“There’s A Thin Line Between Art And Fashion”: The Story Behind Roksanda’s Show-Stopping Tapestry Cape, Which Took Over 200 Hours To Make

The spark for Roksanda Ilinčić’s autumn/winter 2024 collection came during a visit to Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier’s 12-square-foot holiday cabin on the Côte d’Azur in France, featuring just enough space for two small beds, one table and a toilet hidden by a curtain. “When you’re there you see this incredible, humble home of one of the greatest architects of our time, who obviously had the means to create something bigger but who, at the end of the day, wanted to be in nature, living under a tree and swimming in the sea,” the Serbian designer and former architect tells Vogue a few days ahead of her show at Tate Britain. “It’s that notion of wanting very little: a refuge, a shelter.”

Ilinčić was particularly struck by the “free-spirited, spur-of-the-moment” murals that Le Corbusier had painted in the entrance hall, using these as the starting point for this season’s stand-out tapestry pieces. “I wanted to do something inspired by interiors and the art in his cabin, and translate that into fashion,” she explains. “We were experimenting with lots of textures, lots of different weights of fabric, but the one that was the most exciting was this woven tapestry fabric.”

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Roksanda autumn/winter 2024.

Vogue Runway

The studio team set about creating hand-drawn prints for the weighty fabric, incorporating elements of Le Corbusier’s paintings, from the colours to the hands and faces, while giving them a Roksanda twist. These were then sent to an artisanal factory in Italy, where the drawings were turned into the textural yet graphic pieces seen on the catwalk, including a top and skirt, a dress, and a dramatic cape featuring a long train at the back that puts the artwork on full display.

There’s a sense of undoneness about the pieces, with the threads purposely left hanging loose at the edges. “I wanted to make them look almost like you took this tapestry or blanket and you just kind of wrapped it around you – it’s been thrown on in a very effortless way,” Ilinčić says.

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Roksanda autumn/winter 2024.

Vogue Runway

From start to finish, the show-stopping cape, comprising 4.5 metres of fabric, took over 200 hours of design and development time to make – a detail that Roksanda is keen to emphasise, considering the sheer amount of work that has gone into it. “Sometimes people ask why certain pieces cost this much,” she says. “There is a very thin line between art and fashion; when we weave in more of the art process, that comes with a price. We don’t want AI – nothing can replace the hand and the heart, I would say.”

The collection – which continues the interiors theme via its cocooning silhouettes and layered looks – has already found a fan in Zendaya, who, with the help of her image architect Law Roach, managed to get hold of look one, a sculptural burgundy jacket with a matching skirt and tailored trousers, days before it hit the runway during the London leg of the Dune: Part Two press tour. “It’s really interesting for the fashion world because obviously everything is kept [secret] and we wait for a big reveal on the day of the show, but I don’t think that anything can eclipse Zendaya wearing it – it was a very special moment.”

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Roksanda autumn/winter 2024.

Vogue Runway

Could we see Roksanda’s tapestry cape on the red carpet next? Watch this space.

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