You’d never guess it was the day before Ana Sekularac’s spring/summer presentation at London Fashion Week. While most designers are madly putting the finishing touches on their collections and organizing the last-minute details of the shows, Ana is happily chatting to InStyle over a plate of yoghurt and fresh fruit.
Extraordinarily beautiful but totally approachable, Ana is like the human equivalent of her collection, which is confident and dramatic in the most understated of ways. And it’s precisely this modest approach that sets her apart from so many young designers. “I dress for myself,” the Belgrade-based designer says. “All of it comes from me but I don’t want to dictate too much to the public because I like each woman to interpret it in her own way.”
Ana’s aesthetic is “a contrasting dialogue”, as she describes it: “A mix of straight, architectural lines with an underlying softness. For spring/summer I wanted to take very plain fabrics like cotton and linen and make them rigid to contrast the motion of the woman wearing it.”
A totally black and white collection will certainly stand out in summer, where it’s already shaping up to be a colourful season. But it’s precisely Ana’s strictness with colour that makes the structure of the clothes stand out. In the line-up are frocks with latticed corsets made of hand-woven linen and burlap with delicately ruffled chiffon skirts, languid harem pants laced with linen piping and body-con minis with removable rigid underlays that are snapped over, not under. The result is breathtaking but simple at the same time, elegant yet earthy thanks to the fusion of luxurious fabrics with common everyday ones, including fishing wire to keep hemlines stiff.
It’s no wonder A-listers with a keen fashion eye, including Cheryl Cole, Fergie and Shingai Shoniwa from The Noisettes have already snapped up her designs for the red carpet, Harrods (where Ana’s clothes are already stocked) have chosen to showcase her designs in their windows three times this year and retailers including Harvey Nichols, Browns and Net-a-Porter have requested meetings.
But none of this has gone to Ana’s head. When we asked her which celebrity she would like to dress, she replied: “Someone like Tilda Swinton but I prefer to think of the everyday woman wearing my clothes.” When we asked her where she sees herself in five or ten years’ time, she said (with a shy giggle): “I haven’t thought that far in advance.” But something tells us she’s going to be one busy bee!
WATCH EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW HERE
By Maria Milano