There's a certain kind of satisfaction when you get a chance to collaborate and talk to people you sincerely like and enjoy their company. Ana Maria Ricov falls just about right in that category. Enjoyable in conversations, very academic in her work and down to earth - she's the kind of designers you wouldn't necessarily expect. Not to say 'all designers are bitches' (which they are NOT), but there is a certain kind of stereotype around the profession of a FA-SHION designer. Just watch 'The Real Me' episode of Sex and The City and you'll be on board - constantly saying love, ignoring what other people say/think/do etc. etc. Once again - I'm not saying the stereotype is true, but where there's smoke...
Aside the bitchy patterns, Ana Maria is a talented lady who knows her stuff - more than 15 collections in her arms, a teaching profession at a fashion school and a sense of style that can equally satisfy the eye of a man and a woman. Her aesthetic is not sexual nor is it uncompromisingly elegant - it gives you a chance to create your own fashion with it. A maxi gown can go both with a pair of flat sandals or a stiletto heel, while her beautiful utilitarian outerwear can match both elegant and casual references. It's the fact that it's fashion for real people - but most certainly not in a 'boring' kind of way. It's the way of combining wearable silhouettes with impeccable detailing and creating a finished garment that can be put on a woman and get the job of 'fashionable clothes' done. That's something to respect.
For example, her latest inspiration for the Autumn/Winter 2014 collection shown few days ago at one of Croatian fashion weeks was water. Simply and uncomplicated - water. If I heard that pitch from any other designer - I would expect aquamarine blue, mermaid silhouettes and fish prints. Ricov does ti differently. Her waves are translated into winding pieces of fabrics attached one to another in, a play of transparent and solid, and a general feeling of muddy water crystalised through indulging prints and a beautiful dark carrot orange wool that speaks perfectly to the grey-beige palette. Ana Maria always does a pant of the season - last season the material was somehow immaculately twisted around the leg, in a tornado-style pant, and I was in every kind of awe, but this season she somehow outdid herself (yet again) - it's a skirt-pant combo that somehow looks new and fresh instead of retro and mature. The way of scaling the fabric and creating a second skin out of the pants, the skirt fabric removes any insecurities in the are most women have them. The last 2 dresses and the printed maxi one were just a group of breathtakers - they could fit in every without being overwhelming or putting the wearer in the category of try-hard. Effortlessly chic to a T.
Attention - picture overload!
|Pictures taken 2 weeks before runway day, Ana Maria welcomed me to her atelier & store in Vodnikova 8, Zagreb - a true serenity haven in the middle of the city noise|