Hailing all the way from the warm Mediterranean climate of Croatia is budding designer, Marija Kulusic. With the mindset of a traditional artisan, Kulusic is also a minimalist in the way she challenges herself to produce a handful of stunning, high-quality designs in opposition to a bevy of commercial tastes. The neophytic talent always encompasses a concept or story in her work, and her Fall/Winter mini collection does not disappoint.
Titled, “Layer On,” the line-up was a part of the FASHIONCLASH Festival in Maastricht, Netherlands earlier this year — an opportunity for young designers to showcase their work on a larger scale. Revolving around the human body, Kulusic focuses especially on the skin and its function as a part of the organism. Smooth, natural textiles contrast against sheared pin-tuck textures and paneled appliques. Parts of the construction hang loosely, as if about to fall off — channeling the process of dermal renewal as older layers are sloughed off to reveal fresh ones underneath. From a design standpoint, these hanging belts are an opportunity for flexible styling by altering the silhouette and shape of each coat or frock. Looking through the collection, these dermal experiences are referenced to again and again in materials that resemble aging wrinkles and laced closures that are literal representations of stitches. Kulusic is meticulous, paying close attention to detail and often completing the finishing touches herself. Many of her fabrics, from silk to wool, are dyed by hand, the silk ruffled shoulders yet another testament to her deft skill. Obviously deserving high praise, it will fare well for us to note Kulusic’s name as the burgeoning designer unfurls and roots herself on the expanding fashion landscape.