belgrade fashion week: bata spasojević

(images via bfw)

right, kids. so the news of the moment is that we’re actually coming quite close to finishing off this (rather disappointing, methinks) edition of belgrade fashion week, and as per the norm, i’ve saved some of my personal favourites for last. much as i’ve bemoaned it, however, i am pleased to announce that there were a few collections worth celebrating as much as we ever do in serbia.

anyway, one of those which was more exciting to me was the a/w 2013 range of designer bata spasojević, who is not only something of a regular (although that means something different in belgrade apparently, given that we basically never see a designer consistently each season) at bfw, but one of serbia’s more important designers, and definitely one to correspond to that dark, somewhat brooding aesthetic which has so endeared the region’s aesthetics to me.

alors. anyway, while we’ve seen the designer’s collections a handful of times in the past (see s/s 2011, a/w 2011, s/s 2012, s/s 2013), i’d say he tends to kind of prefer to keep his aesthetic circling somewhere around ‘futuristic-meets-balkan-heritage,’ but this season it kind of felt like he gave up on that a little bit, going in for a lighter look, both in terms of the materials he employed and the colours (which were still based in black, but with several different neons popping through).

the serbian site nadlanu explained that the fall range was titled ‘cult of personality,’ and like some of his other shows, mr. spasojević did indeed try to incorporate some traditional serbian clothing and crafts techniques into his more modernist, urban collection. i guess we could probably all agree that we could see some of the formed in the lace and crochet work of several of his dresses, but the electric yellows, oranges, and sheer elements to me felt right out of the now.

also, i’d tend to want to say that this season i saw quite a few homages to other european designers, from the bird wing-type fascinators, which reminded me of stuff we’d seen chez alexander mcqueen (and here i’m thinking circa s/s 2001 and a/w 2006), while the saucer-type pieces felt straight out of giorgio armani, and even the sexy sheer lacy frocks evoked those closing out sonia rykiel‘s a/w 2006 presentation. but, alas, similarities everywhere are inevitable, i know.

but i’m sorry, i get distracted with free-association time! let me get back to the discussion at hand! anyway, the bfw site had some nice background on the range, explaining that one could (trans.) “demarcate the three main segments: the first in which the emphasis was on knitwear and the striped black-and-white print, the other with silk upper garment pieces and a third in which the pieces were developed and made ​​from a crochet technique, with research started by the last season’s event ‘Old Crafts for a new age.'”

and really, whatever one may criticize the designer, i have to say i appreciate him for trying to incorporate some of the old-school dying arts in his work. and i do believe he did quite a nice job of it, as really, nothing looked, yannow, too ethnic-y (i always use anoucki bicholla’s a/w 2011 & BΛSHΛRΛTYΛN V’s a/w 2012 shows here as examples) or out of place, while most of those sheer lace/crochet dresses felt spot-on for some hot club goin’.

so the bfw site carried on to explain that range materials included the aforementioned lace, as well as some leather, knitwear, cotton, silk, linen, jersey, and viscose. and! i didn’t notice this initially, but are you ready for another alfred hitchcock-inspired collection this season? aha, well! wannabe magazine reports that, much like moscow’s victoria andreyanova and arsenicum, stockholm’s mayla, toronto’s miz by izzy camilleri and pink tartan, brazil’s tufi duek, and copenhagen’s peter jensen…so too was mr. spasojević! yeesh.

or, more precisely (and just like everyone on that list, most of which collections refer to this season, but none of which are more than a year or so old), the designer was inspired by the 1963 film the birds, and honestly, much as i do love both it, the director, and most of the designers on that list, even i have to be like, geez. give the poor man a bit of a break, yannow? anyway, can you see the similarities? honestly, i think i do have to give mr. spasojević a little credit here, though, for not taking so literal an interpretation.

hmm. so as a final thought, in another wannabe magazine article regarding the collection, they did make the interesting point that this was definitely a more feminine (as opposed to rock or androgynous) turn for the designer, and i guess here i can give him some props, too, for shaking things up, aesthetic-wise, a bit. in all, i’d say it was a decent turn, if sometimes a little lengthy, but then, i guess when you’re of the more exciting things the event has to offer, you can do that. ah, well. i can’t wait for the spring edition, when hopefully some of our all-time favourites (please, doda komad and ana ljubinković!?) will be back.


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