Dedicated to Gooner gals and pals who love to don jumpsuits and smart jackets as they do their jerseys.

13 May 2012

Country Costumes: Croatia

I have always respected Croatia and see them as a strong side with a lot of potential. I believe they deserve more recognition as their debut in the 1998 World Cup for the first time as an independent country saw them leap from the 125th spot to the 3rd in the World rankings (they also reached 2nd upon beating Germany in the semis). The dramatic leap saw them winning their second FIFA Best Mover of the Year award after winning their first in 1994. Their French campaign was certainly captivating to watch as a small Soviet bloc breakaway took the competition by storm, gunning to third place as they defeated tough sides Netherlands and Germany in the process. Davor Šuker also bagged the top scorer award that summer.

It has been 19 years since Croatia gained membership in both FIFA and UEFA yet they can still be considered newcomers in the continental stage. Both their pre-Yugoslavian and Yugoslavian records are nothing but a starting point as the new Croatian team sought to make their own history. While they have yet to show the same class as their 90s Golden Generation, each upcoming competition becomes a chance for Croatia to find their initial success once more. Their last Euros appearance saw them exiting in the quarter finals to Turkey in a penalty shootout and the nation certainly hopes in making it further this time when they attempt to garner attention as they did in France 14 years ago.

The arrival of Slaven Bilić in 2006 certainly had the ball turning in the invigoration direction but it has been six years since and only this year's Euros can tell whether the now dubbed 'Bilić boys' deserve the credit. Despite their poor form in the 2010 World Cup, Bilić remains in charge and brought them to qualify for this year after a 3-0 revenge on Turkey in the qualifying play-offs. I believe Croatia is about revival, potential, and hope. Taking this into consideration, I decided to create an outfit that takes inspiration from the Balkans as a melting pot of the cultures of Christianity, Islam and Greco-Roman civilisation. A strong Hungarian and communist influences also exist.

The skirt is a take on the elaborate baroque style that became prominent in Croatia after reunification of the country with her occupied parts. The colour black and white is representative of the coat of Dalmatians, which hail from the country. The top is structured, in a soft blue-ish hue reminiscent of the ocean. A statement necklace of feathers, wool knots and other trinkets is a tribute to the rich culture of the Ottoman Empire. The clutch and shoes are by Croatian-born designers, representative of modern Croatia while the ring is a fun take on football and art combined.

Top, Carven, £180
Skirt, Balmain, £5395
Necklace, Dior, price unavailable
Bag, Lei Lou by Aleksandre Dojčinović, £267.20
Ring, Trina Turk, £43.40
Shoes, Damir Doma, £512


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