30th September 2014
At first glance the SS15 collection from Chanel looks like a re working of the traditional tweed and usual fabrics synonymous with Chanel, but on a closer inspection the fabrics are fabulous and unexpected.
Formal yet exuberant the fabrics play with texture, pattern and structure as well as cleverly sitting between perfection and imperfection with imperfect dye and print as well as coatings and hand crocheted add on and subtle yet refined fringing and fraying.
29th September 2014
Marni are not usually on my radar of interest but this season I loved the way that the collection ranged from simple yet beautiful toile and canvas fabrics with gently frayed edges through the explosion of colour and pattern that is synonymous with the brand.
But, the thing of key interest was the 'Summer Fur' (dubbed so by Consuelo Castiglioni) made from cut chiffon embroidered on canvas.
The resulting fabrics appeared as if densely piled ruching, creating an entirely new way of designing textural pattern and one that the high street will certainly not be able to copy in a convincing way.
24th September 2014
Celebrating a long forgotten and under appreciated plant, Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Nina Gautier has explored the possibilities of the Urtica Dioica or better know Nettle plant as a renewable textile source as well as a natural dye.
Broken down into two parts, her project 'URTICA_lab:Sensing the source' seeks to connect us with the hidden attributes of the Nettle, whilst 'URTICA_Textile: Touching the raw' is a range of textiles made from nettle fibre exploring the different colours to be created from the different parts of the plant.
URTICA_Lab takes an alchemic approach to the plant and looks beyond the 'stinging nettle' view and shows the transformation of the nettle into different substances respecting its uses in food, medicine, textile and colour.
Celebrating the textures and colours of the nettle and reviving a material that has been used in clothing for over 2000 years but has been out of favour since it was last used by the German Army for uniforms during WW1 due to cotton shortages, Nina has designed a series of blankets, each focusing on the specific quality of the stinging nettle.
URTICA-raw applies the hand spun nettle yarn in its raw colour whilst enhancing the strength and durability of the fibre, URTICA shades is woven with various natural fibres and dyed from one dye bath revealing different tones and shades whilst URTICA spectrum showcases the entire colour range originating from the nettle plant.
More than simply sustainability this project similarly to that of Laura Daza looks to nature to learn lessons that have long been forgotten.
22nd September 2014
Restless Futures is a cultural melting pot of recent Central Saint Martins graduates who are shaping future design practice and was an exhibition during London Design Festival.
Curated around the theme 'Restless Futures' it is the subdivided into 4 categories: disruptive technologies, expanded boundaries, no more stuff?, and democratising innovation.
Curated by the brilliant Franklin-Till each of the sections makes the viewer question emerging technologies and their potential future consequences in our every day.
Exploring how such technologies will affect our social and economic futures, the projects offer a view of an alternative technological future whereby human participation, sustainability and the balance between man and nature finds a new equilibrium.
No More stuff considers how we can reinvent with what we already have in our lives with the work from Sophie Rowley and Cecile Rudolph who has re worked fish skins and beetroot into lace that can be eaten.
Democratising Innovation looks to how technology can be used for the common good whilst Distruptive Technologies shows the burgeoning relationship between craft and design and how emerging technologies can be a force for good or for new ways of producing depleting resources demonstrated by the work of Zuzana Gumbosovak
The final section expanded boundaries suggests a broader engagement with non traditional methods of design for instance collaborating with people outside of the design realms or utilising materials in entirely new ways to create a new dialogue of design.
19th September 2014
The need to find new raw materials solutions from consumer waste continues to bring new materials to the materials palette as well as new aesthetics.
Showing during London Design Festival Matteo Fogale and Laetitia de Allegri have made furniture from old jeans, paper and cotton.
Similarly to Sophie Rowley (who is showing her work at Mint and Restless Futures) the final products bear no resemblance to their material origins.
The furniture and tableware looks like stone, but is in fact made from composite materials: slate-ish, denimite and marblus.
More commonly used for kitchen worktops and skate ramps, slate-ish is more akin to stone but is made from laminating recycled black paper.
Denimite as the name suggests is made from post-consumer denim waste, whilst marblus is made from white cotton and polyester salvaged from clothing, sheets and other white textile waste.