Collaboration x Mihaela Markovic
I know social media is often criticised and demonised nowadays. I mean, there is a definite movement against social media, and Instagram specifically. But I do believe it’s one of these times where we are quick to blame the device instead of blaming the person using it. Now I’m not saying things can’t go wrong online, but I’ve had so many positive experiences on Instagram in particular, that I’ve got to be honest: I love it! One of the reasons why I love Instagram so much and why I spend so much time on it is… It’s basically become my search engine now. This is how I find some of the most sustainable fashion brands, independent labels and inspiring people. And this is how I found out about Mihaela Markovic and her beautiful knitwear brand.
A few weeks ago, while browsing through Insta, one specific picture stood out to me. In the midst of all the clean, white, very girly and beautifully curated images that I see on the platform every day; there was this unique visual. It was moody, it was conceptual, it was textured, and at first, I didn’t really understand what it was. I just knew I had stopped scrolling – which is a challenge on Instagram! Get people to stop scrolling and actually see your post! And here I had just had my first introduction to Mihaela Markovic’s knitwear brand.
Obviously, we’re talking about fashion right now, so visuals are important, but the aesthetic of the brand was so unique to me. The earthy colours, the browns, the beiges and the reds gave me such a warm feel. And when you associate it with the sustainable principles that the designer follows, it just makes it a million times better.
When Michaela and I connected directly, I had a better understanding of her message, and I just loved her take on sustainable fashion. Through her creative process, she offers not only an alternative to excessive consumerism and sustainable fashion but also an alternative lifestyle altogether.
She clearly states that when she creates a piece, her idea is of an organic creative process – without the idea that the piece needs to have a pre-defined final shape. So when you get a Michaela Markovic piece, you get a unique piece – how cool is that? I mean…I try so hard to let go, and not be too obsessed with ‘perfectionism” when it comes to my work; it’s definitely something very inspiring for me. Especially when the end result is as gorgeous as these beauties.
Mihaela uses textile surplus and excesses from various garments factories in Croatia for her creations, but she doesn’t just take “waste”. While she is in the midst of Circular Fashion and the No-Waste Movement, all her material are of excellent quality. From lambswool to merino, to silk, it’s all about making a luxurious sustainable statement.
“After hours of knitting, knotting and sculpting, stock that would have ended its life sadly and prematurely is given a new opportunity to shine. A new life.”
I can not even tell you how thrilled I was when I received my pieces in the mail. First of all, the packaging was elegant and timeless; second of all, I already had so many styling ideas that I needed to get my thoughts together and really think of how I would photograph them within a look.
Mihaela was so gracious and generous; she sent me the Meander necklace and the Organ earrings, which arrived in a beautiful soft jewellery pouch – I’m definitely upcycling that! I absolutely loved it straight away when I opened it, especially the necklace. To me, it is to be worn as more than a simple accessory; it is the ideal way to take an outfit to the next level and let it do the talking.
So that’s what I did. Put together my outfits – just quality basics – and let my new Mihaela Markovic jewellery make a statement.
“As I make samples, I am very careful not to waste yarns and fabrics, as I work with quite expensive materials. All of them go into one big box. During periods of less intensity, I go through the box to make something out of it all. The challenge is that the selection is so random, so I need to focus and make the right combination of materials and colours once again to produce something beautiful out of “waste”. To breathe a new life into discarded stock. This can take a lot of energy and time, and the result is not always breathtaking, but quite often remaking and repurposing brings new ideas and solutions to the table for the editions to come.”
Mihaela is based in Amsterdam, so I haven't met her in person yet, but she will be in London in September, and I can't wait to meet her. I know it's going to be such a special moment. In the meantime, I have a little bit of her personality with me, and I'll keep having fun with my new jewellery and find many ways to style them.
What do you think of the Mihaela Mark