INTERVIEWING FASHION DESIGNER JELENA FROM JA BY JELENA ALEKSIC
Posted on August 12, 2012
Currently under the spotlight: Jelena Aleksic. A 26 year-young fashion designer from Zagreb, Croatia. A star in the rising. A Faculty of Textile and Technology ’11 graduate and already an award winner for best capsule collection in womenswear, and she also won another award that got her to showcase her A/W & S/S collection at Croatia Fashion Week. Her designs are all about the innovative, futuristic, yet wearable clothes.
Below are some photos of her latest collection:
How did you decide that you eventually wanted to become a fashion designer? What were the first steps you took in the world of fashion?
I decided at a very young age. I had a great teacher Arts when I was in grade 5, and I was really aspiring to become a painter one day, but things changed then. My interest shifted to clothes and I wasn’t wearing what any other kid would wear. Eventually, I grew the dream of becoming a fashion designer, and the dream only grew bigger since then until this very day.
My first steps begun by the time I was attending the Faculty of Textile and Technology, when I was competing with my first womenswear collection in a competition, and I won the first prize. People recognized me, started interviewing me, and everything changed then. The whole thing was unbelievably exciting. I was always accompanied with some prizes for my work, and I am really blessed to have that.
Where do you get your inspiration from? What inspired your latest collection?
Before I start creating I think about the importance of this new collection, and I think of some elements that I personally want & could wear. With the focus on innovative, futuristic and wearable clothes it got my signature. My latest two collections are also my first two. They are linked together and they are just the beginning. My first collection, The Bluepanther A/W is based on the idea of the deconstruction classical men. I search for the minimal futuristic look and then when I was sketching I became interested in pleats. I play with them in different directions. I think that started the entire theme, because my first idea was this collection is gonna be monochrome, just in dark blue garments so this playful element would give the clothes a more special look and wont make them look monotone. The choice to make it in dark blue wasn’t random, it is my favorite color, my individual choice to combine other colors with it, like everything started from this color…my basis.
Then I made the RichPleatsPleatsRich S/S collection. Just based by the play of pleats and presenting a minimal futuristic look which wasn’t very different from my first one. However, I am now preparing something new and different, so I hope it’s gonna be spectacular.
Who is your favorite designer?
I don’t have a one favorite designer because I love so many different looks from so many different designers. It depends on the season and what the designer present. I can’t say just one name because in my individual style I am open to wear different looks in my own way. But in this circle its always the same like Riccardo Tisci, Nicolas Ghesquiere, and Alber Elbaz. Alexander McQueen was a genius, Sarah Burton is now amazing. I like Raf Simmons for his minimalism looks. Even though I am not so much into Chanel, I love to listen to Karl Lagerfeld. Whatever he says’ is always interesting.
What was the first piece of clothing you ever designed?
I remember this moment very precisiley because when I begun sewing I didn’t stop til it was finished. I could not wait to wear it. I was done with it in about a day and it wasn’t an easy dress. There was more work to do and this is the first that I was really proud of. I remember it was more a avantgard style in a dark brown comby with light blue and green stripes details. And when I was wearing it I got some really good compliments and I can remember a friend told me that the dress looked like its from Diesel. It was a casual dress, but it was really special to me. I wore this dress a lot of times it was one of my favorites.
While working on a new piece, what goes through your mind?
When I decide which sketches I’ll be transforming, I think about the importance of the cut, then my mind is thinking about the best decision. But once I find it, then the whole collection is based on this kind of work.
What are some of the goals you aspire to accomplish as a designer?
I aspire to dress someone covering Vogue magazine, or an editorial in some big magazine like Bazaar. That would be truly amazing.
What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?
The important thing is to find out what kind of a look they want to present and just stay faithful to become cognizable but always to come up with new ideas and not be boring, take risks, just give people a reason to talk about it. Promote their work on fashion platforms. Get more people to see your work, every single person makes a difference. Fashion competitions are hosted everywhere, and it’s a great start. These are the first steps just to see what kind of response they could get. What kind of people are interested in their work.
Do you think fashion bloggers play an important part in the fashion industry?
Yes, today they play an important role in the fashion industry and specially for designers. When fashion bloggers like a designer’s work, wear it, and write about it, they give them a free promotion, a free advertising. They have followers that read their blogs, and their followers have followers and friends that listen to them, and its all a big circle where everybody wins.
What would you personally like to see developing in fashion blogs? Any advice you have for fashion bloggers?
I think a good advice would be to prepare every post in the best quality possible, just sometimes to research more and always give readers a reason to come back, give them the constant quality they appreciate. Like a magazine has its quality and people go back to buying the new issue every month. Make it remarkable.
Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
I have my profiles on fashion platforms like Not Just A Label and www.lookk.com. Then my page on Facebook. People can always contact me on my email address – I always take my time to answer questions and is open to work.
I was really happy when she accepted the mini-interview I asked for. She’s really nice and fun to work with, but most of all, she’s really talented. I love pleats, I love polyester, and I love the color dark-green. It’s as if she combined everything just to make me happy. Her designs are light & unique. Innovative and futuristic, quoting the designer herself.
What do you guys think? Do you like the S/S collection? Would you wear any of the pieces above? Any favorites? Any other questions you have for the designer? Let us know!