For Roksanda Ilincic, a year at home meant more time to experiment and appreciate the little things: The joy of wrapping yourself in a cozy coat, putting on a striking — and Zoom-friendly — top or dressing up for an intimate family moment.
It’s why her latest fall 2021 collection was filled with pieces that were as laid-back as they were optimistic and statement-making: cocooning coats; a chic, draped satin dress you can just throw on; easy summer maxidresses made using masculine shirting materials, or soft tailoring featuring upbeat color-blocked patterns and paired with elegant silk tops in the place of blazers.
Ilincic wanted to look ahead and anticipate women’s needs once they slowly start transitioning back into their social and professional lives come fall — and she hit the nail on the head by striking a balance between comfort and just the right dose of drama and fantasy.
“I’m a woman designing for other women; I’m conscious that the clothes need to be worn,” the designer said over Zoom.
The enforced pause of lockdown meant she had more time to explore new techniques, from the bold tucked pleats on the busts of voluminous dresses to a new glossy viscose fabric featured on loose pants and designed to give the illusion of a leather texture, and the striking art works of female silhouettes or the nature from her home of Serbia, which were splattered across separates and dresses.
“Everything was touched by a human hand,” added the designer, pointing to one of the finalé dresses that doubled as a “walking piece of art.” It featured larger-than-life ruffled sleeves, a regal high neck and abstract brushstrokes inspired by the Serbian landscapes Ilincic is longing to return to.
The dresses blended into the home garden featured in the label’s fall 2021 film, as much as they would on the red carpet.
In the same spirit of experimentation, Ilincic chose to broadcast the heartwarming film — which features Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson and Daisy Bevan — across different London locations, for people to watch from their windows or on their daily walks. “It’s a new way of bringing fashion to everybody,” mused the designer.