The sad fate of the mysterious nymph has been incorporated into the first Croatian souvenir of sustainable design, embodied by the joint effort and creativity of Mihaela Marković and Tamara Luković.
Atlantis’s daughter, Calypso, whose name means “she who conceals” was the pagan goddess of the sea, who fought in the war together with the Titans. Apart from being incredibly beautiful and perfectly mastering the musical instruments, Calypso was able to control sea currents and winds. When the Gods won, she was punished and cursed with the eternal retreat on the island of Ogygia, today’s Mljet.
In addition, fate has ensured that for centuries all the great mortals, heroes of the time, will end up on the island, and the beautiful nymph will fall in love with them.
“We started the story with two pieces representing Calypso for us. It is a robe and a dress that are completely modular, modern, and simultaneously embody something ancient, primordial. The dress is
made from fine waxed cotton, with a satin underdress in contrasting colour that subtly reveals, but also blurs the body structure of the wearer. The deep dark blue reminds us of the dark sea depths of the Mediterranean, which, though intriguing, can be very dangerous, just like the mysterious nymph,” Mihaela says.
The Calypso robe continues the colour play of dark blue shades and gradually integrates the moss green and the emerald green. The construction of the piece is done intelligently so that it can function as a scarf, dress, robe or a cardigan.
Tamara Luković, the ideator of the whole project, is the initiator of many ideas related to the revitalisation of Mljet heritage, as well as designing and selling original souvenirs. After a series of resuscitated souvenirs such as Mljet shirts, traditional jewellery (ring, earrings), a belt and a pillow case, she has also designed and enlivened a perfume dedicated to the island.
It is inspired by the legend of passion, the love of the sea nymph Calypso and Odysseus, who after his shipwreck embarked on the island, and remained there for seven years. The perfume itself has had three successful editions, therefore inspired by its success, wanting to complete the “Mljet project” in a way and seemingly incidental encounter with the work of Mihaela Markovic, the idea was born. The embodiment of the mysterious nymph in the ancient textile is created by the young designer born in Zagreb, currently residing in Amsterdam.
Mihaela Marković, owner of Studio Marković, is dedicated to the preservation of Croatian traditional skills, especially knitwear and weaving. Knitwear is an old-fashioned skill, just like fishing for example, that survives despite all the new technological advances. Knitting is special because we create our own textile, retaining control over its entire work from its simplest segment to the most complex. Knitting is also a kind of meditation, mental rest.
Concepts of sustainable design, “slow” living, quality pieces that last for years and become better with time just like good wine; these are the main design principles of Mihaela Markovic. These same values are shared by Tamara, in her way of living and working, so this collaboration is instinctively and truly the embodiment of the same ideals in one exceptional project that will, hopefully, become an added value for the Croatian tourism.
“The first Croatian souvenirs of sustainable design are available at the Boutique Hotel Excelsior in Dubrovnik, the Mediterranean Art Gift Shop “Stara skula” on the island of Mljet, as well as in selected art galleries and concept shops throughout our beautiful country,” Mihaela says.
You can also purchase on the webshop: http://www.mihaelamarkovic.com
Model: Vita Kozić
Photos: Jan Iveta from Studio Iveta/assistant photographer is Nika Moko