Saturday, November 14, 2009

A D A . Z A N D I T O N

There was a real 'buzz' surrounding Ada Zandition's collection. Her designs always stand up as being truly inspirational and innovative with or without the ethical tag.

Ada's SS10 collection was inspired by a book called A World Without Bees by Alison Benjamin. As honeybees numbers rapidly decline Benjamin brings our attention to the over looked and over worked bees we actually can't live without.

"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."

The puffed silk top seems floral at first glance but on closer inspection you realise it is in fact made up of hundreds of individually cut silk hexagons sewn together. The hexagon, which is inherent in the collections inspiration and design, hardly leaves any waist when cut out of fabric as the hexagonal pattern can be packed tightly together edge to edge.

For SS10 Ada has collaborated with CELC - Masters of Linen based in France. The collection was predominately linen, a fabric many of us shy away from due to its dramatic creasing. Ada however incorporated this characteristic and made it a feature in her designs. She told me more about the collections colour theme, red, white and navy. (This is loosely quoted as I was a) too engrossed in conversation and b) sans voice recorder.) "The fabric has been created through a design process before it gets to me. I wanted to show importance of this and of the collaboration by the colours, which represent the French flag but also correspond to the British Union Jack"

This will be the first season where Ada has designed and produced jewellery as part of the collection, all of which I aim to covet for myself very soon. Taking the hexagonal shape she created statement necklaces and abstract knuckle dusters of which Mark Fast is a fan. Ada used recycled plastic that has been set with what looks like tiny pieces of paper, which is in fact recycled money which is no longer in circulation, the hexagons fit together echoing a bee hives structure. I loved the idea of taking money that was worthless and making it into something of beauty and ethical worth.

This is what fashion should be, not just ethical fashion. Here we have an exquisitely executed collection highlighting a quirky yet important issue such as the decline of the honeybee and perhaps also referencing the economic recession through inventive recycling. Her SS10 collection is one of great depth, poignancy and exploration. I can't wait to see what she does next season.

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