A Croatian Designer With a Distinctive, Dualistic Style

Pin It
Self-portrait by Paula Mihovilovic

Croatia-born CSM graduate Paula Mihovilovic tells AnOther about her approach to fashion and her hopes for the future of the industry

Introducing New Beginnings, a new series of mini Q&As spotlighting emerging designers, in the wake of Craig McDean and Katie Shillingford’s shoot for AnOther Magazine Autumn/Winter 2020.

AnOther Magazine: What are your hopes for the future?

Paula Mihovilovic: My personal hope for the future is that I will be able to take my work and my voice and create a brand or a career in fashion, which is individual and purely myself. Within the current fashion industry, independent brands are often pushed out. It would be great to see an alternative landscape where independent brands do not suffer as much financially for not wanting to compromise on their vision.

AM: What is the thinking behind your work?

PM: My work comes from a real mixing pot of places, there is often not a specific reference within my work. I try and take in a mix of images or themes and then create garments through my own lens or perspective, as cliche as that sounds. I think that’s why I have a fairly distinct design style, because my own narrative abstracts the references and concept to a point where the garment does not directly reflect my starting point.

AM: What three words would you use to describe your approach to fashion?

PM: Authentic, dualistic, exciting.

AM: What does community mean to you?

PM: Community means quite a lot to me, I grew up in Croatia where there is a very strong sense of loyalty and tradition. Even though I sometimes felt slightly ostracised by that community as I always dressed and acted in a way which collided with some of their strict values. London is starkly different in that there is far more freedom here. My time away from Croatia has made me somewhat romanticise the food, the dress and the culture of my home, almost as an outsider.

AM: What community did you grow up around? How did that shape you?

PM: I had a tough time growing up, in Croatia being different is viewed very negatively and it meant I felt very misunderstood and alienated. Part of my love for fashion came from the fact that I would spend much time alone making clothes for my dolls.

Follow Paula Mihovilovic on Instagram here.