Fashion designer with decades of experience and reputation among the members of different generations reveals what principles guide him as he designs his collections, which, as a rule, leave a strong impression and a deep mark
From painting to fashion, Bata Spasojević has walked down the path so typical of true artists. First, he did a lot for the understanding of men’s fashion in this region, and then, he started designing for women, too. Always under the same motto – individuality is the foundation of an authentic fashion expression.
For years, you have achieved success after success in men’s fashion design, and you have also proven yourself as a designer of collections for women. To what extent are men in this region more liberated in their fashion expression now, compared to when you were beginning your work?
– Belgrade, just like some other cities in Serbia, has always had an audience for fashion, i.e. a population of men who liked challenges and liked something different, individual. In the last century especially, emphasis was on the seventies, eighties and, when I was beginning, on the late nineties. I even think that the late seventies, the punk movement and the beginning of the eighties, the era of new romanticism, were the periods that left the deepest influence on today’s fashion. This was also the period that had the most influence on me, in a way, it was an influence that came through music and a little through the hippie movement, then punk, Sex Pistols, The Clash, and then entering the new wave and new romanticism, Duran Duran, all the way to the Manchester bands like The Smiths and the darker sound of Bauhaus and The Cure.
Back then, same as now, men liked zippers and rivets, but also flowered shirts, leather jackets, prints – all the way to classics in black or grey tones. Today, I’d say I am still transferring this influence on my collections, glam punk, floral rhapsody, well-tailored suits, jackets with denim, but all of this with a pinch of futurism, contemporary age and personal touch, which has to be a trademark of every designer. Men’s fashion, for me, comes with a special, very diverse field of inspiration. It is so thirsty for new vibes, and new progress.
What do the trends for the upcoming spring-summer look like? Is there a trend that especially caught your eye?
– There are four inspirations that I find interesting in this spring-summer season, they are VIRTUAL, CULTURAL, PLANETARY, NATURAL. Since, in general, I like eclectics and the mixture of styles, I will try to see to it that my mix is made from these global trends, with some inspirations of my own, with the mandatory touch of punk-rock which is always present in my collections.
Who sets the trends in the Balkans? From your viewpoint, who are the dominant role models for men?
– There are various trendsetters in the Balkans and the influences that come from global brands, such as Gucci, LV etc; then, there is a group of home-grown designers; and then, there’s the show business. As for men’s fashion, I am happy that I can boast of a certain influence in fashion design, i.e. trends. I have many clients and followers from ex-Yu, for example, Slovenia, Montenegro, Croatia – and I am very proud of that. Among the dominant influences, I repeat, are the global brands such as D&G, Philipp Plein and others, as well as the global-chain mass-production companies such as Zara and H&M.
What piece do you consider necessary in a man’s wardrobe?
– Black jacket, a good black or white shirt and a good pair of jeans.
On the other hand, when you design for women, what is your guiding principle?
– I take my guidance from the principle that this woman must be special, must have that label of INDIVIDUAL, which is the name of my brand. Also, she has to feel powerful, strong, but at the same time, sensual, desirable, sexy, different.
What is the thing that is sure to ruin the impression a person makes, in terms of style? What’s the most common mistake?
– The most common mistake lies in the lack of thought, in inertia… Today, when the visual dimension is the first and sometimes the main channel of communication, you have to pay attention to every detail, even the informal, casual wear has to have sense and be coherent. In men’s fashion, a bad choice of footwear could ruin the general impression. Always pay attention to your figure and adapt.
What projects are you focusing on at the moment, and when can we expect something new from you?
– There are many plans. Painting is my first love, I am constantly working both on my painting canvases and on my fashion designs at the same time. I plan to exhibit the WHITE ANGEL collection, which was shown last year in Paris, in our country, too. I am working on on-line sales, as this is definitely the future. I plan to re-visit NY, USA.
April is reserved for the presentation of the new spring-summer 2018 collection, then the new collection hits a regional tour, and we go out to meet new business endeavours.