Adlib Princess (II)

The Adlib, in crisis

The spread of the phenomenon soon called Adlib attracted attention from many designers, clothing stores and magazines worldwide. But soon suffered its first crisis, wich focused on the controversial figure of Smilja, who some believed to be a manipulative woman, who had not only invented the title of princess but also made her fortune at the expense of fashion in Ibiza . In fact, some people started to reffer her as’ Madame pour fifteen cent “.

In 1976, a group of designers upset with the inflexible rules imposed by Smilja and fees to be paid in order to participate in the Adlib catwalk, decided to produce an alternative show. In 1983 the crisis worsened to the point that some of the most prominent signatures of then-Paula’s, the Black Rose, Nacho Ruiz, Dora Herbst-decided to depart not take part in the official Adlib catwalk.

Goodbye, Princess

In 1994 the death of Smilja meant a new phase of crisis. Nobody believed that Adlib could survive without its ‘princess’. But the Fashion Board, managed by the Island Council, continued to drive the promotion of fashion and maintaining the popular Ibiza parades, which continue to be held today. Many things have changed, from the original white to new colors as blue, brown, red… The designs and materials have also been adapted to changing times and has born a horde of creators who, keeping the original spirit of Adlib, have reinvented it.
Adlib fashion was able to survive its princess. Smilja was a controversial figure, loved and hated in equal measure, but she certainly left a universal legacy that has stood the test of time. Regarding her controversial title of nobility, nobody has never been able to prove or disprove its authenticity, which she always defended: “I am a princess by royal decree of King Peter II of Yugoslavia, who was a good friend of mine and gave me this title in 1945. And I can prove it. ”

by Judit Carcasona

Special thanks to Biblioteca Municipal d’Eivissa and Arxiu del Consell d’Eivissa