Meet Iva Kujundžić, a Belgrade based artist/designer, who describes herself as an endless dreamer, passionate creator and true entrepreneur. She has won the FTDC contest at Serbia Fashion Week, giving her the opportunity to participate in FASHIONCLASH. A designer with the soul of an artist, her new collection, 'Sculpted Beauty', was inspired by Rodin's sculptures and the art nouveau era. The dominant veins in Rodin's work provided a direct link to the art nouveau era, known for its dynamic wavy lines. Moved by the emotion in these sculptures, she wanted to channel these in her collection, which she achieved through leather sculpting and handwork. The dominant veins in Rodin's work provided a direct link to the art nouveau era, known for its dynamic wavy lines. It was this anatomical challenge that provided her with inspiration to play with textures through a monochromatic lens.
Iva's collection will be presented at the Show Program on Saturday the 16th of June at the SAM-Decorfabriek. Get your tickets here.
What made you realize that you wanted to work in (fashion) design?
I think I am one of those rare people who always had a clear vision of what they wanted to be. That's how it goes with us artists - the calling calls to us and finds us, not the other way around. There were other dreams, along the way, but they were small and insignificant. But that calling and fulfillment that came from it was always the same. Ever since I was a little girl I knew I would be a painter or a designer. It all started from the drawings on the walls and dressing up Barbie dolls up to this day.
Why did you choose fashion?
I guess that fashion chose me.
What would you say are your main achievements in your career?
I am really honored that I received a full scholarship at the prestigious Italian Fashion Academy, and that my work was already noticed during the studies. I had the chance to exhibit my work at Belgrade Fashion Week and Serbia Fashion Week, where within the Fashion Talent Design Competition contest I got the award for the best young fashion designer.
What are your sources of inspiration?
Everything starts with the emotion.
I can be inspired by anything and most of all it is art and sculpture. I have always strive to tell a story through my artistic expression.
Why did you decide to participate in FASHIONCLASH Festival 2018? What are your expectations?
FASHIONCLASH is focused on both art and fashion, and supports emerging artists/designers. I consider it as the ideal platform to promote both of my passions. I believe it’s a great way for artists' work to get noticed and get relevant critical acclaim, including my own.
What do you love most about (fashion) design? What are the biggest struggles faced by young designers?
I mostly enjoy the creative process.
One of the biggest struggles is to find the right team to work with.
How would you define fashion?
As one of the best ways to be a storyteller.
What do you think are the most important issues in fashion today?
International mass production and excessive consumerism.
How do you think fashion contributes to society, can it contribute to a better world?
Fashion can contribute to a better world if each of us starts working towards sustainability as much as they can.
What challenges do you face in the design process? What are your favorite parts of the process?
It can be quite hard to find the right way to translate your idea from drawing to the 3D model.
It always requires a lot of experimentation. My favorite part is the research. I really enjoy in collecting lots of material, collaging and creating some artwork which I use as the inspiration for the further development of the collection.
You were the winner of the Fashion Talent Design Competition (FTDC) 2017 at Serbia Fashion Week. Did that achievement affect your career in some aspect?
The presentation and the award for the best young designer at the Serbia Fashion Week within the Fashion Talent Design Competition contest gave me the opportunity to participate at FASHIONCLASH festival.
It was very important to me that my work was evaluated by world fashion experts, because it really shows that the quality of work is recognized beyond the borders of Serbia.
This achievement is yet to shape my career and I will see only how important it was in the future. But I believe it has opened up some opportunities for me as an artist.
How would you describe the concept behind your project (for FASHIONCLASH)?
The collection is inspired by Rodin’s sculptures and the art nouveau era. I was really moved by the emotion of his sculptures, the elements of pain, passion and tragedy which are embedded in his artworks. In order to channel the emotion of Rodin’s statues, I did lot of fabric manipulation, including leather sculpting and handwork.
The veins that were dominant in his work were a direct connection with the art nouveau era, which is known for dynamic wavy lines that cause the state of motion.
Anatomy of the human body, transfigured into a play of textures, yet through a monochromatic lens was a formidable challenge, for it has required me to pour my designing and sculpting capabilities into perfect, wearable and sculptural forms.
What inspired you?
The emotion of August Rodin’s sculptures.
How would you describe your project in three words?
Dark, Sculptural and Avant Garde.
What projects are you involved in at the moment? What are your next steps?
Currently I’m working on my graduation collection, and also assisting in the movie as an assistant costume designer.
Besides that I will take part in one multimedia exhibition soon.
What are your thoughts regarding fashion and religion?
Both shocking and inspiring.
How does your day look like during the design process?
A lot of research. A lot of drawing. A lot of experiment. A lot of coffee.
Who is your favorite artist?
Salvador Dali. I adore him because his work incorporates every field of art and he was so versatile and multitalented. I can relate to that.
Who is your favorite designer?
Iris Van Herpen. She is so creative and forward thinking!
Photography Veljko Mitrovic