...London to Serbia

by Catherine Skrbic
Young designer Dejan Despotovic is set to take the fashion world by storm. 23 year old Despotovic wowed the world during the 25th Belgrade Fashion Week and on top of this has won a series of accolades such as the Black and White Competition, in 2003 he also received the Silver Doe Award at the Belgrade Fashion Fair. NJAL has seen at his stunning fall 2009 collection which makes a statement and attracts attention; his talent is certainly one to be admired and one which most certainly will not be forgotten.

During his studies at the High Textile School in Belgrade, Despotovic designed for hair fairs and television shows. Now he currently styles for Serbian Elle Magazine while preparing for his new collection. The last six years have seen Despotovic climb up the fashion ladder with his innovative designs. The catalyst for this success? His first individual collection presented in both Belgrade and Berlin at the young age of twenty.

The daring Dejan Despotovic, whose collections are more alternative than commercial, continued to grow. In the two years that followed, he was nominated for Best Young Designer by Pantene Beauty Awards and received first prize at the Nokia Awards Fashion Selection for Young Designer, a few more trophies for his already well adorned mantelpiece. It’s not hard to see why, as his clothes exude art. He enjoys the complicated cuts of clothes, the edginess of it.

As both a menswear and womenswear designer his collections comprise a gothic, dark and monochromatic yet romantic feel to them. One is unable to stop gazing at his unique designs which entrance the viewer. There is no sole inspiration for his collection but he can tell that he “wanted to present an edgy version of mythological creatures and warriors. But also the creatures from our dreams, and convert them into today’s fashion.” This statement is also probably true of the women’s collection which was of an animalistic nature, inspired by horses and monkeys and added to this was an antique rusted silver detailing.

His self-styled Fall 2009/2010 collection is full of detail based on pure, fresh and simple forms. The designer himself says, “On my jackets, for example, you can see golden flies. I also love scarves and knitwear – in upcoming collection, there will be more of them for sure. The silhouettes are slim. His collection suits those with attitude, those who want to be a black sheep, and those who want to be different from the rest.

When wearing his clothes, it is important to remember, his work is art, and his art yours. You should form your own style and opinion, and have “the strength to present yourself and the clothes at the same moment.”

Dejan is an admirer of London and its fashion and the retro, vintage British style is one that influences his personal style, one can see Dejan wearing skinny jeans, interesting shoes and accessories and big bags which he says are interesting for him “but unfortunately for Serbia is a little bit strange.” Whilst he has a penchant for London fashion, he has not yet drawn inspiration from Serbia’s national costumes but maybe someday he will.

What will the future hold for Dejan Despotovic? He may be young and as an Eastern European Designer it is harder for him to get into the global fashion market but the future is bright for him. Having already shown at Belgrade and Berlin Fashion week his dream is to show his collections at Paris and London.