Memories of seaside days by the Adriatic lift the London fashion spirit. By James Brewer
Artist and designer Misha Milovanovich delights in looking back on a happy childhood spent by the Adriatic Sea, which she credits for giving a dramatic impetus to her creativity. These days Misha is drawing acclaim for her recently launched Misha World brand, producing a limited edition collection of silk scarves and giclée prints for the Damien Hirst-backed store Other Criteria at 14 Hinde Street, in the West End of London.
Shortly after the collection was unveiled to the public, Misha told us: “As a small child I grew up by the sea in Croatia but spent most of my time living in the concrete gardens of Belgrade.
“The War in my country changed everything, to the extent that for the past 27 years I haven’t been back to the place where I grew up. But still, the smell of the sea, its texture and purity is in my blood. It always lifts my spirits, and continues to hypnotise me.
“The patterns and rhythms are ever in flux, always changing, yet always the same. This dreamlike state is very creative, and it’s powerfully visual. These sensations are emotionally affecting and without a doubt healing. I’d like to think that some of this oceanic power finds its way into my paintings perhaps through its hypnotic, repetitious dance of joy.”
A hypnotic, repetitious dance of joy is what one sees in much of her work, whether the medium is textile, painting, sculpture or video. Her own description of her dynamic productions is that she “spins, rhymes, mixes and scratches her colours and patterns like a voodoo hip hop artist on substances known to alter cognition and perception.”
Misha is one of those people who contribute great vibrancy to the courrent art scene in London, by way of their versatility and outgoing personality. A kaleidoscope of inspirations goes into her oeuvre: she cites her love of colour, travel, surrealism, El Greco, Picasso, great film directors including Fellini, 1960s prints, silk textiles, Allen Ginsberg’s poetry, pop art, jazz music and “the big, bad, beautiful city of New York.”
Her “fantasy fashion” scarves come in editions of 200 at £325 apiece. With titles such as Mellow Yellow, Good Times are Coming and London Life, there is certainly a feel-good factor here that is missing from much of the contemporary scene.