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Focus on- Fashion designer Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic has been my dear friend for a long time, so i just couldn’t  wait to go and visit him for New Year’s  eve at his place in Treviso, Italy where he has been studying fashion design on university IUAV of Venice. We were both counting days till my arrival on train station Mestre, Venice and from the moment we saw each other we started dancing and jumping on the train station while everybody looked at us as we were crazy. We arrived at his apartment early in the morning and with a cup of coffee we started talking about everything  that happened in our lives in these 4 months we didn’t see each other. That’s when I got this idea to do an interview with him. To really discover to people what is he really about and what he does, because with all the little space in electronic media  for young  fashion designers that are still studying  they end up unseen and misunderstood. So there you have it, Dejan, sincearly responding to any of my questions as if he was talking with me on our regular friendly appointment with a cup of coffee. So… let’s start.

M:  This is kinda akward sitting with you and talking about these kind of things, you know what I mean,  it feels so official.
D: Haha, darling, actually I think it’s a very good idea, and there’s  nothing here that doesn’t  make our conversation a regular friendly one. However I have to say I appreciate so much your interest in my work and respect the work you are doing with your fashion blog. It’s really an onor to be a part of it, especially that I’m the first one who are you doing interview with.
M: Tell me about your schooling days and how you got the idea to be a fashion designer and when
D:  To be honest I don’t know how I got this idea to be a fashion designer, I don’t realy remember that moment. I remember it came up very early, I had maybe 7 or 8 years when I promised my teacher an evening gown. I have finished my elementary studies in Kikinda, the city where I was born. I always considered drawing as my escape from problems and some kind of tool for resolving them, as a little child I would rather stay at home and draw for hours than go out to play football with other children.I remember some of my architectural drawings when I was like 5 years old that I keep on the attic, but somehow I started drawing women, and designing dresses on them. I think I was always fascinated with glamourous singers and movie stars, I would spend hours in front of Fashion TV looking at these runway shows with beautiful skinny models and just wanting to be a part of it.I was very determinated to go and study fashion design in highschool Bogdan Suput in Novi Sad.Those were probably years that constructed my personality. I am very glad that I did it ‘cause it opened a lot of doors to me not in the litteral sence of the word but more personal. I realized I was good at things that I did so I decided not to stop it. And I’m very happy I met beautifull people there that mean so much in my life, ofcorse you are one of them with no doubt.
M:  How did you end up moving to Italy? Tell me something about that…
D:  Well that moment I remember (laughing). It was in 2005 when I had a trip in Venice with my highschool. The moment we arrived in this magical city I said to myself that I have to live here for some period of my life. It was a groundbreaking experience for me, because in that moment I was standing there in this breathtaking city thinking I was dreaming. I just said that if my life continues to be a beautifull dream as it was that day I would be a person satisfied with my life. So I did it. I started looking for universities, 2 years earlier I started studying Italian language, in 2009 I did an admission exam which I passed. It all happened so quickly I wasn’t even aware that I’m leaving my parents, my friends, my whole life and starting a new one. For the first period it was really rough, but after two and a half years living here I have to say I am happy with my decision.I’m studing on IUAV which is the only statal university for fashion design in Italy, and I’m very glad for that because it is the only one that gives you a statal degree in fashion design. It’s quite young university, they opened in 2005 so it’s their sevent’h year of existence. I have to say I’m very glad that i’m studing there because they are looking up to be Italy’s best university in contemporary fashion design like Saint Martin’s for example or Parsons.
M: Who are you most influenced by?
D: I’m very weird about that question because I have my favourite designers, but they do stuff quite different from those that I do. I could say my favourite designers are Riccardo Tisci, Alexander McQueen, sisters Rodarte and Gianni Versace., but the designers I deeply respect and admire are Martin Margiela, Walter Van Beirendonk and Hussein Chalayan.

