slav to fashion | mercedes-benz fashion week ljubljana

Verena Schepperheyn / Photography Jani Ugrin

Verena Schepperheyn / Photography Jani Ugrin

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Ljubljana, which took place from 28th to 31st October, is a brand new event on the international runway schedule. Designed to showcase the talent of designers from Slovenia, but also nearby Croatia and Serbia, it will take place twice a year. Schön! travelled to this picturesque city to get the low down on Slavic style.

On arriving at the show venue, our first impression was one of awe. The vast and impressive Cankarjev dom, built in the late 1970s and early 1980s, is the largest cultural centre in Slovenia. MBFWLJ’s organisers made the most of both the space and the state-of-art facilities, by shunning the traditional catwalk format and offering their guests something quite different. By choosing to locate most of the shows in the huge – but usually hidden – backstage of the theatre, they took full advantage of the staging possibilities on offer.

marko mitanovski - iztok kurnik

Marko Mitanovski / Photography Iztok Kurnik

Serbian designer Marko Mitanovski, whose fans include Lady Gaga, showcased his dramatic collection with a multimedia presentation equally loaded with drama. Models in head-to-toe black or white body make up appeared on a revolving stage amongst giant matt black balloons, or were suspended from cages above it. Mitanovski’s creations are made-to-order and expertly crafted, often using unusual materials. In this collection, spine like details were formed from latex and intricate jewellery was hand-stitched onto garments, making each piece a collectable item.

JSP / Photography Jani Ugrin

JSP / Photography Jani Ugrin

In contrast, ready-to-wear design duo JSP took to the grand hall to present next season’s offering. Although closer to a traditional catwalk show, the production was far from mundane, with models traversing raised platforms and adopting a distinctly rock’n’roll attitude. The colour palette was predominantly black, white and coral red, and floaty, feminine chiffon and long, sheer evening gloves were juxtaposed with punk-inspired details such as ribcage shaped leather and chain harnesses and printed slogans.


Petja Zorec / Photography Jani Ugrin

Back in the theatre, ten more brands presented their work, with models appearing and disappearing from trap doors in the floor. We were impressed by Slovenian menswear designer Petja Zorec who combined classic tailoring, traditional textiles and knitwear with sportswear inspired details and athletic technical fabrics. Zorec also hopes to challenge gender stereotypes by producing menswear with typically female elements that she believes could, and should, also be worn by women.

Mehle / Photography Jani Ugrin

Mehle / Photography Jani Ugrin

As well as showing the collections, MBFWLJ hopes to offer a varied schedule that explores different elements of fashion and design. A number of fashion films were screened throughout the programme, from shorts by some of the designers showing, to feature length documentaries on fashion luminaries such as Carine Roitfeld and Diana Vreeland. There was a panel discussion by industry experts and Robert Lešnik, Director of Exterior Design at Mercedes-Benz and a Slovenian, presented an insight into the creative process behind some of the world’s most covetable cars.

Young design talent was recognised with the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Award. A shortlist of fashion and textile students and graduates were tasked with creating an outfit for the occasion and the winner, Sara Valenci, was rewarded with the opportunity to show her collection at next season’s fashion week.

The next instalment of MBFWLJ will take place in May and with such experimental and exciting, yet flawlessly executed, production, we look forward to seeing what’s in store.

For more information, click here. 

Schön! travelled to Slovenia courtesy of MBFWLJ and stayed at the Grand Hotel Union.

Words / Huma Humayun
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