Dušan Prepares To Make Something Big
“It’s not easy being a minimalist,” says Dušan Paunovic, the designer of the Milan-based Dušan (pronounced duchan) collection. “It’s a long process to discard everything superfluous and use as little as possible to make something big.”
The Serbian designer got his start working for his countryman Zoran, a designer’s designer who’s never wavered from his own brand of spare minimalism since introducing it back in the seventies. Like Zoran, Paunovic put his emphasis on fine fabrics and was content to fly under the radar. “At trunk shows, I knew almost everyone’s name,” he says. No longer: For the past three seasons he has brought his collection to show by appointment in Paris, and the line currently sells at Saks and Neiman Marcus. There’s more growth to come. Next season, there will be a capsule men’s collection and a women’s show in Paris.
What do his customers love? The obsessive attention to fabric and to fit. “He’s obsessed with proportions,” says French stylist Samuel Drira, the man behind the influential glossy Encens. (He’s also styled Dušan’s look books for the past few seasons.) “Everything is in the finest fabrics, but nothing is rich.” The collection for Spring, includes oversized batwing tees, full skirts, and strong tailored pieces, like a great menswear-style blazer in pale pink, washed silk. “We had to go to Kyoto to get this fabric,” says Paunovic. “It’s used for kimonos and it’s in a special pink the Japanese call ‘under the snow.’ How beautiful is that?”