The eclectic themes of multi-cultural fashion designer, Zoran Dobric
Recently, we had the pleasure of getting to know Zoran Dobric, the talented and multi-cultural fashion designer bringing an array of interesting and poignant themes into his work. By multi-cultural we mean multi-cultural; of Serbian descent, Croatian-born Zoran has called London, Toronto, Milan, Zagreb, and Montreal home over the years. One of his more recent collections, Transhumanism, Zoran incorporated scientific and medical imagery, making for a striking set of designs. Here's more of what he had to say:
Describe a typical Zoran Dobric wearer.
They are usually intellectual and strong-minded individuals interested in timeless, good design rather than fashion or trends. My customers appreciate art and use fashion as a form of expression.
Tell me about your beautiful collection Transhumanism and how you incorporated scientific and medical themes such as mutation and transgenesis into it?
In this collection, laser cutting in original textiles evoke images of surgeries and organic forms, while morphing musculature prints suggest transgenesis and mutation. The collection celebrates the evolution of the human body and brings to light the ethical and aesthetic questions we face. At a time when human organs can be 3D printed, this body of work also commemorates the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which anticipated the advances and ethical dilemmas of modern science and medicine.
What got you into fashion?
My grandmother was a seamstress and my father collected art books. I think the combination of these sparked my interest from an early age.
You studied at Marangoni in Milan and LCF in London, how would you say the fashion education differed between Milan and London?
Overall, I feel fashion is more open to avant-garde and experimental in London, where in Milan it’s slightly more about the commercial aspects and craftsmanship.
What’s your favorite piece of your most recent collection and why?
I enjoyed creating the pieces with a hand carved block for printing. I usually use digital printing so getting my hands dirty in a messy “old school” process felt really good and organic.
You have an impressive array of accomplishments from being featured on Elle and Fashion TV to showing at Toronto Fashion Week. What moment would you say has been the most impactful?
My favorite moment was winning Shaftesbury design award sponsored by Shaftesbury Real Estate, Carnaby PLC, Sister PR, and the UAL: London College of Fashion. This resulted in the pop-up shop and exhibition of my work on Carnaby Street, London in 2013.
Having lived in London, Toronto, Milan, Zagreb, and Montreal, how would you say your international background has influenced your work?
I am a big nerd for arts, so architecture, culture, and ethnography of different places has always influenced my work, probably also because my work is mostly based on my textiles which often embody these influences. I also feel that the mix of North American commercial approach to fashion is a good counterbalance to the more avant-garde European approach. I think you need to balance both in order to have a viable collection, and I think living in different places has allowed me to see fashion through both of these approaches.
What do you do in your free time?
I love the cinema and reading. I travel as much as I can and really enjoy experiencing different places and cultures.
Person you look up to the most?
My grandmother, Eva. She did everything with unwavering love and dedication.
Greatest source of inspiration?
Everyday life. I enjoy reading and learning and discovering new things and my current obsessions often evolve into my new work. The constant change in life and fashion is stimulating and inspiring.
Favorite fashion designer?
I love Comme des Garcons, Issey Miyake, and Yamamoto. When I was younger I had a crazy obsession with Romeo Gigli. I love Iris van Herpen and the innovation in her work.