“The modernity of yesterday is the tradition of today, and the modernity of today will be tradition tomorrow” – Jose Andres, Chef


6th October 2017 – As I was walking around Ljubljana downtown, I came across three women, not very young, decked out in folk costumes. They were absorbed in taking a selfie and the desecrating scene drew a lot of interest among a bunch of curious people.

«Well – I said to myself – That’s tradition and innovation having a dialogue in the simplest and most immediate way».

How many times did Confucius’ famous quote ‘Study the past if you would define the future’ echo in our ears? As a pragmatic man, I’ve always wanted to give a practical meaning to any word, heard or read. What I’ve witnessed was, in a way, the concrete demonstration of that philosophical quotation.

I was in the Slovenian capital to attend once again the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Ljubljana and, from that time, I decided to look closely at the scheduled shows in the night and the next day with the goal of understanding whether the displayed clothes were having the same dialogue; whether past and present, tradition and innovation will ever meet again to accommodate the process of originality that is fertile ground for an integrated future. You know what? I found it, partly at least.

The event was once again a forge for national and international talents. It was interesting to witness its ever-evolving evolution, season after season. What really amazed me was the way the trickle-up process in today’s fashion world was released from the economic prison with collections where the street inspiration is the precise connecting link between past and future, tradition, and innovation.



The work of Ivan Mandzukic keeps on dealing with color-blocking. For his SS18 collection, the designer of Serbian origin narrows down the color palette. He opted for two, in contrast: black and electric blue. He drives the attention to the sartorial details, impeccable cuts and the skillful use of materials. Volumes and symmetries were fun. The designer’s strengths remain knitwear and handmade production. It is an essential collection, in form and substance; a collection devoted to the American workwear and the purest minimalism of the 90s. The result is convincing.



In her first innings at the MBFWLJ, the 2015 MBFA-winner Sari Valenci presents a playful and contemporary collection. It is a tribute to the shameless 1990s. Again? You might say…Well, Sari’s take made it different, fresh and with no superfluous elements. Her 90s smell of vivid and adventurous teen movies and of the excesses of experimentation. It is a boldly energetic and deliciously sporty collection where natural and tech fabrics alternate. Valenci cleverly ventures, dispensing with unpleasant customizations. The use of less conventional materials was engaging (vinyl, for example).



Sportswear is the starting point also for the other Serbian designer Milica Vukadinović’s show. Her interpretative key is stronger and controversial. The collection is contaminated with metropolitan, suburban influences. It is an artistic and sometimes nostalgic interlude that seeks its fortune in graffiti prints (common thread of the whole collection). It is a reference to Keith Haring but especially to Jean-Michel Basquiat, to SAMO. Milica’s men are tough and tender, with the soul of an eternal child still capable of feeling surprised. The designer plays with colors, surprises with geometries, overdoes the quality of the processing techniques. Password: oversize.



It’s a rigorous and imaginative collection the one presented by the Italian designer; it unfolds with grace beyond the borders of the latest fashions remarking a fundamental principle: fashion does not follow trends but creates them, fashion is fashion. Nicola is free from the ‘who wants what’-trick and delivers a conscious, emancipated and desirable collection. The study of natural materials – always natural – is more mature and reaches peaks of a moderate avant-garde. The use of primary colors – all primary – is graceful, never annoying. The sober stripe prints mark a clear line and give rhythm to the clothes as if they were taking us by the arm through an urban jungle slightly oriental.