  alexander mcqueen
 walter van beirendonck
 maison martin margiela
 riccardo tisci
 gianni versace
M: What is the meaning of the word “fashion” for you?
D: Fashion is word with so few letters and so many meanings. Let’s  face it, most of the designers work just on clothes, thinking about tailoring, materials, construction, and that’s fine by me. Fashion has to exist in those terms. For me fashion means telling the story, if it’s your story even better. For  telling a story you need to construct it, if it’s a good story to tell than it has a concept. Concept is not just explaining why is this red a dark red and not a bright one, it is the thread that connects every part of the collection. The same concept must be first in cultural research, than in drawing, than in construction of the garments, in the final vision of the collection. The concept is the awareness of what You do and what is the next on your “to do” list. It doesn’t  have a type of woman or a type of man that should be a person that wears the collection, concept doesn’t tolerate trends of the season. It is unique and that’s why it’s  so meaningful to have it. Fashion is made for everybody, fashion is not runway, fashion is not seeing somebody wearing the jacket you designed on the street, fashion is pure life, it has desires, passions and things it wants and it has a concept which is the life force to make it do things right and reach for its goals.
M: What do you think about Serbian fashion scene today?
D:  As someone that is watching it objectively, because let’s  face it I am not in it, I have to say I see urge of young designer trying to make the market, which I appreciate very much. I think that the problem generally is economics. You have no possibilities for production. You can’t make a collection of let’s say 30 gowns in just one size made by some sewing lady. That is not a collection, those are prototypes. So it ends up that we have fashion shows, glamorous parties and collections that hang in stores which few people buy. Because of that I have decided to go out of there, ‘cause I didn’t want to work in fashion in that way. First the market needs to be constructed which means good economy, enough money for experimenting and researching, a lot of money for publicity and marketing, and finally well dressed people on the street. That’s how young designers could have their own labels and really do fashion in a real way like it’s done in other countries.

M: I just could not stop myself from looking at your closet and garments that you wear. Tell me something about your personal style.
D: (laughing)  Well  I can finally say I can dress however I want because Italy gives you that opportunity , to really express yourself by your own personal style and in the end you don’t end up judged by people, but appreciated. And when you are going to university  like mine, you have to plan everything in the morning because it is like a little contest between us students, and you show best picture of your personality to professors which is always a good thing. That thing kinda made me think about myself and what I like to wear, not just about what I want to make other people wear.I love colors and mixing them, I often look like walking paradise bird (laughing). I started sewing for myself long time ago, and fortunately I can make to myself anything that I want. I often wear even things from projects I’m working on. I can’t tell you what is my favorite piece from my closet, it may be yellow-blue-green D&G sweater but more for what it meant to me when I bought it, than for  how beautiful it is. I have to say that I am a fashion victim in a way, but that doesn’t stop me from buying things in secondhand shops and street markets. The thing I’m most proud of is my new perfume Viktor and Rolf “Antidote” which was a gift I bought for myself for Christmass. 

a little preview of his wardrobe
 shirt- Hermes, sunglasses- Aldo, perfume Antidote by Viktor&Rolf

 shirt- Versace

 shirt- by Dejan Kovacevic, perfume Antidote by Viktor&Rolf, blazer- H&M, sunglasses- vintage

 Sweater- Dolce&Gabbana, jeans- Klapman, sunglasses-Aldo, cluch- Christmas gift made by Me

 shirt- Diesel, shorts- Hugo Boss, bow- handmade by Dejan Kovacevic, bag- handmade by Dejan Kovacevic, sunglasses- Aldo

 jeans- Denim Life, shirt- Dead Meat, belt- Oviesse, perfume- RoccoBarocco fashion man

