From Slovenia hails Nika Ravnik behind the creative label, niOka. niOka means "green hills" in Aboriginal language and it suitably dictates the sustainable frame of ethos the brand work within. The brand is renowned for its zero waste principle and creates clothes to fit all frames by designing one-size-fits-all multifunctional garments.
Nika finds her inspiration predominately from her personal experiences and the odd things passing her by. Her work revolves around geometrical shapes, handcraft and wearability. The designs are defined by its multifunctional minimalism combining an avant-garde simplicity with an artistic craftsmanship in a timeless universe.
She graduated in Fashion and Textile Design from the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering at the University of Ljubljana and upgraded her skills from Central Saint Martin's and Design School Kolding. Her work has been showcased several places including Fashionclash in Maastricht and Copenhagen Fashion Week and is frequently exhibited throughout Europe.
Her latest collection JA MAA VOS is inspired by the geometrical principles of the inventive spatial paintings by Jan Maarten Voskuil. He created a three-dimensional, asymmetrical stretcher frame evoking a sphered surface suggesting an endless area of "free form". Nika translated this mindset into the world of niOka in the form of pattern cutting utilising the zero waste principle.
In this collection, 5 different paintings have been used for pattern inspiration but as they are manipulated and draped differently they look nothing like each other. The asymmetrical pieces are formed after the shapes of rectangles and squares, cut using the paintings by Jan Maarten Voskuil as inspiration and then draped on a dummy. This left Nika with a system of appraising the non-predictable sides to creation with no preset end destination.
Predominately natural fabrics occur in Nika's work as she works in silk, wool, cotton and stretch leftover fabrics from Slovenian textile companies. For those companies, the last one or two metres of fabric isn't usable and are thrown away, but for Nika, they offer a way of creating one-off garments sustainably.
By working conceptually like Nika, a seldom found authenticity is achieved thus exemplifying niOka as a great reminder of what Slow Fashion is.
Photographer Ada Hamza
Model Eva Kofol