As some of you know (and as some of you rightly won’t really care, for isn’t anything more boring than hearing someone bang on about how LOVELY their holiday was, and how WARM it was and how RELAXED they felt, to then go on and patronisingly tell you nose-snortingly ‘hilarious’ stories about their native waiter ‘friends’ and their endearing mispronounciations of ‘wine’ and ‘soup’ so on – uh, where was I? Oh yes…) I’ve recently come back from a holiday in Croatia. And let me tell you, Jazz fans, it was so LOVELY! And god, so WARM – enough.
I was hoping on my return to be able to share with you a little outsider insight into Croation fashion, but unfortunately, the parts of Croatia I visited (tourist ridden islands) seemed to represent the idea of ‘fashion’ purely through floral romper suits and strapless, elasticated summer dresses alone; if indeed there were any clothes on the bodies passing by. Mostly I was treated to viewing the fashion of middle aged ladies & men, who bared every inch of their leathered skin to the sun on the rocky croatian shores, and at times, directing full frontal views of said, eh, skin, in quite an obscene fashion towards the nearby tourist path.
Don’t get me wrong; I ain’t no prude, and I’m all about abandoning stuffy British ideals for the freedom & physical liberation of bit of nakedness in the sun, but trust me, some arrangements of naked sunbathing bodies are fit only for display to the public on a fee-paying website. And by ‘the public’ I mean teenage boys with their mum’s credit cards. And by display I mean – well, I won’t patronise you. None of you are foreign waitors, and I only spell out things for them;’ TWO COFF-EE – look, look at my fingers, NOT ONE, TWO COFF-FEE AND CHIPS – LA FRENCHIE FRIES. OK??’
Anyway, needless to say, between the identical tourist ‘fashion’ shops and the bronzed handbag bodies, my Croatian street style spotting dreams were dashed. As were my holiday shopping hopes. Until we drifted away from the sun-soaked islands and had little city break in Pula, the Istrian captial of culture.
Now, it was no London or Edinburgh, but there was something charming and captivating about Pula; arriving on the evening of their yearly music festival buoyed my impression of the city up, and it was further cemented by finding a gem of a shop sandwiched between the obligatory tourist ‘fashion’ shops, (cue those damn strapless floral rompers again) and endless streets of jewelers that specialised in coral bracelets. It was the very cool, very small Makina Gallery; which as well as selling the work of some unique jewelry makers, was displaying the work of a photographer who took many famous photies of celebrities ranging from Keira Knightly to Dustin Hoffman. Try as I may, I can neither find nor remember the name of the photographer (PLEASE tell me if you know, as it’s been driving me bonkers!), but you can see snaps of the exhibition here, if you’re interested.
The jewelry was particularly noteworthy; there were some stunning lasercut collars, studded rings and beautiful little character set necklaces & brooches, so I snapped some photies to prove to you all that Istria does have SOME noteworthy fashion designers!
After careful consideration I decided to give one of those robot necklaces, crafted from discarded chips and computer parts, a home. I nearly had a meltdown of (unwarranted, really) excitement when my boyfriend pointed out the motorola chip that makes up the little guy’s head could have come from Glasgow, given that there was a motorola factory in East Kilbride at one point in the history of the world. However, he quickly quelled it by explaining there were motorola factories worldwide too, and to stop squealing, because a motorola chip isn’t in possession of a personality and it’s very unlikely it has the capacity to house a desire to return to it’s place of birth.
Shh, said I. Shhh, little Robot, it’s time to go home…
So, to recap; Croatian tourist fashion, not so good. Croatian summer wear, floral and gross. Croatian jewelry, a big thumbs up.