Ser­bian fash­ion de­signer Rok­sanda Ilin­cic speaks to Hafsa Lodi about her pen­chant for cre­at­ing mod­est wear for mod­ern women

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On a re­cent visit to Dubai, Ser­bian de­signer Rok­sanda Ilin­cic tells us about her pen­chant for mod­est wear, ex­per­i­ment­ing with colour and trousers for the mod­ern woman

As I am be­ing in­tro­duced to de­signer Rok­sanda Ilin­cic, she is fin­ish­ing up a Face­Time call with her 7-year-old daugh­ter, Efimia, who is up­set be­cause they didn’t get a chance to speak the night be­fore. Ilin­cic waves good­bye to the screen and snaps back into busi­ness mode. In this way, she is em­blem­atic of the woman she de­signs for – one who leads a mul­ti­fac­eted life and jug­gles a suc­cess­ful ca­reer with an ac­tive per­sonal life, and per­haps moth­er­hood.

Ilin­cic’s clothes tar­get the con­tem­po­rary woman who favours taste­ful glam­our over gaudi­ness, and looks for com­fort and ease of move­ment when buy­ing a gar­ment. “I don’t like to use re­stric­tive things, like corsets or in­ner sup­ports, which may slow down a woman in her busy life. I like to use things that are done in a very light and fluid way, sim­i­lar to how ar­chi­tects build houses with­out the walls; they’re just sup­ported on pil­lars,” she ex­plains.

The de­signer stud­ied ar­chi­tec­ture and ap­plied arts in her home­town of Bel­grade, Serbia, be­fore mov­ing to Lon­don, where she spe­cialised in wom­enswear at Cen­tral Saint Martins. In 2002, she de­buted her name­sake la­bel at Lon­don Fash­ion Week, and it has steadily gained trac­tion ever since. Last month, Ilin­cic was the de­signer of choice for the royal wed­ding gown of Dan­ica Marinkovic, who mar­ried Prince Philip of Serbia. Duchess of Cam­bridge Kate Mid­dle­ton and for­mer first lady, Michelle Obama, have opted for Ilin­cic’s struc­tural dresses on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions, and the red car­pets have seen a myr­iad of Rok­sanda de­signs, on celebri­ties such as Emma Stone, Rooney Mara, Anne Hath­away, Cate Blanchett and Keira Knight­ley, to name but a few.

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