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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

By Stamo: a taster interview with ethical fashion designer Elisabeth Stamo

In this excerpt from Amelia's Compendium of Fashion Illustration (featuring the very best in ethical fashion design) ethical designer Elisabeth Stamo explains the lure of Greece... and Liverpool.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Beautiful Soul A/W 2010 by Zarina Liew
You started out as an insurance broker so you’ve have had an unconventional career so far. Why and how did you become a fashion designer?
As a young girl, see I wanted to be a fashion designer, but life has its twists and turns and I found myself caught up in the rat race for eleven years. I lacked passion for my work but I didn’t know how I would cope without my luxuries and the next pay rise. Then I had the opportunity to backpack around the world for six months with my best friend and for the first time in my adult life I realised that I could live on a budget. I started to see life in a different light, with endless opportunities. Whilst in Tokyo, something happened to me: I was surrounded by the most amazing boutiques and I was like a child in a sweet shop. Mesmerised. Excited. Totally inspired. I realised that I needed to make radical changes to my lifestyle in order to make my dreams a reality and I haven’t looked back since. I graduated from the London College of Fashion with a BA(Hons) in Fashion, Design and Technology in 2008. During my final year, I was involved in a project based around ‘saving the earth’. I was hooked. Fashion with a TRUE meaning, for me, is the only way, and my ethos helps me to focus and push forward.

Why did you decide to specialise in creating adjustable garments?
I set out to create timeless designs that will be favoured pieces in the wardrobe for a lifetime and multi-functionality renders a garment timeless, as it can be worn to suit different moods and seasons. A woman’s curves change regularly and it’s frustrating when a zip or button will not close. I therefore avoid using conventional fastening in my designs and instead explore alternative methods. I love to experiment and delve below the surface of fashion, discovering new ways to incorporate responsibility through use of distinctive materials and design innovation.

What does your zero waste policy mean in practicality?
I am extremely fond of fabric and I hate to see it go to waste! I upcycle vintage kimonos to create new garments that hold a greater value; when I dismantle a kimono I am left with very limited panels of fabric, only 38cm wide. It’s important that I work with these restrictions and nurture an understanding of the fabric availability. Any leftover fabric will be placed aside and then revisited the following season, where I set myself the challenge of designing a new piece based on the leftovers. I have just designed Beautiful Soul’s third collection, S/S 2011’s Believe, and the leftover fabrics have been transformed into a range of unique corsets and shoulders pads in our menswear jackets. Material remnants feature as fastenings and embellishments, adhering to the policy of zero waste whereby every last thread of fabric is used in the creative process.

Read the rest of this interview and see more illustrations of Beautiful Soul’s clothing in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, alongside interviews with 44 other ethical fashion designers and 30 fabulous fashion illustrators. You can buy the book here.
ZarinaLiew_BeautifulSoul_FW10
Beautiful Soul A/W 2010 by Zarina Liew.

You started out as an insurance broker so you’ve have had an unconventional career so far. Why and how did you become a fashion designer?
As a young girl, buy more about I wanted to be a fashion designer, more about but life has its twists and turns and I found myself caught up in the rat race for eleven years. I lacked passion for my work but I didn’t know how I would cope without my luxuries and the next pay rise. Then I had the opportunity to backpack around the world for six months with my best friend and for the first time in my adult life I realised that I could live on a budget. I started to see life in a different light, with endless opportunities. Whilst in Tokyo, something happened to me: I was surrounded by the most amazing boutiques and I was like a child in a sweet shop. Mesmerised. Excited. Totally inspired. I realised that I needed to make radical changes to my lifestyle in order to make my dreams a reality and I haven’t looked back since. I graduated from the London College of Fashion with a BA(Hons) in Fashion, Design and Technology in 2008. During my final year, I was involved in a project based around ‘saving the earth’. I was hooked. Fashion with a TRUE meaning, for me, is the only way, and my ethos helps me to focus and push forward.

Beautiful Soul A/W 2010 by Zarina Liew
Beautiful Soul by Zarina Liew

Why did you decide to specialise in creating adjustable garments?
I set out to create timeless designs that will be favoured pieces in the wardrobe for a lifetime and multi-functionality renders a garment timeless, as it can be worn to suit different moods and seasons. A woman’s curves change regularly and it’s frustrating when a zip or button will not close. I therefore avoid using conventional fastening in my designs and instead explore alternative methods. I love to experiment and delve below the surface of fashion, discovering new ways to incorporate responsibility through use of distinctive materials and design innovation.

