Simone Manojlovic doesn’t need an introduction to those who know high end fashion. Italian Vogue elected her collection “Silent” to the top 100 collections in the world.
She studied in Zagreb School of Applied Arts and Design and in the Faculty of Textile Technology and completed her studies in Milan at the prestigious Haute Future Fashion Academy, where she won an award for design. She has presented fifteen fashion shows. She has won awards for her work at Fashion Wardrobe and Zagreb’s Fashion Week. I had the pleasure of speaking to Simone ahead of this years “Fashion Week Zagreb”.
Simone, you are a fashion designer, tell us more about yourself?
I would call myself an artist and fashion designer from Zagreb. What I like and what I’m interested in is art. I like my work to speak on my behalf.
When did you discover your love for fashion?
I grew up surrounded by artists, so fashion was the natural order. From a very young age I drew, creating my first dresses from paper. One of my main influences has always been my grandmother, a woman with a lot of style that has always been ahead of her time. I always knew that I would become what I am today. I’ve never seen myself doing anything else.
What style do you prefer in your creations?
Unobtrusive minimalism, refined lines, devoid of unnecessary details, without classic rules. I desire to balance volume and structure. Dressing is a concept based on personality, attitude and culture.
Who are the people that your clothing is designed for, how would you describe your perfect buyer?
I do not like to categorize, but my clothes are for those who are not part of a frame. Non uniformed, unencumbered, daring. Those who do not compare themselves with others, who building their own style. If we’re talking about a classic consumer, he does not have a style, it’s just a copy of a trend. I don’t liken to the idea that in 21st century, women are still put into moulds with shaped feminine tricks like pink, frills and bows. That time is long gone. Self-awareness is essential.
Traits my buyers share are a tendency toward unconventionality, good self-knowledge, spirituality, limitlessness. A person of free spirit, unencumbered. Fashion is a state of mind built on personal experience and self-expression. Self-confidence is also an important factor.
What is your favourite part of the creative process?
The initial idea, thinking, working out and making every day. I always want to create something different. I love the silence and empty space- it creates something unknown, new.
Whose work do you appreciate, both at home and abroad?
In life and regarding a fashion philosophy close to mine, I appreciate people that are always steps ahead of the crowd. Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, Junya Watanabe, Ann Demeulemeester, Hussein Chalayan and Prada. Croatia has a number of talented artists and designers whose work I follow, but I would not want to highlight anyone specifically.
As for the men’s fashion- for years it has been Croatian fashion designer Ivica Klaric.
What inspires you?
Environments, emotions, people… How one thinks and live is what inspires. The atmosphere in which I created my new collection was listening the music of Yves Montand and Wagner, inspired by works of Yves Klein, Kazimir Malevich, Goethe, Proust and the photos of Henri Cartier-Bresson. Reflecting art, as an element that eternally inspires, inspires this collection. Freedom and chaos.
Is there anything more you can tell me about your Autumn / Winter 16/17 collection?
The collection “Last Dance on bloody river II“, is a feminine boho code with a focal point on red. In other words; disturbing strangeness, an atypical, minimalist aesthetic with subtle and strong contrasts. A harmony of rough and soft materials and layering creating a boho look. This collection worn by men and women, world travellers with an aristocratic spirit, mysterious, but with a whole lot of attitude. They do not want to look like each other. The collection consists of dresses, long and short skirts, unisex jackets and trousers, capes and tunics. Each piece of work itself has a focal point of, monochromaticity, clean lines. The element of romance exudes through the collection; slots, multi-layered, raw edges with subtle steering.
Aside from working between Zagreb and Milan-Tunis, you travel a lot, do you find your inspiration in the places you visit?
Of course, new places and cultures are what enrich us and in some way inspire change. And through observation. I love new, unfamiliar things. Through the last two collections, I’m inspired by elements of Eastern culture.
Do you have any advice for young designers?
Be true to yourself, be consistent and don’t give up. Appreciate yourself and your work. A bold attitude is essential. Never put a signature on something you don’t stand behind 100 percent. Constantly strive to progress in your work, persevere and have patience. Do not listen to anyone, always be honest. Always take a risk… Never ever copy or plagiarise.
Tomorrow your fashion show is on in Zagreb, tell me about that and what’s next for your career?
For the coming week I will be displaying the collection for autumn / winter 16/17 at Zagreb Fashion Week. The final preparations are ongoing. Alongside that, the main focus is the placement of the brand on the world market.
Tips for readers of my blog, what should they take into account when dressing?
Choose shapes for your style and the clothes you wear. This is something quite personal. First of all it is important to feel comfortable in what you wear. That the shapes are flattering the structure of your body. It’s wise to invest in a selection. Reduce your closet. Quality materials and workmanship requires a higher price. It is better to have five wisely selected quality garments than a bunch of unnecessary purchases with emphasis on the “it” piece. Personally, I think the style comes from simplicity.
Have you ever regretted that you have chosen a creative job, without the 9 to 5 business hours?
Never. That’s me and I cannot be anything else. Creative jobs are not limited by time, it is a constant process of creation. From the initial idea to the final product. Certainly there are heavier moments, but they only push me forward. I do not often compromise, not to patronize, no one was behind me in this regard, so it’s harder in a way. Only with great effort and work we can achieve our goals. I’ve never lived my life according to the protocol.
What, according to you, is good style?
The impression that you leave on others. Internal, unencumbered beauty.
The way you speak, how you address others, through gestures and politeness.
I love when people seem to be not too concerned with appearance, but it’s a trick, they are aesthetes. The counter effect of this is when I see that someone has spent hours in front of a mirror. Less is more! Always. People with the style of Jane Birkin and Lou Doillon today, Louis Garrel, Caroline de Maigret.
Simone has prepared gifts for my faithful readers! Check out more on my Facebook page Life in Dublin
Xx, Ana-Marija Hota