“Nature always wears the colours of the spirit.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hola! (little wave) I have been busy putting together images and words about this year’s REMIX finalists (Whoop whoop!). Using nature as their source of inspiration, these ten talented crafters and thinkers bring to the catwalk their vision of how fur and fashion can be used as tools to make a positive difference to the world, with a specific focus on preservation of the natural environment, sustainability and giving back to communities that need it.
Their individual approach covers from cultures to natural patterns and textures. From cities and gardens defined by the environment to human behaviour. They all use fur because of the opportunity this material offers them to prove their commitment with their environment and establish a connection with it (aside from being such a beau, of course!). They allow themselves to talk about their personal journeys but also how mother nature has influenced their surroundings in such a way that it has also transformed their perception of life and relationships. Awareness, my darlings. That’s what these young talents are all about: awareness of what is around them and how, being part of these milieus, also makes them a changing force that can modify it. Their designs are evolutionary as they incite to change by understanding, action and responsible use of nature. They are also aware that Nature has a spirit so, they read it and then they translate it into something else.
These designers are a “call for action” that will trigger your cognizance for all that is natural. They have outstood among hundreds of applicants. And they did because they know how to read, listen and adopt the pace of nature. They have surrendered to the influence of earth.
The Hungarian designer represents through a game of lines and textures and a clever use of words how social media has created a second world in its own right with access to billions of people—a world where we can escape the frustration of small town living and familiar faces. However, it also disconnects us from our real surroundings. The designer invites us to have a second look to how much we allow social media to take over our lives and how we can miss the opportunity to enjoy the physical and emotional connection with our settings and people as we immerse in the digital sphere. Values and priorities can become distorted and the real world can become forgotten.
The Spanish designer goes back to the roots of tribal aesthetics and love for the earth. Through repetition of traditional techniques and natural fabrics (including fur), she invites us to take a trip to Africa. Get ready for earthy tones and rich terracotta, abstract depictions of spirits and nature. Alba makes us look back to the early times and reminds us we all have a wild side.
Do you remember those really boring History classes in high school? Well, fear no more! Angel will teach us a bit of fashion history with a lush updating of colour and street art. You can’t imagine it? Well, he could (that’s why he is a finalist and we are not). He travels in time and gets inspired by the palace gardens, nobility and luxurious fur tradition and take it to the streets. Yes, for this French designer we can all be kings and queens.
Using fur as a visual metaphor, Chunchen Liu take us high, high, high! (up in the mountains). There, where the snow surrounds us and there’s no one else but us and the way ahead. A call back to the introspection based on observation of the undeniable and unpredictable snowline.
Ah! One of the favourite topics of the Guru: woman power. And Clara is all about that. This Dutch lady is not shy with the use of colour. And rightly so because, what is a woman without colour? (boring). Clara is in favour of those females with their own voice. She’s undaunted when showing this powerful gender through the use of a marked palette and wonderful shapes. She proves that to find inspiration, you just have to give a good look at yourself.
Nature keeps beautiful secrets. To unveil them, the ability to observe and recreate is indispensable. This is something that Federica does in her design. She discerns and translates the outstanding details that surround her and imprints them on her work. Nature’s language is her own (aside from Italian, of course). So, if what you’re after is a bit of visual vocabulary enrichment, this woman has just what you’re after.
LAM WING SUM
Directly from Hong Kong, Lam brings the love for nature’s transformation. The one that remodels, regenerates, invigorates and improves. For her the length of time is not an issue, it’s an advantage. This Guru is grateful with her, nothing better for a woman in her 40’s to listen to such wonderful news! Inspired by the transformative aging of an orange skin, the designer finds that new colours, patterns and textures appear to give any natural surface a new face. One that it’s still enthralling and fascinating.
Technology vs nature. It appears to be the endless battle. But although many of our digital inventions serve to estrange us from the world they were created to enrich it too. These two forces are also continually cross-pollinating in powerfully positive ways. A lot of technological advances come from nature’s structures, colours and materials (being fur one of them). The Japanese designer uses fur as an accent to remind us of its sustainable qualities. As a cue to go back to the land, to natural and sustainable fabrics and resources in order to make the technology vs nature fight even.
Through the overlap of fur with other natural materials, Siyan Meng imitates the natural effect of the rock crystal. Inspired by shapes and colours from these natural formations, she proves how the most intricate features can also reflect specific feelings or sensations. She uses angles and the physicality of these constructions to refer to the symbolic qualities of them. Crystals are also “recorders” that keep images from nature. They can also be used as “beautifiers” of reality when looking through them (like a natural and really funky kaleidoscope!). Shape and function are the main ingredients for her outstanding designs.
Cultures and individuals alike have always been fascinated by nature. They have permanently been aware of their dependence and belonging. Tanziya express this romantic bond with nature through her work. Her design is also charged with emotions and remembrances of how nature affect her life in her homeland. Through this project she tries to reinforce the link with home, nature and herself (whom is the physical result of the previous two). Her graft works as a reminder of where we really come from, who is the real originator: MOTHER Nature.
The Fur Guru is so excited about meeting young, talented people! She will be joining this bunch shortly. And don’t you worry, she’ll be bringing back all the details about this fabulous get-together.
P.S. In my next post I will update you with the latest news and behind the scenes at REMIX 2018 event and Milan Fashion Week. You can’t miss it!
The Fur Guru xx