High-tech meets slow-craft
The revival of centuries-old handicrafts
“We have so much high-tech in our lives that our need for textures and haptic experience is growing”, says trend researcher Li Edelkoort. She advises her students to go to a museum rather than to fashion shows. To create pioneering fashion or design, you must know which materials have been worked on and when, and the importance of textiles in different epochs – such is her credo.
If you want to design tomorrow, you must know about yesterday.
Time-honoured techniques are in demand again, such as felting or velvet weaving. But it is not just the revival of historical materials which is playing a role. Their adaptation and transformation, using new production practices, is also a subject of study. The process is a symbiosis of high technology and sustainable materials, such as wool, felt and linen, vis-à-vis synthetic alternatives to fur or leather. To these elements must be added artificial fibres, high-tech materials and textures of a previously unknown brilliance.
Maintaining traditions and looking to the future
The work of the Mexican designer Carla Fernández is exciting, too. Unlike her colleagues, who place purely aesthetic aspects at the centre of their design work, shaping and colour are for her only a part of the complex design process. Her fashion is intended not just to be beautiful and to make people beautiful. Fernández incorporates social and political questions, too. By transferring Mexican styles and production techniques to contemporary fashion, she aims to strengthen her homeland’s cultural awareness. With this in mind, the designer seeks in the various regions of Mexico for craftsmen who are masters of centuries-old production techniques. But she does not copy their skills; she also awards them her production orders.
Header photo: Facebook fanpage of Designerin Carla Fernández ©Ramiro Chaves