Sail away: Rana Begum creates fishing net installation for Roksanda
Roksanda Ilinčić and Rana Begum have collaborated on a kaleidoscopic netted runway installation for the designer’s A/W 2020 show at London Fashion Week
‘I love collaborating with and creating partnerships with other women,’ says Roksanda Ilinčić of the female-focused celebratory space she creates within her eponymous brand. Ilinčić first nodded to the bold spatial creations of Rana Begum in her pre-fall 2019 collection, after discovering the artist’s sculptural pieces at Frieze London. Colour and light are fundamental to both of the women’s practises – prismatic aesthetics stemming from childhoods in Serbia and Bangladesh respectively. For A/W 2020, this resulted in a collaborative London Fashion Week runway installation inside the majestic courtyard of the Durbar Court of The Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
Floating above the catwalk like a modernist cloud, Begum’s spray-painted netting installation was inspired by fishermen on flooded rice fields in Bangladesh. The lightweight material – chosen by Begum because it can be ‘pulled to create tension and force’ – was sourced in Morocco during the artist’s residency last year at Istanbul Modern. The installation – painted in block neon colours – results in tones bleeding into each other as light radiates through the netting in a haze of diffracted colours. It captured the essence of Ilinčić’s A/W 2020 offering, which featured fluid caped dresses, slouchy leather sportswear and chunky cable jumpers in a rainbow of lime, aubergine, magenta and caramel . ‘This collection is really about creating lightness and movement, told with different mediums,’ she explains.
There’s always a strong sense of narrative between Ilinčić’s runway and ready-to-wear design. Last season, she enlisted the London-based art collective Troika to create an abstract runway installation featuring six rainbow projections, inspired by its 2019 Barbican artwork ‘Borrowed Light’. Like the light shining through Begum’s installation, her A/W 2020 collaboration also illuminates female creativity. ‘Art and architecture is the starting point of all of my collections and it’s such an honour to have all those wonderful people around me who I’ve been collaborating with to help me to tell my story.’ §