2Slovenian fashion industry is just one among the other creative disciplines that have hard time due to economic crisis. There are lots of designers struggling at the moment, especially young ones, however if you love what you do and have passion for it, there has to be a way to achieve your goal.

Every initiative that supports young designers is more than welcome at this time and Young@Squat is a great example. It is a platform of young and highly talented graduates of the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Currently there are eleven designers (Ivan Rocco, Ana Jelinič, Dajana Ljubičić, Peter Movrin, Katja Magister, Nina Tomažin, Sanija Reja, Petja Zorec, Angela Lukanović, Nena Florjančič, Špela Hvale), each with unique creative expression. Their mentors are Nataša Peršuh and Zoran Garevski (both renowned Slovenian fashion designers and founders of Squat). With their help and professional guidance designers at Young@Squat can gain new experience, have a chance to create their own identity and present new brand to the public as well.

The story of Squat began naturally when a group of fashion designers shared an idea of showing their work at different places, soon the opposite idea followed – what about if different independent designers were to show their work at the same location. Today Squat gallery shop is located in the centre of Ljubljana, where selling exhibitions of Slovenian designers and guest authors are presented. Squat aims to promote and encourage progressive creativity by combining various disciplines (fashion, graphics, interactive, fine art, theatre) with modern strategies of presentation, promotion and distribution.

The most recent project of Young@Squat is the exhibition “Between Sense and Sanity” (a part of the British Council and Fashion Council International Fashion Showcase 2013) which brings together works of eleven designers (mentioned above) and photographer Peter Giodani. The exhibition is described as “a bold, daring and cool fusion of both craft and modern techniques showing expertise in fashion textile design combined with a fearless future-vision”. With the exhibited works designers try to give answers to emerging questions about contemporary fashion: Can anything still surprise us, touch us? What is the correct vision for today? Are we going to be courageous enough? Are we going to use the right dose of common sense, to turn an idea into a trend or a collection? What are the limits, where do we draw the line? Or has the line – between senses and sanity – nowadays become extinct?

After a successful premiere in London, the exhibition is now on display in Dublin.

On top of that, the successful creative and innovative work of Young@Squat was recently recognized with Slovenian national award “Trend”.

Photography is by Peter Giodani