Hranitelj was born in Croatia in 1968, but moved to Slovenia when he was 16 to pursue a career, giving up his formal education in fashion design. He was quickly snapped up by the theaters in Ljubljana, producing for some of the greatest directors there. He was even given a contract to work in Milan in fashion but returned to the Balkans after his contract ended, remaining in Ljubljana.
It would be easy to dub him a fashion designer with a punchy anti-fashion outlook or an extravagant costume designer with a wild imagination but Hranitelj’s creations are vast and his abilities incomparable.
While he has been making fashion and creating for the theater his whole life, he also produces sculptural costumes that reminiscent of Bauhaus’ Oskar Schlemmer’s sculptural costumes, in their grandeur and their removal of the purpose of clothing.
Whether they are so superbly constructed that they even do not need a human body to move them, as they have themselves gadgets constructed to cause motion, or have human beings inside them that morph into dreamlike creatures. His work resembles the talents of great designers such as Alexander McQueen and he toys with the ideas of David LaChapelle.
While the work, as well as his name, echoes through the Balkans, from mouth to ear, he has also astounded the West, even the likes of Cirque du Soleil, producing for productions in Canada and China.
His magical touch of irony, excessiveness, contradiction, and a slight hint of, dare we say, existentialism, makes his pieces of art worthy of the relevant echoes that surround them.