Marta Miljanic studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade (at the Department of Scenic Costume and Fashion Design) and graduated in 2010. She featured her graduate collection at Belgrade Fashion Week in the same year. Marta debuted with her first full collection the “Ambiguity of Beauty” for the Spring/Summer season in 2011, which was inspired by the YSL quote about women, and how they affect fashion.
It was an insane, fast and a hard working week, but in the end, when I look back, it was cool, and I am satisfied with it. Before anything else, I must say that for the first time, I unconsciously gave myself the task and set a challenge like this. It was tough for me to present the collection in two different states and between these two, I had only one day free, and all of this happened in one week.
The collection “Revolution of Desire” for Fall/Winter 2011-12 shown at the Belgrade Fashion Week was based on the drawings of “A Clockwork Orange”. The next collection “Souls of Aries” for Fall/Winter 2012-13 was created from the research and study about ARIES as a mythological creature-warrior. Simplicity was the main feature of the lineup that was channeled by the strict cutting and implementation of certain elements into the clothing. Marta Miljanic amalgamated simplicity combined with the emphasis on the form and detailing.
Of course, I succeed it, but it was hard. In the end, I am happy with the results, because in Montenegro and Serbia Fashion Week the reviews were good, my work stood out, and I made very important contacts. The general impression of the experience it was great.
Her designs carry a new kind of femininity and seductiveness with the focal point on different forms and lines. Marta Miljanic won the ELLE FASHION AWARD for the most impressive collection in 2011. The Chinese Vogue published her lookbook from the collection “Souls of Aries” in 2012.
I wanted to celebrate geishas, their style, and the world they live in by giving them a new meaning. For me, they are not just entertainers, they are also fighters who are struggling in a cruel world of strict rules, which doesn’t allow them to have a normal life, to love and to be loved. So this why, I gave the name to my collection “Ode to Geiko”.
For Spring/Summer 2013, the collection “A Swan is Born” was inspired by the movie Black Swan and also by some parts from Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake”, which was presented at the annual FASHIONCLASH Maastricht 2013 in Netherlands. The collection “Violent Dreams” for Fall/Winter 2014-15 was inspired by fetishism which focused on the parts of a fetish culture. It was showcased at FASHIONCLASH Maastricht 2014.
The collection “Ode to Geiko” is inspired by the movie “Memoirs Of A Geisha”, it’s also about the culture, tradition and the origin of geishas, and their secret world. Reading about the history and origin, I wanted to create a collection that would show my vision, emotion and impression of the traditional female entertainers.
Marta Miljanic fused beauty, darkness and fascination with her own emotions and fantasies into the creations. Black and white were the key colors on the runway. Most of the pieces were crafted from leather, and a lot of detailing was done by hand. The collection “Violent Dreams” transmitted dramatic, conceptual, dark and edgy wear. Recently, Marta Miljanic opened Montenegro Fashion Week with her newest collection “Ode to Geiko” Spring/Summer 2016, and she also participated at Serbia Fashion Week in the same week.
For this collection, I took the base of a kimono and “obi” (it literally means “sash”), which is sash for a traditional Japanese dress and a part of kimono. I transformed them into more wearable clothes and corsets that follow the shape of the body.
I also decided to put and play with elements that do not strictly belong to the culture of Japan and the geishas, but still have symbolic meanings, which are incorporated into the story and reveal precisely my interpretation of the theme. Through the work, I wanted to create a futuristic version of it – a modern geisha look.
The wear was inspired by the film “Memoirs of a Geisha”, the culture, tradition and geisha’s origin and their secret world. Marta Miljanic also found her inspiration in the photographs by Nick Knight, photographs by Jurgen Telerate with Bjork for the magazine “Index”, Madonna’s music video “Nothing Really Matters” and the book “Memoirs of a Geisha”. The collection was based on a traditional kimono and belt “obi” (sash), which were transformed into wearable clothing and corsets.
I was also looking for inspiration in some photos of Nick Knight, the session for Index magazine with Björk by Jürgen Teller, and Madonna’s music video “Nothing Really Matters”, which was also inspired by the movie that helped me to create a vision of a look in my collection.
The color palette consisted of blacks and reds. The black color represented a cruel reality of geisha’s life, and the red color featured their secret life that included passion, love and etc. The pieces were crafted from shantung silk and leather.
In my previous work, I used and worked many times with the black color, which always represented my mood, but this time, I used the black color to split up the dark part of the emotional and passionate side. Black represents the cruel world of geishas who entertain men, and they are not allowed to have a normal life. On the other side, there is a piece of a secret life inside their souls, in which they can be loved, feel love and passion. This is the reason why I chose the red color.
Marta Miljanic celebrated a futuristic and a modern look of geisha in the “Ode to Geiko” collection. She expressed her vision, emotions and impressions of the traditional geisha by creating unique, exuberant and innovative looks. Young Serbian designer Marta Miljanic always impresses her audience and media with her bold and artistic style.
In each collection, I have a story to tell, and each story has its own world. Also, each story has its own mood and design that follows it.
It may look at this point like there is no connection between the collections, and each collection lives for itself, but I think as more time passes, I somehow will manage to connect them to each other with my personal touch. Of course, I have matured over time as a designer and became better at it, and my work has also improved.
Designer Marta Miljanic
Marta Miljanic Montenegro Fashion Week Spring 2016
Daria Zhiliaeva originally from Russia studied fine art and fashion at the Stieglitz Art and Design Academy. Later on, she continued her education at the Parisian Fashion School Atelier Chardon Savard. Recently, Daria Zhiliaeva received a degree in Fashion Design Studies from the Polimoda Fashion School Institute of Design and Marketing in Florence, Italy. She interned at the Tatyana Parfionova Fashion House in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Daria Zhiliaeva also took a few courses at the Central Saint Martins College. Her latest collection “BRYOPHYTA” focused on the cipher – a lost language. The magical elements and garments symbolized the desire for protection that humans infuse in clothing. Daria Zhiliaeva displayed a mysterious one-handed monster as the hero of fairytale. The fencing jacket, a Siberian child robe, a fish-skin wedding vest and a traditional nettle dress supported the slim and tall silhouette. The collection featured unique garments enriched by Daria’s Russian heritage.
Croatian designer Juraj Zigman studied at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan, Italy. His recent collection was inspired by the Japanese animated films and manga comics. The impact of anime series “Sailor Moon” was visible in the elements and deconstruction of the traditional Japanese kimono and garments, which resembled warrior outfits. The collection was full of rich corset dresses with cleavage and without, skirts, voluminous coats and jackets. Juraj Zigman employed hi-tech fabrics, such as a neoprene and synthetic leather in different colors and textures, and a multitude applications of tapes, cable ties and crystals. The signature prints gave the impression of being two dimensional. Juraj Zigman proposed edgy, fresh and fun garments.