“For me, they are like short evening dresses,” said Nensi Dojaka of her collage-cut-and-paste debut collection, which takes its cues from lingerie.
The Albanian designer had first studied the category at London College of Fashion before embarking on her MA at Central Saint Martins from which her final collection has now become a fully-fledged brand. One that made quite the impact during London Fashion Week this Spring/Summer 2020 season – the designer has already picked up stockists in SSENSE, Opening Ceremony, and H.Lorenzo.
Little stringy bra tops and twisted bits of skirt, sometimes sheer, sometimes not – it was certainly one of the strongest collections from the student shows this year, one that has already garnered quite a bit of attention from international buyers. Sharp, clever, concise, and with a point of view, it was cool and sexy too. But Dojaka is clear that she doesn’t want you to confuse sexy with something sexualised.
“They [the pieces] are of course revealing, but I don’t want them to be associated with anything sexual,” she clarified. Hence the chopped-up nature of the pieces which, she said, takes the attention away from any such notion. And why for her lookbook she invited the models to document themselves on their iPhones – to give them the power to choose the image they liked best and, accordingly, to be seen how they wanted to be seen. “Choosing their own image – this is how I envision my woman, and it was important to make that clear,” said Dojaka.
The idea explores the many facets of femininity and what it is, something that does and doesn’t factor into the brand. “I’m always a bit scared of that question because I don’t think what I show as feminine is what feminine should necessarily be,” she intimated. “This is why it’s [the clothes] so patch-worky – the two sides, which is how I feel myself.”
On the one hand, she is a female boss. “I think it takes a lot of strength to do that.” And on the other, she is the designer Nensi Dojaka.
“I want to grow it slowly,” she said sensibly of her next steps. “I don’t want to take on too much as I really want to keep the luxury side of it.” Next season, expect to see her on the calendar once more and with a slight lean towards more womenswear than lingerie as an expansion of the brand.