Exploring Inspirations project took place in 2015 with Dutch and Serbian designers participating in three stages: clothing, jewelry and shoe design. All designers took part in workshops with experienced craftsmen. Clothing items based on knitwear technique, onsite, with knitters demonstrating the patterns and possibilities of the wool material.
Jewelry design phase was centered around a filigree masterclass workshop with experienced goldsmith from Macedonia, Biljana Klekačkoska who explained the technique so that the designers mastered it in just four days of intense work and produced their own prototype jewelry designs in silver.
Shoe design workshop focused on opanak shoe (the traditional Balkan type of shoe) as an inspiration. The craftsmen from Kiri manufacture of traditional costumes held a demonstration of opanak assembling and leather preparation before the designers, enabling them the insight of the stages and method of constructing the details that are involved in their drawings later.
Conny Groenewegen, Sanne Jansen, Irina Somborac, Nina Sajet, Nhat-Vu Dang, Nenad Sojaković, Amber Ambrose Aurele, Deniz Terli, i Jan Jansen designed together a mini collection, which has nothing to do with trends, but is somehow transferring capsule legacy of the past into the modern era. It is a capsule collection themed around the craftsmanship techniques from the Balkans.
In addition, the special guest during the exhibition in Belgrade was the brand Afriek, also from Amsterdam whose methods are very similar to the project. Brand Afriek produces a very small series of men's clothing made from traditional African fabrics with vibrant color prints and also employ African workers in making the clothes. The long-term objective of the project Exploring Inspirations is certainly production of this collection and its accessories, networking new guest designers who will be inspired by other traditional crafts and complement this collection in the future.
Exploring Inspirations is supported by Stimulering Creative Industries Fund Netherlands.
Q&A with Ljudmila Stratimirovic, artist and founder of Gradstor Design hub
Where are you from? Where are you based at this moment?
When did you realise you wanted to be involved in fashion scene / creative industry?
I am involved in art and design since I finished university.
What are your main achievements at this moment?
I always have been very active in the design field, just like theatre. But recently I became one of the founders of the first independent cultural center in Serbia, Kc Grad and founder of Gradstor Design Hub association.
In what projects are you involved at this moment?
Right now I am involved in many projects runned by Kc Grad and the Gradstor Design Hub program.
Who are your artistic influences or inspirations and why?
Every day life.
Finding your own voice is difficult, where and how do you find your personal creativity (before you start designing; during the design process)?
I think a lot during the process and I always try to find something funny in my work which helps.
Can you tell us something about the project you will present at the FASHIONCLASH Festival?
I will present a selection of works which are designed by Serbian designers.
What does your collection try to communicate (what is it about)?
With our selection we would like to present the current Serbian design scene.
Why have you decided to participate at FASHIONCLASH Festival?
I like the concept of the event.
What’s a standard day for you?
Mix of family obligation, work and fun.
Vegan, vegetarian, healthy diet or any food will do?
Any food but no unhealthy food.
Do you have a pet?
Dog, cats, fishes…
Are you going on holiday this year? If so, where are you going?
What/Who do you miss the most when you are not at home?