AN INTERVIEW WITH ZAGORKA KALENTIC MARKOVIC, A CONSULTANT AND FASHION DESIGNER BASED IN NOVI SAD
You recently had a fashion show at SERBIA FASHION WEEK in Novi Sad. How did the collaboration come about?
I have been working in consulting related to project management with the German government agency – GIZ, and my other career track is in the field of German language and literature. A fundamental drive for fulfilment and pursuit of meaning led me to a new and an authentic calling, inspired by the love of art and creativity. This has brought me into the world of fashion and design. This love of fashion design was preceded by painting instruction, which I took for 5 years in a Novi Sad studio. That is what opened the view to applied art, first through a collection of t-shirts inspired by my favourite painters, and then by other eminent people who have left their mark in our history. I felt great support and reception for this first collection, which encouraged me to keep creating and producing. The cooperation with Serbia Fashion Week started two years ago, when I first exhibited as a designer in their showroom – and this year, to my great joy, I had my first solo fashion show.
On your Instagram account there is a photo of Novak Djokovicin your Nikola Tesla T-shirt. You must feel proud!
It really makes me happy when people acknowledge the message of my T-shirts, such as Listen to Your Own Vibration or Smart = Cool 2, so it really was a great honour for me when such an inspiring man, a true fighter, a real professional and a global celebrity who can choose how he wants to be presented, recognized my energy, and wanted to wear it and convey the message. I recently had the honour to meet Nole. He is a force indeed, a man of refined manners. I am just as happy when I spot a stranger on the street, at a farmers market, or on a pedestrian crossing in one of my T-shirts – this is what connects us all.
Which Vojvodina specialty would you recommend and do you make it yourself?
Vojvodina is plentiful with delicious specialties that are so difficult to resist. Poppy seed strudel, plum dumplings, floating islands, and chocolate cherries kugelhopf cake I adore are all a must for any food buff. I like to surprise my family from time to time with plum dumplings. I enjoy preparing this dessert and I follow my mom’s recipe which is in our family thanks to my grandmother Maria. The recipe fits easily in the modern day busy schedule: start by putting on some soothing music, and boil some potatoes. Once boiled, peel and mash the potatoes adding the eggs from Cenej, flour, salt and sugar, and a bit of butter to taste, and you have your dough mix ready. Flatten the mix to the thickness of a finger using a rolling pin, cut it in squares and place plums on them. Connect the corners to wrap the plum. Form ball shapes using your palms. Dip the dumplings slowly into the boiling water and leave them for a few minutes. In the meantime, fry some bread crumbs on the pan until they turn reddish. Roll the boiled dumplings in the bread crumbs, sprinkle with sugar to taste, and let this beautiful scent fill your home.