Refined Sexiness. Nensi Dojaka SS23

It’s rare to see a relatively young brand like Nensi Dojaka having such signature and consistent vocabulary of style codes. The London-based designer’s evolving label of sophisticated sexiness continues to stand out for its refinement. Close up, the sensitive construction of Dojaka’s work, with its tiny rouleau straps, asymmetrical suspension and delicate trimmings, is so obviously in a class way above the world of cheap stretch imitations that have hit the market after the designer went viral. For spring-summer 2023, the designer said that her starting point was thinking about using lace, the shimmery qualities of silvery lurex textures and palest pink sparkles, and as always, inventing newer things to do with chiffon. She never talks concepts or narrative, only about fabrics – her work is evolutionary, never theme-based. Her micro-focus is only on supreme fit, and perfecting the beauty of each piece. Against the illuminated backdrop of a white space, all of her lingerie skills in creating cutout shapes with intricately invisible boning and bra-cups edged with fragile frills looked immaculately accomplished. She moved forward with some of the best slip-dresses of the season; a tiny bit ’90s grunge-influenced, but for a new generation. She switched things up with a few cycling shorts and jeans contoured in two shades of denim, the latter worn with a black tailored jacket over a bra which was inserted with cutout hearts (a recurring motif throughout.) Then, the show-stoppers: three long, sinuous, virtually transparent chiffon evening dresses – beige, black, and one in a combination of dark cranberry and pink. They had trains. Dream silhouettes guaranteed to put the name of Nensi Dojaka on many a red carpet.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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That’s Hot. Nensi Dojaka SS22

Hot Girl Summer all year long – that’s the key message from the first day of London Fashion Week. Nensi Dojaka is one of the freshest forces in womenswear for a long time to emerge from London. The creative directors of LVMH judged her to be that the other day, when they awarded her the 2021 winner of the LVMH Prize from an impressive field of global contenders. Dojaka has a lot of fans. Dua Lipa and Rita Ora are among them; like her, both have Albanian roots and have grown up in London. Dojaka has lived and studied in the city since she was 17 years old. First she learned the exacting art of lingerie technology at London College of Fashion, hence her fanatically perfectionist expertise in the minute calibrations of fitting bras and multiple, adjustable straps. She then progressed through the Central St Martins MA course, then to her first group outings with Fashion East. She had her first solo show yesterday – a collection which showed all the finesse she’s managed to evolve in dressing the female body in classily engineered nuances of reveal and conceal. Dojaka’s is a total look that’s arrived just in time to greet the pent-up longings of women who’ve spent too long in confinement and are looking for an exit from all-concealing smocks and whatever homewear descended to during lockdown. Here was her antidote: dresses topped with petal-like bras held on with minute rouleau straps to reveal plunging backs; high-waisted, super-fitted, tapered trousers and draped, twisted georgette tops. Tailored jackets, some of them detailed with separate sleeves, were tied on with slim black ribbons. Then the tights: who’s ever seen leg-wear like Dojaka’s hosiery, with a cut-out zone containing a tulle flower on one thigh, and seams running up the front? Her repertoire runs through pointy, strappy, kitten-heeled shoes, rib knit dresses, draped swimwear and bras. The fact that her business was essentially formed during the worst of the pandemic is testament to the down-to-earth realism of this hard-working young woman. She makes sophisticated, desirable, complex product that’s centered on the complex desires of her sophisticated female peers.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.