London Fashion Week ran from 17th-22nd Feb and was home to the biannual ethical and sustainable fashion exhibit Estethica, sponsored by Monsoon for the tenth season. Fourteen brands were present, I’m sure I will feature them all at some point over the coming weeks but here are two of my highlights for AW12.
I loved speaking to Ada about her AW collection. She had a narrative for each and every piece, and as a geography researcher myself, it was interesting that much of that narrative was based on the earth and conservation of the natural world. Her collection is called Simia Minerals, meaning ape of the mineral (an analogy of the human race). A graduate of the London College of Fashion, Ada describes her new season influences as “geology, primates and conflict.”
Ada’s strong signature silhouettes are reworked through a geological lense, imaging the structure of metals at the atomic level and layers of the earth from an archaeological yet modern perspective. The collection expresses the chaos and conflict that arises from the exploitation of the earth for our material gain, though glamorous evening dresses and technically perfect jackets and coats. A statement piece is the tailcoat, inspired by the Silver Back Male Gorilla and featuring a swathe of sustainably sourced human hair. Fabrics used in the collection include fairtrade organic velvet, English woven wools, eel skin and upcycled Chanel tweed.
Luxury, stunningly beautiful lingerie that is ethical too, what’s not to love? I hadn’t come across Charini before attending LFW so it was fab to have a nose at the only lingerie label at Estethica. Designed by Sri Lankan born Charini Suriyage, the label debuted last year after Charini developed it alongside studying for her MA at London College of Fashion.
Charini is launching two ranges this year, the ‘Marry Me’ bridal range using ivory shades and elegant styling and ‘Range X’, a bolder collection using classic black and bronze and faux leather. Charini’s concept for both ranges was her ‘no waste’ policy where upcycled elastics became the basic element of her collection. Using hand woven silks, lace and luxurious satin sourced from artisan communities in Sri Lanka both ranges remain true to the ethical heart of the brand. She refrains from using metal or harmful dying processes in her products too. Sexy lingerie, using traditional manufacturing processes, makes Charini very special indeed.