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Friday, 2 April 2010

Designer Mina Petra's Ethno-Designs Promote Croatian Culture and Heritage


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This story caught my interest the other day. It's about Croatian designer Mina Petra who recently held a fashion show in Zagreb at the Croatian Heritage Foundation. (I'm not some fashion-guru or designer wannabe believe me, but the story and whole concept is interesting). The theme of the fashion show was ´Materine priče´ "Mother's Stories". The designs featured were shown in two catergories. "Tkanica" (Weaves) and "Licitarsko srce" (Gingerbread hearts). Hearts are a popular symbol of the city of Zagreb and the surrounding area.

The designs featured and promoted Croatian Culture and Heritage through the symbols, colors and designs of the clothes. Historic elements of weaving, intricate lace, linens, handicraft designs and embroidery were used in making these creations. I don't think they are the kind of clothes to wear to go to the local bingo hall or to the butcher shop to pick up some bacon and baloney, but rather for special/important occasions, as well as for professional and non-professional women who want to stand out from the crowd I guess, or show that they know where they come from.

Her "Tkanica" works have already been shown in Vienna and Salzburg where she received many accolades and well wishes. She is also going to have her designs being shown in Padua and London as well. The fashion lines are intended for younger women and professional women who want to spruce up their wardrobes with clothes that are a fusion of traditional historic patterns and elements, with modern styles. Dark colors are also used in the creations as can be seen in the shorter skirts. The woven purses are something she beleives can be very popular outside of Croatia as well. They have already won numerous awards and have been made popular by some of the famous people who have worn them, such as Princess Anne and the Spanish Queen, to name a few. The "Tkanica" purses she beleives can at the same time be a souvenir, a fashion statement as well as a fundamental everyday accessory.

Her creations include designs from the different areas of Croatia. The goal of this particular show was to help employ more seamstresses and women from the Knin area, where there are still many women on government assistance. (Knin and the surrounding area was the location of many Serb war crimes and ethnic cleansing in the 90's after Croatia along with Slovenia voted to become a part of Europe again and secede from communist Yugoslavia and ultra-nationalist Serbia's new territorial aspirations)

The women in Knin know how to work and have said they do not want to be on assistance, or to beg, but want to be a part in making Mina's fashion lines. At the end of the day, Mina wants the designs to not be just clothes hanging in the closet, but rather designs that also tell the many centuries old historic story of Croatian culture, designs and heritage.

You can see some more photos from her shows HERE and HERE, some more examples below.

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