The Artistry of Dragica Gudeljevic
As my journey though the fashion world progresses, I have become exposed to many creative artists. It is safe to say; I have never seen anything like the artistry of Dragica Gudeljevic. Her unique, self-titled, designs are intriguingly hand crafted pieces. More than Haute Couture, they are soulfully produced from an inspiration so deep, only she may understand. Dragica is not influenced by her environment or any outside factors, but solely her pure self reflection.
Dragica’s ability to focus all her emotions and feelings into hand sewn, crafted, and painted clothes result in a brush stroked design of beauty, wearable art. These designs will speak to each viewer differently. I see the vibrant colored strokes combine into a flow; a flow that seems to know no bounds and limitless freedom. The designs are marvelous on the runway. Each detail shines through allowing the viewer to get lost in her vivid motifs of handcrafted decorative design.
Dragica chooses materials that are simple
The material used to make garments is the foundation. All foundations must be a strong base to support the designers’ artistic vision. Dragica chooses materials are simple; wool, leather, silk, and cotton. Using such “plain materials” allows for her work to take center stage and primary focus in the shows. I personally adore her use of metallic paints which adds a certain spark and pop to the garments.
Yes, they are hand painted not printed patterns. You may think, like many of her customers viewing these creations, that they have to come from a machine, but they do not. Each work can never be replicated, even by the maker, so they are truly one of a kind, Haute Couture Art.
Bomb shells were exploding all over the city
As a Sarajevo designer, the creative world is a hard one to prosper in. Sarajevo was the center of conflict when the country of Bosnia declared independence from Yugoslavia. In the midst of a heart wrenching war, Dragica did not falter. One of her favorite career moments was a fashion show held for adults and children at the beginning of the war.
Dragica recalls “The fashion show was done without electricity, with the help of generators and there was incredible passion and enthusiasm with which children and teenagers walked down the improvised scene while bomb shells were hitting all over the city. It was a symbol of love and desire for life - beyond the horror […] of war.”
San Jose Fashion Week was especially honored to interview this inspirational Haute Couture designer.
Fashion Writer Arriel Ginter
Images Dragica Gudeljevic