The View magazine hooked up with fashion designer Tamara Jaric. We talk about her childhood, how she entered the world of design, her experiences in Milan and New York, her new collection, and much more.
TV: Tell us a bit about you.
TJ: I was born and raised in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. I grew up in the late 80’s and the 90’s when political and economical situation were not stable in the country. We had to learn how to improvise and find creative solutions. As a child I used to be quiet, shy, and introverted. As long as I remember I use to draw a lot. I was an artistic child and enjoyed doing anything creative. I loved writing poems, reading philosophy, and practicing rhythmic gymnastics. As a teenager, I used to observe people and became interested in psychology that later helped me in understanding behaviour in fashion. Since I was highly interested in art, I enrolled into high school of design in Belgrade, majoring in textile. There, I learned about fabrics, painting, color, print, and I also waived the fabric. It was a great experience and solid foundation for a career in design. As I grew older I became a more outgoing and bolder person.
TV: How has getting in touch with creativity influenced you?
TJ: I can say that I was always a creative person and I believe every person and every child is. As we grow up and learn rules of life, we tend to loose it. Creativity needs to be nurtured. I love creative processes and the idea that you can make something completely new and your own. It keeps your brain fresh and it brings excitement.
TV: Did you always wanted to become a fashion designer?
TJ: I don’t remember the exact age when I was aware of that moment. I was already twelve when I was drawing collections, making mood boards, and wrote essays in school about dreaming of becoming fashion designer.
TV: You chose Polimoda and Berkeley College, tell us about that experience.
TJ: The best knowledge I got was living overseas. I believe traveling and learning about different cultures is the best education a person can get. At Polimoda which is located in Florence, Italy, I got my formal education in fashion design. I also did one year of construction of clothes and that helped me tremendously. Most of my design comes from construction itself. While I was living in New York, I attended Berkeley College and majored in Fashion Marketing and Management. It was a great education about business that gave me depth and knowledge about other aspects of fashion.
TV: You describe your style as European elegance mixed with American ease, love to hear more about that.
TJ: American style is simple, practical, and casual – I find that beautiful. European fashion has certain sophistication, elegance and history. I believe I unintentionally blend those elements since I experienced both cultures and they influenced me in becoming the person I am today.
TV: Tell us about your experiences of working at Chado Ralph Rucci, Nicole Miller and Jill Stuart.
TJ: Working for different companies was great experience because I got to see how they differ and from each place I took something new. You work with designers, assistants, stylists, sales…you get the insights of the industry, which is really great. I wanted to enter high fashion, so I interned at Chado Ralph Rucci in New York. It was an amazing experience because I did a lot of hand work. However, my best lessons were not from designer houses but from a mass production fashion company. My first job was working for S. Rothschilld & CO. in New York that specialize in outerwear. All technical knowledge I got there that I still apply today. I like where I am now as I am fulfilled executing my vision.
TV: Can you share a bit about your work and creative process?
TJ: I start from the concept for the season, a certain vibe. I think choosing colors and fabrics are most important. I always dance around the same idea; create clean silhouettes and add intricate detail. That is the core of my design. That is why I spend most of my time on details and construction. After the concept, I start draping – this is what I do. I don’t draw. I take scissors and fabric and start experimenting on a dress form. After I decide on design, then I draw the sketch and bring it to the seamstress who finishes garment.
TV: Do you cast the models yourself?
TJ: The model is very important because she represents the brand – she sends the message to the audience. My woman is smart, independent, and sexy, and I look at those traits in a model. She needs to have the edge. I rather choose a less beautiful girl with these characteristics than a gorgeous woman that has no depth. When I do the show I cast them by myself, but when I do editorial shoots I work with a photographer in choosing the right girl.
TV: Tell us about your latest collection, called Sculpture. You took inspiration from Richard Serra and Bobby Neal Adams?
TJ: I was playing with different shapes, which were inspired by minimalist sculptures of Richard Serra, and applying to clothes as details. Often I think three-dimensionally and thinking of sculptures comes naturally. I like making intricate details, subtle touches. I am all about being discrete yet different.
TV: Other exciting projects that you like to talk about?
TJ: I will be attending Belgrade Fashion Week April 27th where I will be presenting my new collection Future Romantic for S/S 2015. You should come.
TV: How do you relax?
TJ: It depends how I feel. Usually, I like to hang out with friends, drink wine, listen to music, and dance. But I feel most refreshed when I go out of town.
TV: Thanks Tamara Jaric, and good luck at fashion week!
Check out her collections.