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 • Fashion  • Simplicity Perfected Wins the Couture Award I Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech
Simplicity Perfected

Simplicity Perfected Wins the Couture Award I Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech

At CIIN, we are celebrating the remarkable achievement of Sanda Potkrajac, which took place in May 2023. A one-of-a-kind fashion challenge unfolded when Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech and I CAME FOR COUSCOUS magazine issued a worldwide call to fashion designers for a reinterpretation of the iconic Robe 109 from Yves Saint Laurent’s Spring/Summer 1979 collection. Designers were urged to reimagine the garment through their unique lens, presenting patterns, sketches, conceptual narratives, and final designs.

This week, a panel of distinguished fashion visionaries revealed the winners across three divisions: Couture, Art, and Emerging Talent. The premier Couture was awarded to the up-and-coming designer Sanda Potkrajac. Her compelling journey from her infancy in a concentration camp in Prijedor, Bosnia and Herzegovina, during the early 1990s to becoming an entrepreneur in the US, founding her brand Simplicity Perfected, captured the jury’s admiration as much as her design did.

Potkrajac’s success story is intertwined with The Little Things We Adore, a Croatian association led by Srdjan Prodanović, under whose innovation incubator she initiated her venture into this prestigious competition. The creation of her dress was motivated by a Berber proverb, suggesting the importance of collaboration, mirroring Yves Saint Laurent’s own approach to creativity by engaging with a broad spectrum of talents. Her design was meticulously assembled in Karen Chinchilla’s New York atelier, renowned for its collaborations with leading couture houses.

Inspired by the original Robe 109, Potkrajac experimented with fabric drape and ruffle placement, underscoring the craftsmanship through handwork and finishing.

The silk charmeuse ruffles in her dress pay tribute to the essence of Robe 109, while the textured open weave base nods to the Moroccan landscape, reflecting Saint Laurent’s penchant for vibrant yet earthy tones. This duality in fabric choice celebrates the legendary designer’s mastery of texture. Potkrajac’s reinterpretation, rendered in earthy tones and textured fabrics, not only honors the legacy of Yves Saint Laurent but also sets a precedent for Bosnian Herzegovinian designers in the global fashion arena.

Her victory symbolizes the breaking of barriers through collective endeavor and vision, heralding a promising future for Potkrajac as she embarks on launching her first collection.