Text by Anna Battista
Bosnia-born but Stockholm-based designer Lamija Suljevic’s (www.lamija.se) conceives her new collection as a natural continuation of her previous one. But while the emphasis was previously on darker shades, high bust lines and exaggerated silhouettes, this time Suljevic is focusing on a sort of transnational style.
Inspired by gypsies and her own childhood in Bosnia, Suljevic’s new designs are based on a bright palette of pinks and fuchsias and on a hybridised style that blurs the boundaries between folklore, haute couture and ready-to-wear. Using her crocheting as storytelling and mixing traditional handicraft techniques with contemporary trends, Suljevic tried to spark up a dialogue between her own lost childhood and her current life, creating a modern mythology and a new alliance between body and garment.
Zoot Magazine: Where does the inspiration for the new collection come from?
Lamija Suljevic: I still find most of my inspirations in my own background, in my childhood. I conceive my collections as different chapters in a story and the new designs could be interpreted as the second chapter. This time I was more inspired by the gypsy culture that had an important role while I grew up in Bosnia. I remember there was a group of gypsies living in an abandoned bus in front of our house and I couldn’t figure out why they wore colourful clothes, why their children were outside all the time or why they danced around on the streets. Looking back on everything – from the wild animals they owned to the clashing colours of their attires and the carefree lifestyle they led – I started realising there was something fascinatingly elegant about them and this became the starting point for this collection.
Zoot Magazine: Are you ever inspired by sculptures in your work?
Lamija Suljevic: I’m more inspired by the female body in my designs. I am for example fascinated by the transformation a girl goes through when she becomes a woman. This theme is clear in the illustrations that accompany the collection.
Zoot Magazine: You opted for quite bright shades of pink this time: do you feel this collection represents a change in mood compared to the previous one?
Lamija Suljevic: I opted for these shades since my goal this time was to present a modern view of the past, a vision of the past in the future and felt these colours helped me conjuring it up.
Zoot Magazine: What fascinates you about crocheting?
Lamija Suljevic: Crocheting and handmade details are very important to me, first and foremost because they are part of the traditions of my home country. Trying to preserve them is of vital importance to me since it’s my personal way of saving what we lost during the war. I don’t have any images, toys or any other tangible memories left, but I do have my crocheting and handicraft techniques and they are strongly associated with my upbringing and my family. My mother taught me at a very early age to crochet and, including this technique into my designs or turning it into the focus of my collections, is also my way to show how grateful I am to her. Besides, from an aesthetic point of view I also feel that mixing my crocheting with fabric, printed silk and sequins works really well and the results look very natural, almost effortless.
Zoot Magazine: Will you be exhibiting this collection in any museums or galleries in the next few months?
Lamija Suljevic: I will showcase it in Stockholm together with the artwork created by my lookbook illustrator, Annelie Carlström ( www.anneliecarlstrom.se). At present we are both focusing on preparing this exhibition.
Zoot Magazine: Who would you like to see wearing the designs from your latest collection?
Lamija Suljevic: Björk.
Photography by Emma Jönsson Dysell (www.emmajonssondysell.com)