Bosnia Herzegovina, the least touristic country in Europe, the most inspiring when in comes to heritage and history. For us Dutch, the Srebrenica summer proceedings in 1995, are a rather black chapter in our history. On the eleventh of July it will be exactly twenty years ago that Mladic and Karremans had their unfortunate meeting with the disastrous result of the death of over 8000 men. [..] Well, this is the place where I decided to spend my holiday! Driving through the breath-taking scenery of the Bosnian landscape I started thinking of how we are the product of our own historical accounts.
Just like I did after my trip to Serbia, upon my return from Bosnia Herzegovina, I immediately started looking for Bosnian designers in order to find out if and how they incorporate cultural history into their fashion collections. In this instance, I am especially interested in regional costume and knitting techniques since I am working on a fishermen sweater project with Dutch designer Conny Groenewegen.
The result of my search was Bosnia-born but Sweden-based designer Lamija Suljevic. Just like herself, also her collections are rather transnational. “Suljevic’s designs are based on a hybridised style that blurs the boundaries between folklore, haute couture and ready-to-wear. Using her crocheting as storytelling and mixing traditional handicraft techniques with contemporary trends, Suljevic tries to spark up a dialogue between her own lost childhood and her current life, creating a modern mythology and a new alliance between body and garment” (Zoot Magazine 2010).
Unveiling the memories of her past, Suljevic beautifully incorporates memories of her own personal history as well as the historical accounts of the country in which she was born with the codes of the fashion industry. Her collections are envisioning exactly how I experienced Bosnia Herzegovina during my holiday. Creating wearable pieces of history, Suljevic preserves cultural heritage by means of her clothing designs and with that she creatively reinvents the future.