Words and photos by Guido Avelino
What a pleasure it is to see Lidija Kolovrat’s work up close. This time, at the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon, I had the opportunity not only to take a closer look but also to talk with her in detail about what else Guts Are Your New Tool, Kolovrat’s SS23 collection, was all about.
As an extension of her take on where ancient civilizations meet contemporaneity, Lidija curated highlights from past collections, with exciting new additions of geometrically shaped dresses created in partnership with ModaLisboa’s New Blood designer Çal Pfungst. In the style of the ’60s French fashion showcases, the presentation had three segments in which the models took turns walking and posing with the chosen looks for invitees and clients of the brand, with a cocktail reception in the hotel’s Art Deco rooms.
In addition to the main Egyptian motif, Lidija told ZOOT in an exclusive interview how she came up with the theme and how colour played a part in it. With a cast consisting of all Da Banda models, Antónia Rosa’s makeup team also played a part this time, adding new dimensions to the beauty, with pearly hues in shapes reminiscent of colorful targets on the models’ faces. Photographing the vibe backstage, I captured Kolovrat in the brand’s best essence, being wowed once again—and reminded of why she’s considered a consummate fashion pioneer.
ZOOT: Why did you choose to create a collection inspired by ancient Egypt?
Lidija Kolovrat: The first note about the collection was “guts are your new tool,” which was one situation. Do you know what gut is, right? It’s that kind of courage that you believe in internally. It’s like in your own intuition, in your own feelings. After that, I started thinking “well, what is the culture that we can learn and maybe that we can act and bring something to the knowledge that we already have now?” So, I just felt immediately that Egypt was the one. Actually, right afterwards we saw that many other collections already paid a tribute. This kind of thing is unexplainable.
ZOOT: It’s nice because there’s also the Egyptian mythology aspect of the culture, which has this grand vibe to it.
LK: Yeah. They have an amazing relationship with it. I mean, they had a very elaborate close relationship with nature, where they created the hieroglyphs and their life was around and really close to nature. And that’s why we also went to visit that part [of Egyptian culture]. We create our own Kolovrat hieroglyphs and so on. We went and gathered many other elements too. And now, at this event today, we completed something that we didn’t have in the [original] collection. Some geometric shapes that remind us of pyramids. Continuing the same inspiration.
ZOOT: Where did you gather the historic information to build the collection?
LK: Well, it’s everywhere. You know, the moment you open Google, you have a lot of information about any subject. But, information is one thing. And another thing is through a visual thing. From Egypt, and from your own feelings. It’s a mix of enjoying a lot the process, also.
ZOOT: And besides the illustrations and prints, how did the inspiration affect the choice of fabric and materials for both collections?
LK: We did the prints, for instance. One of the prints, [of] which [there] were many, but one of the prints we created recreated the cloth of mummies. By making a collage with real fabrics, going through coffee, and creating these forms. So we created patterns that are like the wrapping of the mummies.
ZOOT: What are we gonna see differently in this showroom today than we saw already?
LK: Well, here, there are some highlights from the two last collections. There are also a few clients wearing some pieces. [Mixing] what we had in the collections, summer collection and the mandalas too. And, for today, we made these two geometric pieces that are inspired by Egypt.
ZOOT: What is the message—like the grand message—you wanna share with the world through the collection today?
LK: Oh, easy. That “Guts are your new tool.”
View the complete collection here at ModaLisboa.