Fashion & Freedom

Manchester Art Gallery

Fashion &


After studying architecture and applied arts in her native Belgrade, Roksanda Ilincic came to London where she earned her Masters in Womenswear at Central Saint Martins. She has been showing her collections at London Fashion Week since 2005. Ilincic’s signature silhouettes and her bold use of colour make for collections with an unmistakably modern approach to luxury fashion.

Dress: Cotton/silk dupion blend, with silk organza and cotton trim
Trousers: Open-weave silk gazar
Shoes: Nicholas Kirkwood for Roksanda

“As a designer I have always been fascinated with freedom and communication and what fashion brings to our lives. Therefore, Fashion & Freedom was something that really attracted my attention. It gave me a deeper knowledge of what women went through to gain their independence, something which is often taken for granted in our time. I wanted to embody the spirit of those brave women who played such an instrumental role in the changes to women’s status during the First World War.”

Roksanda 2016. Photography: Jez Tozer

Roksanda Ilincic’s piece for Fashion & Freedom was inspired by the plight and pride of the female munitions workers during the First World War, who suffered chemical poisoning, which discoloured the skin.

“For my colour palette, I found particular inspiration in the work of the canary girls, incredible women whose skin turned yellow as a result of working closely with toxic chemicals. For my shape, I was inspired by learning of the gradual acceptance for women to wear trousers at work because they were more practical. This was a revolution in itself and I wanted the look to reflect this huge change in fashion.”

“Strong women who embrace femininity are always a source of inspiration in my collections. I love the duality of that spirit.”

Illustration courtesy the designer

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