A utopian atmosphere takes over. This is a destination without mobile reception, where only the right kind of boredom can create space for creation and where time runs differently, to the tune of nature. The color palette in shades of sage, lavender, fig, mint, coral, and dry stone, reflects its surroundings: scorching, earthly base tones are enlivened with flashes of luminous color.
This collection marks our first artistic collaborations. “Having visited the island, we were looking for somebody to help us add a surreal, fairy tale-like dimension,” explains Valerija Kelava, co-founder and CEO. Hana Stupica, passing on her family’s heritage as a third-generation visual artist and illustrator, is best known for her treatment of fantastical creatures. Her original cast of magical characters is imprinted onto leotards and features in embroidery finishes and packaging details, including a marten, beetle, and lamb, as well as fig, lemon, and wildflower motifs: “The vision started forming almost immediately, even during our first conversation with Valerija and Uroš. Their summer holiday photographs mixed with my own memories of romantic 19th century ballet illustrations, and I very quickly started seeing the final motifs before my eyes. I created two larger works, four beetle vignettes and a bouquet drawing for the collection. You can find even more unfinished works in my sketchbook, which will hopefully come to life someday.”
“My memories of the sea start with my grandmother when she first took me with her to the seaside as a child. The song of the cicadas, the smells of lavender, rosemary and sage, the warmth and saltiness, a book, when time stands still and a certain nothingness takes over,” she reminisces of some her favorite summer holidays.
Having been a ballet dancer herself, she credits this experience in addition to her mother’s passed down love of fashion for a lifelong interest in garments: “When I used to dance, you sadly couldn’t find anything comparable. Leotards were either made from cotton or Lycra and came in single colors from one of the two shops in Ljubljana. All you could do was hope for a nice shade... It’s true that you needed more of them because of everyday training, but times have changed, and Just a Corpse managed to create products that don’t just hold artistic value but are also made from the best of materials and can be enjoyed by everyone, during practice and beyond.”
Slovenian natural dyer Romana Brina Gobec (Brinas Studio) worked with us on developing a series of dyed T-shirts and knits. They recall memories of leaving your clothes out to dry on a sage bush or a stone wall before a swim. Forgetting they were there, you can easily imagine picking them up a couple of days later, rustier, and more soiled with each passing storm. “Hand dyeing with natural colors is a slow, conscious process that is very close to a Mediterranean way of life. It takes six steps and ten hours just to prepare the fabric, before the dye making and actual dyeing can even begin. You should see my fingers after each piece has passed my hands at least ten times,” says Romana Brina, describing her process.
“I find the mixing of pigments to achieve new tonalities an almost meditative state. In many ways, the whole process fills me with the same feelings as snorkeling for hours on end in the summer as a child. I
would lose myself in observing the underwater world, listening to the constant crackling sounds of the sea, and just being — a witness to nature. I was very honored when Uroš first reached out to me on Instagram and proud of what I’ve achieved. There is no pretense in this claim, only a rewarding awareness that the purer you can be in your energy, the nicer it is what you create,” she adds.
Ballerina suits and duster coats add a lifestyle note to the staples and now accompany leotards and dancewear pieces. These new additions continue to reflect our quest for fluidity, softness, impeccable quality, ecological fabrics, and unique design.
Sustainability efforts continue to underline our creations. The base material, often described by Just a Corpse leotard lovers as having a ‘second skin’ effect, is extremely light and stretchy. As the thread is so fine, it took technology over two years to catch up and deliver a recycled version with the refined hand feel we were looking for. Our perseverance finally paid off and we are now the proud owners of a certified recycled version.
T-shirts are made from organic Lyocell by TancelTM cellulosic fibers, a result of environmentally responsible processes. Knits and other cotton pieces were created with organic cotton. Natural pigments and hand dyeing techniques are used throughout.
The production cycles are carefully planned. We produce as much as we sell. Deadstock and overstock are some of the key pollution factors in our industry and something we try very hard to avoid. Our packaging is reusable and multi-purpose: you determine its second life.
Our work is rooted in local awareness, supporting local manufacture and creatives.
We are committed to running the company as a family business both in terms of how we treat our employees and the working conditions we create for them. We help with our team’s living arrangements, visas, and education for relocated seamstresses and their children.
Thank you to our army of finest local artisans: weavers, knitters, dyers, cutters, seamstresses, tailors, embroiderers, printers... for delivering a magnificent new set of Just A Corpse products.