My Cultural Life: Roksanda Ilinčić

The London-based fashion designer tells us what she’s listening to, watching, collecting and more

Roksanda Ilinčić
Jason Oddy

London-based womenswear designer, ex-architecture student and self-confessed colour fanatic Roksanda Ilinčić has won fans world over for her vibrant hues and fluid, wearable silhouettes. Her eponymous label’s pieces have been displayed at the Design Museum and V&A, as well as at the David Adjaye-designed flagship boutique that opened in London’s Mayfair in 2014. Now she’s revisited
 her old neighbourhood with an 
ambitious interiors project, bringing
 her unique brand of bold, structural femininity – and commitment to
showcasing women artists and 
makers – to design the penthouse
 suite at King’s Cross's Gasholders complex.

Kate Bush The Kick Inside
Kate Bush

My all-time favourite musician is Kate Bush. She’s influenced me as a designer – her desire to look different but in a feminine way is something I relate to. My favourite song changes, but currently it is This Woman’s Work.

At the moment, I’m reading Alice Rawsthorn’s Design as an Attitude. She examines the huge change in the way designers express themselves in the context of the current atmosphere – social media, the environment, the refugee crisis – all while highlighting the incredible, positive designs that are shaping our culture.

Books that influence me are usually visual.
 Helen Frankenthaler, Phyllida Barlow, Isa
Genzken, Jessica Stockholder and 
Anni Albers are always on my table. Female artists are often not as visible, and I find joy in championing them.

It’s hard to pick a go-to film, because I love movies. I adore the slow, haunting quality of Andrei Tarkovsky’s movies and the way he sees Russia; I also admire the work of Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Luchino Visconti. I was blown away by Visconti’s Death in Venice; his themes of beauty and purity still feel so relevant.

My most-loved gallery is the Serpentine, where I’m showing my collection in September for the third year. It’s a place I feel I can almost call home – it really opened doors for me. I love Copenhagen’s Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, too, which has a magical garden filled with Alexander Calder and Henry Moore sculptures.

Serpentine Gallery London
Serpentine Gallery

The exhibitions I have been to recently are ‘Mike Nelson: The Asset Strippers’ and ‘Frank Bowling’ featuring Iona Miriam’s Christmas Visit To & From Brighton 2017. I saw both exhibitions on the same day at the Tate Britain. They were so different, but both magnificent. I love industrial objects. I’m often inspired when walking past a building site. And then Frank Bowling just has the most incredible colour sense – it was like a feast!

I like to collect Yves Saint Laurent clothing, and I have quite a big archive of his pieces.

I would spend a free day in London in the rose garden in Regent’s Park with my family.

Rose Garden in Regent's Park
Regent's Park Rose Garden

The place I always want to be is Montenegro, where my dad is from and where I spend summers. I have wonderful memories of Queen’s Beach with its backdrop of pine trees and emerald water – being connected with nature, eating delicious food and enjoying the moment. Everything that is so magical in life.

This article first appeared in ELLE Decoration September 2019

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