.
FLUX: What inspired you to become a fashion designer?
RI: I knew from a young age that I wanted to become a designer. My mother, her love of fashion and her incredible vintage YSL collection were probably key influences at that time. I’m delighted to be opening the store alongside fashion greats such as Balenciaga, Lanvin and Loewe. It’s also amazing that we will soon be joined by the likes of Celine and Christopher Kane.
FLUX: Since 2005 your designs have been worn by some of the world’s most influential women. Who did you enjoy seeing your pieces worn by most, and is there anyone in particular who you would love to custom design a piece for?
RI: I enjoy seeing my designs worn by all women but it is especially humbling to see powerful and influential women wearing the brand. I was delighted to see the beautiful Cate Blanchett in a few of my designs recently.
FLUX: Are there any individuals who inspire you on a daily basis with your work? Or do you tend to draw more inspiration from modern art and design?
RI: I draw inspiration from my family. My husband and daughter motivate and inspire me daily. I also always look to art, design and architecture when starting a collection and focus on one artist or movement.
FLUX: What would your advice be to any budding young new talents who are looking to find their way in an industry that can be so daunting?
RI: I would advise anyone starting out in the industry to speak to as many specialists as possible for advice! Mentors are absolutely invaluable and I owe a lot to the people who guided me like Professor Louise Wilson of Central Saint Martins and Lulu Kennedy of Fashion East.
Such a glorious nod to instrumental artist Albers, seems to highlight further the passion Roksanda Ilincic has for her craft, and with the second half of the inspired collection to be released in the new year, it is set to be the next exciting installment of Ilincic’s thriving brand, soon to be gracing the streets of London.
The Roksanda Ilincic Josef Albers collection is available now on www.net-a-porter.com with the second half of the collection launched in the New Year.
Words Catherine Harris