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Roksanda Ilincic on the Pre-Raphaelites

Following Ilincic's talk at Tate Britain alongside Penny Martin, chaired by Donatien Grau, the designer shares her love of the artistic group

Belgrade born, London based Roksanda Ilincic initially studied architecture – and it shows in her dresses, as much about mannerism and the space around the body as the look itself. Putting 20th century Paris couture through a contemporary filter, Ilincic recently took part in a panel at Tate Britain discussing fashion and the Pre-Raphaelites, to coincide with the current exhibition. Also an endorsement of her timely yet timeless style, Ilincic's vision is intuitive, with the dexterity of the inherent.

"The Pre-Raphaelites really established their own idea of beauty. It was an unconventional look for the time, and a brave move. The pale skin, long romantic hair and willowy poses that muses like Elizabeth Siddal had were distinctly feminine, but there was often a strength and courage to the women which was expressed both in their features and in the stories they featured, that have made them powerful and lasting female icons. 
They were experts in using incredibly vivid colours [which has influenced my work]. They had a specific way of painting onto a wet, white ground which heightened the brightness of colour. It was quite radical at the time, and a definite shift form the more muted palette that immediately preceded the movement. 

A favourite painting of mine is Lady Lileth by Rosetti, 1868."

Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde exhibits at Tate Britain until 13th January 2013