MOJEH Interview with Roksanda Ilincic

Words by Mary Keenan

2 min read

Roksanda Ilincic knows how to make clothes that women want. The Serbian designer’s highly structured silhouettes and voluminous proportions stem from her background in architecture and have garnered her a multi-generational global following of well-dressed women including the Duchess of Cambridge, Cate Blanchett and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Tell us about the inspiration behind your autumn/winter collection?
The inspiration came from Rothko. I went to an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art in London and everybody had wandered out of the room, so I was literally the only person there. I was standing in front of one of the works, which was all in red and in that moment by myself in front of all those incredible paintings I knew that I had to dedicate this collection to him. And that’s where those shades of red and burgundy and the sudden interruptions with the lapis- blue and mustard came from.

Tell us about your silhouettes for this collection.
The shapes are fluid and feminine but also masculine at the same time, they’re very strong and are reflective of the current political environment. As fashion designers we’re communicators, we’re in a position to say something and be heard – we mirror society and what’s happening economically, socially and politically. We’re in turmoil at the moment, there’s a lot of uncertainty and insecurity so the silhouettes are strong and determined for a modern warrior.

What are some of the key pieces from the collection?
It’s definitely the plissé looks that opened the show, the padded coats and the pieces that features embroidery and jacquards.

How often does your background in architecture come into play when designing?
All the time. It influences the shapes and my structured approach to design building. It’s also the idea of shelter – I want anyone wearing my clothes to feel protected and comfortable, like you would when you’re inside your own home.

As a Serbian designer, how much does your home country and culture influence your designs?
I think there’s a lot of influence that I take from back home, that people aren’t really aware of. For example my sense of colour really comes from home – we’re a country with lots of sun, vegetation, and nature. I remember when I started out as a designer in London, colour wasn’t championed as much, you had to be quite daring to wear it and I felt that I could change that.

Who is the Roksanda woman?
She’s a modern woman who communicates through her clothes and dresses to please herself and have fun with fashion.

What do you think women want from your clothing?
I think they want to stand out, have fun and feel comfortable while wearing something a little different.

What do you love most about London?
The freedom. You can really express who you are and be yourself in London.