Today we introduce you to a Serbian fashion designer Marta Miljanic. She participated to the FASHIONCLASH Festival last year. This year Marta will present her latest collection, Violent Dreams. The collection is inspired by fetish culture. Discover her work on June 13 at 10pm.
Hey, Marta! Please introduce yourself. Who are you? Where do you come from? What is your field of specialization?
My name is Marta Miljanic. I am a fashion designer. I graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts of Belgrade from the Department of Scenic Costume and Fashion Design.
Where are you based?
I am based in Belgrade, Serbia.
What inspires you in general?
I am looking for inspiration in everything but especially from the various types of art (music, movies, architecture, literature, etc.).
What place or city do you find inspiring?
Every place that I have visited is inspiring in its own way. Last year I visited Holland twice and it was an incredible adventure for me. I saw so many things and met nice people. In my opinion, anywhere you go can be inspiring. When you travel you can see and learn so many things that you can use in your further work. It is all about experience.
It is hard to deal with design in a country that is still developing and doesn’t have a developed market for it. That can be a challenge, but in a positive way because throughout the work you move forward and seek solutions on how to build an audience and present your work, but also on how to open people’s minds about fashion.
You participated to FASHIONCLASH last year. How was the experience for you?
FASHIONCLASH is a good platform for well-established and non-established designers who want to present their work outside their country. FASHIONCLASH also provides an opportunity for designers to show their work to people outside the Netherlands. There is a chance to make good contacts. FASHIONCLASH is well on its way to become a very serious platform and the organizers are trying to get better every year.
For me it’s very important to present my work in the best way possible to people who play a big part in the fashion world. Also I have a very good experience with FASHIONCLASH because a lot of reporters, bloggers and journalist saw my work and wrote about it. Organizers are trying to bring about important people and connect them with designers.
What is the concept behind your latest collection?
My collection “Violent Dreams’’ is inspired by fetishism and focuses on parts of fetish culture. In my collection I wanted to express my feelings as an artist about my understanding of satisfaction, pleasure, and erotic intimate moments and to define my desires about it.
Your collection is called “Violent Dreams”. What is it about fetish culture that attracts you? How is your understanding of satisfaction, pleasure, and erotic moments communicated through your collection?
My collection is not about taboos, shame or dirty things. We all have fantasies and we all are sexual beings, so naturally satisfaction and pleasure are parts of our lives. We are looking for love and are trying to figure out how to give love. I wanted to present those things in my collection. Also, there is beauty, darkness and fascination for some objects and bondage. There is intimacy and beauty in it. Our pleasure, needs and feelings can sometimes be violent and can torture us. This collection was still about my own fantasies and this is why I called it “Violent Dreams”.
Describe you collection in three words.
Dark, intimate and beautiful.
Did you always want to work in the field of fashion?
I always knew that I wanted to be an artist. In high school, I defined myself and worked steadily to fulfill my dream. Over time I realized that what attracted me the most was costume and that was the best way I could express myself.
Can you remember the first piece you designed?
My graduate collection was the first thing I designed. Graduate work was very important for me because it defined me as a designer and it helped me later on with my work.
A lot of people from different branches of art inspire me. I have idols from film, music, fashion, etc.
In music there is a lot of female artists that I admire. I love Madonna! No need to say anything about her and her impact on fashion. She is an icon!! When I work I love to look for different models. It is not necessary to have beauty. What is more important is attitude. It's all in the attitude and the power of transformation.
Ana Boltic is my muse; I adore her and love it so much to work with her. The beauty of our work is simplicity and understanding. We are similar and we observe similar things around us and I think we are the perfect match when it comes to work. Ana has a superior character; she can transform things and has excellent interactions with photographers and other models.
What kind of feeling do you want to transfer with your latest collection?
My desire was to challenge people to think about perfection and the definition of perfection. Can they find perfection in imperfection?
What is on your playlist when you are working?
While I was working on my collection I listened a lot to Nine Inch Nails, Deftones, Tricky, Godsmack and a lot of soundtracks from the movies. Their music just drove me and gave me good vibes. For me, music plays a big role in my creativity. I can’t begin my day without music anyways.
What book shaped you?
I have a lot of books from every genre (fashion books, books about photography, literary works and classics etc.). I have a few books that I love the most like: The Stranger by Albert Camus, Process by Franz Kafka, Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski, The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway etc. Also I love Stendhal, Emile Zola, Dostoevsky any many more.
Who is your favorite fashion designer?
I have a list of designers whom I love but my favorite is Alexander McQueen. Also I must say that I admire the work of Rick Owens, Heidi Ackerman and Gareth Pugh.
What is the latest thing you bought for yourself?
Ticket for Darkside band, a leather bag and black Vans skate shoes.
What is your favorite fairy tale and why?
As a child, I loved to read Hans Christian Andersen and I can remember all his fairy tales, also the ones by the Grimm Brothers, but one of my favorites from my childhood is Alice in Wonderland by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. It’s not a classical fairy tale but anyway it was great for me. All these authors made my childhood and made me grow and think about my life more seriously. As a kid I didn’t understand of lot of these tales; it was just funny to read but there were very serious morals and messages that I can understand now.
If your life were a song what would the title be?
Usually, I identify with song/lyrics and find myself in it. I am not sure about the title of a song and what it would be. If I could choose the songs of some bands/artist I would list a few with whom I can identify different periods of my life. NIN Something I Can Never Have, Bjork Big Time Sensuality, PJ Harvey Kamikaze, Massive Attack Inertia Creeps for example.
What made you smile today?
I just told my friend about your question “If your life were a song what would the title be?’’ and he answered – “Territory’’ by Sepultura , and I was like “Thank you so much” :D
I love when someone cracks a joke and uses irony in a good way, it always elicits a smile.
Twitter or Instagram?
Social networks can be good if you use them in a proper way. It can be good for business/work. Maybe I will pick Instagram because in my opinion people are more into pictures and respond more to visual things because they are tangible. Twitter is more about words and does not offer you a lot of space to say stuff. But in general I use both.
What is your definition of style?
I think the sense of good taste and style are things you carry inside and that can’t be created. If you have attitude and enough self-confidence you can wear anything and feel and look great.
What has been the greatest experience in your ‘fashion’ career so far?
Everything that happened to me was great. Maybe the greatest thing was the Elle Fashion Award, which I received in 2011 for the greatest collection and I can’t forget when the Chinese Vogue published my look book for “Souls of Aries”, my collection from 2012.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I can’t be sure about what the future will bring to me. My job is unpredictable but in a good way. Sometimes great things can happen out of anything, whether it is cooperation with someone or a call for participation. I will work as always and do my best.
Photography credits: Dusan Milovanovic