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All Photos By Lukas Gansterer

Sadak SS '11

Working with plexiglass and Balkan references, Berlin fashion week received a breath of fresh air

After two days of clean cuts, muted colours and straight silhouettes, Sadak’s SS '11 collection appeared like a fresh breeze at Berlin Fashion Week. For a second we forgot where we were. Serbian-born Sasa Kovacevic, the designer behind the young label, draws references from his Balkan heritage. Titled, 'I am a good socialist' he combined 60s zig-zag prints with voluminous draping, suggesting a new approach to menswear. Shapes - either on top or bottom - were the focus of this collection. Abundant cape-like jackets were pared with slim fitted trousers and wrap-around waistcoats layered with sheer tailored blazers combined with different interpretations of harem trousers. Plexiglass heraldic figure masks built a connection to military clothing suggested in the collection’s title. By blending in slogan t-shirts, jersey jumpers and the occasional tailored shirt he gave the viewer a casual alternative. The combination of these elements generated an artistic feeling whilst avoiding pretention.

Managing to be one of the final five of this years, 'How to start your fashion business' competition he suprisingly did not win. Instead Michael Sontag came in first with his womenswear collection, focusing on a grey and blue shaded colour code and fine cut tailoring. The contest which was launched in order to support young designers includes jury members such as Diane Pernet.

Dazed Digital: What does Sadak mean?
Sasa Kovacevic: Sadak is the ancient name for a traditional sleeveless jacket worn in some regions of Eastern Europe. My heritage plays a really significant role in my designs.
DD: What was your inspiration for this collection?
Sasa Kovacevic: I started researching socialism in former Yugoslavia during the 1960s. Then I created my own fictional 'micro-nation' with a constitution described entirely through its fashion – my collection. It is a combination of traditional costume patterns from rural Serbia, 60s optical illusion prints and slogans from a new socialism.

DD: What do the masks symbolise?
Sasa Kovacevic: I used the symbol of the former Yugoslavian national guard and chose plexiglass as material to create my own interpretation of sunglasses which are more of a warrior mask.

DD: Do you think you will stay in Berlin?
Sasa Kovacevic: Yes at least for a while. Young designers have a lot of opportunites here. Life doesn’t cost as much as in cities like Paris which helps us to focus on other things or to start in the first place. But I do want to work abroad at some point. My design is a little different to the one of the other contestants, it would be interesting to see how a different audience reacts to it.