Ema Uršič

planika,

2024

In my collection PLANIKA I explore the theme of identity and belonging, especially how the intersection of personal history and cultural heritage narrate one’s design process. The longing of belonging has drawn me to reconsider what it means to be defined by the place and people such as family and nationality. Inspired by the nostalgic journey into my roots, the work examines the intrinsic connection between individual and origin. 

I began by looking at my family photo archives and the memories they evoke—both those I remember and those created “in vitro” by looking at the pictures. One of the most intriguing memories came from dried Edelweiss flowers (in Slovenian, “planika”) that my grandfather collected on his hiking trips. This flower holds sentimental meaning, representing not only the time we spent together but also serving as a memory of a person and the life they created around themselves. 

I began to combine the idea of the flower with technical elements found in hiking wear. This led to the development of a 3D-printed cord stopper that shapes a cord into a flower-like form. These cords were then integrated into garment constructions, resulting in the creation of garment construction maps. My childhood memories of playing and adapting oversized garments borrowed from my parents’ closet strongly inspired this technical interplay. The interaction between the surface, tensions, and gatherings created a three-dimensionality in the garments. I used technical ripstop materials, giving the garments a light and voluminous quality. 

To complement the technical and plain ripstop, I developed knitwear pieces in collaboration with Pinori Filati, an Italian yarn spinner. The colors and textures of the yarns evoke nostalgic memories of the mountains: the gradient of trees disappearing on a mountainside, and a soft, felted-like “planika” flower nestled into the rocky landscape. Most of the knitted pieces are hand machine-knitted, allowing the different qualities and textures of the yarns to be the focal points of the garments. The materiality of garments has always been the most important aspect of clothing to me. I find creating endless variations and experimenting most exciting and rewarding.