Adlib Princess (I)

Once upon a time a princess named Smilja …stop! Was she a real princess? Well…let’s start this story again. Ibiza, 1971.The island had become a hippy paradise, where young people were adopting a style of dreese inspired by the white color so characteristic of the churches and farm houses of the region. Cotton, sheer dresses, petticoats, laces, the Croche … fashion had become simple, comfortable and authentic. Hence the Adlib fashion was born, inspired from the latin expression ‘ad libitum’, whose meaning is “as you like.” A very appropriate motto for times of utopia and freedom.

Although this trend had emerged spontaneously, was princess Smilja Mihailovich who turned Ibicencan white dress in an universal trend. Smilja, whose surname was Constantinovich, was born in Serbia in 1918. Due to the advance of communism, she was forced to flee her country and begin a pilgrimage that lead to many different European countries: Italy, England, France and finally Spain. Many details of his past are unknown, except that she married a Yugoslavian diplomat in Paris, named Mihailovich. However, they separated shortly after moving to Ibiza in the early 60’s.

Mistress of a king

According to several testimonies, including that of the self-interested, while in Paris Smilja also met the dethroned King of Yugoslavia Peter I and became his lover. Though this version of events it is told that the King granted Smilja the title of princess, wich she always used, she was well presented and amiable, and as such the King opened the doors of high society to her. The Smilja who came to Ibiza was an intelligent woman, beautiful and educated (he spoke seven languages), she was soon part of the Island jet set and became close to those in position of power within the world of politics.

In 1971 she launched the first Adlib Catwalk, it was de official birth of a phenomenon that has become famous worldwide. “Hippies were bolder and shown to have their own personality, that came though when choosing and making a simple dress. Adlib is the motto of freedom, it aims to reflect the freedom of this century that has been consumed by progress ” Thus spoke the princess in an interview with journalist and writer Mariano Planells, published in his book “Ibiza, the Elephant Walk.”

To be continued…

Read more here: Princesa Adlib II

by Judit Carcasona