16 February 2012
by Isabella Redmond Styles
The setting for the Croatian showcase is the Stone Theatre Gallery, an unprepossessing building tucked down a terrace moments away from Lambeth North tube station. However, it would be a shame to let the seemingly unglamorous surroundings put you off. The cool, elegant interior of the Stone Theatre Gallery serves as the perfect venue for the Id/entity/ Freedom of Choice exhibition. The exhibition showcases the work of 3 young Croatian fashion labels, displaying pieces from their collections on a kind of static runway as well as accompanying photographs. One of the designers taking part, Andreja Bistričić began designing her collection by exposing a Polaroid photograph to chemicals and extreme temperatures. The result is a collection that manages to make moody abstract print, tie dye with unravelling knitwear refined and lustworthy.
Another participant who knows a thing or two about refining things is jeweller Romina Mejak. Romina’s work bears little relation to any traditional notions of jewellery and sets out to place emphasis on the ideas behind design rather than expensive raw materials. Romina sidesteps precious metals and stones in favour of recyclable materials to create striking, avant-garde pieces which ask important questions about the assumed notions of jewellery design.
The third and final collection on show is that of Adela Kliškić and Nikola Barbir, who met while studying at the Faculty of Textile Technology in Zagreb. The duo have an obsession with precise construction and technique, evident in the collection on display which was inspired by the female body. The designers aim was to create to clothes that could become bodies of the future but the pieces on display were also unexpectedly wearable. Dresses and shorts came with feminine lingerie touches, such as suspender straps and bustier detailing but it was the sheer, appliquéd evening dress that highlighted the label’s dedication to painstaking Croatian craftsmanship.
'Identity/Freedom of Choice' is taking place from 10-24 February at the Stone Theatre Gallery, Newnham Terrace, Hercules Road, SE1 7DR.