sweater- vintage, shirt- Mad's, shorts- Scout, sunglasses- Aldo

M: Tell me something about your work and your work process
D: The most important part of my work for me are my illustrations, I spend hours and hours sketching until I get finally what I had in my mind. From that sketch the whole collection reveals because it has everything in it, atmosphere, volumes, cuts, textures, styling, hair, makeup, everything. Before I sit and draw I do cultural research and construct concept of the whole thing. Sometimes it is not quite understandable to people how I jump from theme to theme in my work but in the end when it’s done even though the pieces of work are quite different they are compatible with each other in the big picture. After sketching there is tailoring, and sewing which I do all by myself on prototypes. I refuse to work with someone who sews prototypes for me because I feel quite separated from what I’m doing.  I always participate in shootings and give advices to photographers and people who do postproduction. Fortunately for now they are all my friends so I don’t find difficulties working with them, they a priori know what I’m thinking about. It is all quite personal, I think that if you are not present in your work 24/7 it is better not to do it. You, as a designer and art director of everything, have to be the one who knows difficulties of work of every person involved in project to know how to lead them in the direction you imagined.
M: Origin was your first mini collection, could you tell us something about that?
D: Well, I wouldn’t  call it collection, it was a project for my fifth laboratory of design on university. I decided to publish it on my blog which is my online portfolio and people got really interested which I’m glad for. Origin has a very complicated concept behind it and many areas of life involved in it. It talks about the word Origin and all of it’s meanings. I tried to personalize and find myself in every of those aspects, and I did it in the end. I have put it in the ethno, balkanian visual appearance so everyone could understand it. It goes from mathematic graphics to the birth of life, from my own origin to the origin of everybody, from myself to my grandmother. For example origin in mathematics means the 0 point. I have made 20 stains (symmetric and asymmetric) on 20 different papers, and found the point 0 in the centre of  the paper , then I got this curved lines by finding the points of the stains that were most far away from the point 0. 20 stains mean 20 years of my life and every point that has the biggest distance from the point 0 is the progress I made in that year. I have put all of the graphics on one unique graphic which was a real mess, but the point 0 was always the same. I made a pattern from that graphic for example. Very few people would even notice it is a fictional graphic of my life, they would just see a beautiful pattern.
M: Origin will have it’s own video work, how is that project going on?
D: It is going quite well, as you know the material was filmed in August in Novi Sad, where you did making of photos. It is an independent project which I did in collaboration with talented and ambitious director  Sonja Rakic and my dear friend and as I say photographer of my stuff for life Smiljka Boskov. On the same set we filmed the material for the video and photographed the collection in editorial type of way ‘cause I already had lookbook photos which I did in Italy. I saw only material we filmed and nothing that’s already done in postproduction, I gave all the liberty to Sonja, so it will be a surprise for me as for you too. Editorial photos that Smiljka did were postproducted by Luka Ukropina, also a dear friend of mine, and have been published on various blogspots. The video will participate in a contest ASVOFF ( a shaded view on fashion film) by famous blogger  celebrity Diane Pernet when it’s finally done. I hope we will have a final version in February 2012.

M: What are you working on right now?
D: Well now I’m doing an internship at atelier “Settecento” in Venice. I’m working with designer Alessandro Possati on his male collection for  fall/winter 2013 which will be shown in Paris during fashion week in his showroom. We are now working on final modifications and changes. I have to say it will be a beautiful collection with a twist of Venice in 1700’s, very  interesting. I’m glad that I’m in Venice everyday making the steps of my dreams I had 6 years ago. I arrive at work every morning dead tired (because I have to walk from the train station to the Saint Mark’s square where I work) but always inspired. Venice just somehow gives you that  urge to do things as fast and as well as you can.
M: What are your plans for the future?
D: Jees when I think about all the things that are waiting for me gives me a headache. Well first thing I’m going to do is a capsule collection of 8 outfits for my last laboratory of design and then graduate hopefully in November this year. Then I’ll have to do a postgraduation internships which I hope I will do at Versace in Milan or Rodarte in New York, after that who knows… anything could happened!

 bio jednom jedan mali plavi decak
oprosti im boze ne znaju sta cine

copyright by gingermademoiselle


  1. bas mi se svidja sadrzaj ormara :)

    Fabolous Interview! I'm so glad to know people like you - Dejan & Marija


  3. and we are so glad you like what we do <3 Clement art forever!

  4. for more information about my work take a look at my online portfolio.

  5. Mare, super ti je ovaj post!!Samo listam i gledam opet!!Ljubb <3

    1. hvala draga <3
      drago mi je da ti se svidja

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