What does your zero waste policy mean in practicality?
I am extremely fond of fabric and I hate to see it go to waste! I upcycle vintage kimonos to create new garments that hold a greater value; when I dismantle a kimono I am left with very limited panels of fabric, only 38cm wide. It’s important that I work with these restrictions and nurture an understanding of the fabric availability. Any leftover fabric will be placed aside and then revisited the following season, where I set myself the challenge of designing a new piece based on the leftovers. I have just designed Beautiful Soul’s third collection, S/S 2011’s Believe, and the leftover fabrics have been transformed into a range of unique corsets and shoulders pads in our menswear jackets. Material remnants feature as fastenings and embellishments, adhering to the policy of zero waste whereby every last thread of fabric is used in the creative process….


Beautiful Soul SS:11 Believe was created with Zarina Liew after she made contact with Nicola Woods to complete her submission to be in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration. Music was provided by Amelia’s Magazine favourite Gabby Young and Other Animals.

Read the rest of this interview and see more illustrations of Beautiful Soul’s clothing in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, alongside interviews with 44 other ethical fashion designers and 30 fabulous fashion illustrators. You can buy the book here.
AmyMartino_AndrewCrews_HorsPiste
The Andrea Crews Hors Pistes collection by Amy Martino.

Maroussia Rebecq arrived in Paris in 2002. Deciding that she did not want to work alone she created a fictional character, this web Andrea Crews, viagra sale around which she began to build a network of accomplices. Maroussia may be the founder and director but Andrea Crews is a project in which many others take part. Andrea Crews is an avant-garde movement based on a sustainable aesthetic, viagra order communicating creative ideas via ethical means. The latest collection is described as “a galactic warrior on a sunset ride”.

The Andrea Crews Hors Pistes collection by Amy Martino
The Andrea Crews Hors Pistes collection by Amy Martino.

The average Andrea Crews customer is “good looking and open minded with good style, aged anything from 7 to 77 years old.” The antithesis of sleek French fashion, Andrea Crews revels in the juncture of performance art and fashion, playfully recycling unwanted clothing. The crew sorts through old clothes, hunting out the boldest colours and best quality materials. Styles are combined to create “fresh, sexy, unisex, colourful, graphic, funky” outfits, which take shape as they grow. Andrea Crews collections are always accompanied by a big performance and lots of partying – “we work hard, we party hard” – collaborating with other experimental contemporaries on the cultural scene: artists, stylists, video directors and DJs, not to mention musicians. They have dressed Santigold, Metronomy and Yelle

Read the rest of this interview and see more illustrations of Andrea Crew’s clothing in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, alongside interviews with 44 other ethical fashion designers and 30 fabulous fashion illustrators. You can buy the book here.
Krister Selin By Stamo S-S 2011
By Stamo S/S 2011 by Krister Selin.

Where and how were you trained in fashion design?
In Greece I studied hand weaving and embroideries at institutions and museums and with local people so that I could learn about traditional techniques. Then I trained at the London College of Fashion and I have also studied shoes, what is ed millinery and textile design for print. Besides having my own brand, more about I also consult and train on the technical side of fashion; pattern-cutting, garment technology and quality control. I recently set up Ecoluxe with fellow ethical designer Elena Garcia to promote eco-luxury as a lifestyle choice. I am also working on a Masters in Business Administration with the University of Liverpool. I study all the time to keep my mind ticking over.

By Stamo S/S 2010 by Antonia Parker
By Stamo S/S 2010 by Antonia Parker.

How do you determine what is ethical in fashion design?
The work ethical comes from the ancient Greek word ethos, which means a combination of honesty, justice and sincerity. According to Aristotle, these moral characteristics were an important aspect of everyday life. My brand practices ethos by using local resources where possible, working with and within the community, developing people skills to create sustainable hand crafted products. For my diffusion line I also source vintage fabrics from redundant stock or end of rolls from warehouses all over Europe – or whichever part of the world I happen to be visiting…

Read the rest of this interview and see more illustrations of By Stamo’s clothing in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, alongside interviews with 44 other ethical fashion designers and 30 fabulous fashion illustrators. You can buy the book here.

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