Style cannot be bought by wearing pieces signed by prestigious brands, but many will prefer to opt for such creations for special occasions. However, the first lady of Montenegro Milena Milatović from the first official appearance, she decided to give the opportunity to domestic designers. In this way, Milatović emphasizes the importance of supporting the local fashion industry, because her choice emphasizes the authenticity and diversity of domestic talents, and thus sends a strong message of support for the creativity and innovation of this industry.
For the Vienna Opera Ball, which she attended with her husband Jacob, Milena decided on a creation signed by the Montenegrin designer Lazar Ilić.
"The cooperation between the first lady and me came about naturally and through a logical sequence of events. Considering that I am someone who works very intensively especially in the field of styling, I believed that it was a matter of when she would contact me and I think she contacted me at the right moment when she needed a special dress. Hence my and her acquaintance", revealed in an interview with Vijesti Ilić how the cooperation with Milena Milatović came about.
So far, the first lady has worn creations by other domestic designers at events, and that, Ilic believes, is important for the domestic fashion scene.
"This collaboration is very important and significant, both for me and for any other world creator, that a president and the first lady wear their pieces. This is important for several reasons, the most significant of which is that it represents recognition and respect for work, while giving priority to domestic talent and creativity. It is important that it happens and that it will continue to happen", believes Ilić, in whose creations, whether they are under his name or the Hunt brand, the woman always looks glamorous, but often also challenging. However, for the first lady, he decided to make a completely different, more reduced creation that also carries symbolism.
"It wasn't difficult to make such a creation, but it was challenging considering that Milena has a very pared-down style, and I have that trait in me that I like to go one step further. In this situation, less is more, and this is one side of the coin that people didn't have a chance to see with me. However, this is not my first foray into simpler creations like this. This creation was designed in order to comply with the various rules that we had when making the dress in the form of protocols and things that had to be followed in an adequate way so that Milena would have this kind of final result", notes Ilić.
The red color was deliberately chosen because it is the same color as the Montenegrin flag. But whoever chooses this color is sure to be noticed.
“Her dress was made with a point and a story. At first we had one form, but due to a combination of circumstances, it turned into another, where the first lady had complete trust in me, and for that I publicly thank her. The symbolism is obvious, and it is the hand on the side of the heart that symbolizes respect, love for the country, the anthem and everything that goes with it. The red color is for two reasons - because of our flag and because red is my favorite color. Working with red is risky, but in this case I was sure that it was the right choice and it was important to me that this particular shade of red suits the first lady adequately. That moment when I realized that choosing the right shade was the best decision we made, I was sure that no other color would fit better than red", recalled the interlocutor of Vijesti.
At one time Ilić started his own jewelry line, however, the metal hand on the left side of the dress is not from his collection.
"The metal accessory on the dress was something I thought about for a long time. Originally, the idea was for her to wear a statement necklace to complement the earrings we chose for the ball. However, at the last moment, I made the decision that, regardless of the fact that the hand does not belong to expensive things, but belongs to the matter of symbolism, I will present Milena in the way that she is already perceived - a woman from the people and that it is irrelevant whether something costs 15 thousand euros or 15 euros, it's important how someone wears it", Ilić concluded.