Honest By, Estethica’s “special guest,” is the first completely fashion label to promote complete transparency in price and manufacturing, according to Bruno Pieters, its founder. Just nine-months-old, Honest By is characterized by architectural tailoring and couture finishing. Pieters rejects fashion conventions like seasonal collections, choosing instead to offer summer and winter garments throughout the year. He also advocates collaboration, with other like-minded designers, including Calla Haynes, Muriee, Nicholas Andreas Taralis, and Maison Des Talons.
Equal parts fashion designer and avant-garde artist, Ada Zanditon is renowned for combining lavishly sculptural forms with compelling narratives. For Spring/Summer 2013, the London College of Fashion graduate borrowed her cues from the idea of a woman who “embodies the instincts, power, and elegance of a tigress,” she says. “Think of a fusion between Deathproof, Kill Bill, and a Bollywood romance, where the characters are dressed in the uniforms of the British Indian army circa 1900 and Jane Austen’s gowns.”
Purchase a piece made by Henrietta Ludgate and you’ll be investing in the Scottish textile industry, says the designer behind the eponymous label. Ludgate, who works out of a studio in the Scottish Highlands, was driven to honor her Scottish heritage through her work. Artisanal British craftsmanship brings her less-is-more designs to life using fabrics sourced locally from the British Isles. “Whether through the fabrics, cuts, or colors, this idea of work inspired by my Highland background runs through all my designs,” she says. “I work from my studio in the Scottish highlands, which runs in conjunction with the London showroom. I believe in slow fashion and a minimalist silhouette.”
Pioneers in upcycled fashion both, Annika Sanders and Kerry Seager of Junky Styling are remarkably adept at turning the discarded into the newly desirable. Their Spring/Summer 2013 collection draws its inspiration from “interchangeable weather conditions,” they say. “[It will] include ‘wraps and waists” for the cold and ‘loose and breezy’ for the heat. We think we’ve got most forecasts covered.”
Founded by Nicola Sherlock-Windle shortly after graduating from Nottingham Trent University in 2003, Makepiece traffics in sculptural knits derived from locally dyed British wool, mohair, and alpaca. “There’s a definite confluence of form and function in my design,” she says. “We oscillate between intricate dresses which stretch the boundaries of knit, like our braided dress in this collection, and clever little accessories that make an outfit.”
Hailing from Copenhagen, Maxjenny by former furniture designer Maxjenny Forslund is a mashup of fashion, fine art, and architecture that explores such sustainable materials as hemp, organic cotton, and recycled PET fabric. “It´s not about fashion as we know it, it is about how garments are made using as few seams as possible, innovative pattern, and with outstanding quality both in design and textile,” Forslund says of her Spring/Summer 2013 lineup. “It´s about why fashion is being made to become such long-lasting and versatile products in your wardrobe so you shop and live with fewer items.”
AURIA x MARGOT BOWMAN
For her Spring/Summer 2013 line of swimwear, Diana Auria imaged what the Greek goddess Artemis would wear if she fell from the heavens and onto the set of Baywatch. (Illustrator Margot Bowman lent a hand in designing the prints, which includes Artemis’s feathered arrows raining from the clouds.) Clad in “acidic pastels,” Auria’s ethically sourced, 100 percent recycled bathing suits are a nod to the “candy-hued nostalgia for LA beach society in the ’80s,” she says.
Even as a child, Carla Fernández saw the potential of Mexican textiles on a global scale. It was with the goal of representing Mexico in the international fashion industry that Fernández debuted her brand in 2000. “In each garment, there is a reflection of how clothing was originally built in Mexico; a system based on squares and rectangles that together form new forms and dimensions,” she explains. “Reinterpreting this complex system with intervention of artisans is the brands trademark in which one can say ‘tradition is not static nor is fashion ephemeral.'”
VICTIM FASHION STREET
Born in Taiwan and now based in London, Mei-Hui Liu of Victim Fashion Street is largely self-taught. Using vintage fabrics, Liu marries her love of nostalgia with a yen for design innovation. “Aesthetically, I suppose it’s what you’d call decadent romance cut with a very sharp edge and a dose of haphazard embellishments,” she says. People tend to say that I’m one of the early pioneers of the sustainable fashion movement because I was one of the first to make recycling and up cycling a key part of my brand identity. But, above all else, it’s got to embrace opulence even if it is ethical.”
Evgenia Tabakova and Pedro Noronha-Feio introduced White Tent to the world in 2007. Based in Portugal, Lisbon, and London, the label uses performance textiles and laser-cutting to create womenswear with an edge. But the pair also believes in social responsibility. Their goal: To integrate sustainable practices at every level, creating a business that operates to the highest environmental standards.
Joanna Cave’s philosophy is best described in her own words. “The Joanna Cave collection is made with much love and care by people who enjoy their job and are paid fairly,” the London-based jewelry says. “Recycled silver has been used as well as ethically sourced pearls. We hope that the client will enjoy and love their jewelry. Knowing the product’s origin and manufacturing will inspire ethical consumerism.”
Jerome Lorico is a man of many talents. He studied design in Tokyo but also has a degree in literature and language from Bicol University of Arts and Sciences in the Philippines. Lorico’s master plans is to gradually introduce sustainable design into the mainstream fashion market with his trademark knits and handcrafted garments, he says. His ideal client: “Someone who believes in the importance of conceptual and visual design in clothes,” he adds.
Originally from Sri Lanka, lingerie designer Charini Suriyage is currently pursuing a master’s degree in design management at the London College of Fashion. Charini’s philosophy, she says, is to create “real luxury through celebrating design, revive heritage crafts in Sri Lanka, consider the welfare of the environment, and ultimately eliminate metal, plastics, or harmful dyeing.”
Pachacuti, which means “world upside-down” in the Quechua language, was the first business to certify its entire supply chain under the World Fair Trade Organization—no small feat considering that the hat-maker’s suppliers span the entire Andean region of South America. Its trademark piece? “A classic, fine weave, handwoven Panama hat with a chinoiserie design handwoven English silk ribbon,” says Carry Somers, the company’s founder.
Mich Dulce is a milliner who creates “kitsch, design-driven” hats using traditional and all-natural materials from the Philippines. ” By working with traditional fabric woven by different ethnic groups in the Philippines, we aim to promote and preserve Filipino heritage and culture through our modern and contemporary millinery pieces,” Dulce says. Run as a social enterprise, Dulce’s label employs, trains, and supervises women from the Gawad Kalinga Comminity Development Foundation, a Philippine-based poverty-alleviation and nation-building movement.