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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Preview: Ada Zanditon on Sustainability

In part two of my LFW preview interview with ethical designer Ada Zanditon I dig a little deeper to find out how her sustainable ethos is put into practice, and how she hopes to inspire the next generation of fashion designers.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Oscars – Georgia Coote thumb
Oscars - Georgia Coote
Illustration by Georgia Coote

So Colin and Helena have already won their BAFTA awards. Now all eyes are on them for the Oscars. Particularly Colin Firth, approved who has been vigorously doing the rounds as it were, cialis 40mg on chat shows such as Ellen. I believe in the aforementioned show, abortion Colin was given some Oscar worthy tuxedo pants. Personally I think Colin should have got an Oscar for A Single Man, one of my favourite films…in the world ever. This article is a small run down of 13 films nominated in the Oscars. Lucky 13…

Abby_Wright_Oscars_Natalie_Portman
Natalie Portman Illustration by Abby Wright

Black Swan revolves around Nataliie Portman’s character winning the lead to Swan Lake, leading to madness and obsession. Driven by perfection, she loses grip of reality entirely as you are taken on a heady journey. I accept it is a genre piece, thus obvious and over the top for a reason, but controversially I didn’t love it. Natalie Portman has been nominated for Best Actress, among five other nominations for the film.

Inception is a fantasy thriller with Leo at the forefront. Christopher Nolan produced some incedible scenes for our eyes to devour and the twists and turns were a thrill to behold. It has eight nominations, including Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor.

Helena Bonham Carter by Matilde Sazio
Helena Bonham Carter Illustration by Matilde Sazio

The King’s Speech had people applauding in the cinemas. Everyone has gone mad for this film. And what with Will and Kate getting hitched this year, the Royal family are enjoying a thrust of positive publicity. Colin Firth’s character is a George VI and Helena Bonham Carter, his wife, the Queen Mother have both been nominated for their performances. The film has been nominated for 12 in total.

Colin Firth by Karina Yarv
Colin Firth Illustration by Karina Yarv

Rabbit Hole is about a couple’s life is affected after their young son dies in an accident. Nicole Kidman has been nominated for Best Actress for her role.

The Social Network
David Fincher’s account on the origins of Facebook…

The Kids Are All Right is the story of a lesbian couple whose sperm donor returns into their lives, has four nominations and stars Annette Bening and Julianne Moore.

Toy Story 3 was a sad film in many ways, because it reflected time’s passing and the end of childhood. But Toy Story (1) brings back wonderful memories and has been overplayed to death without inducing even the remotest hatred. Same with Toy Story 2. Toy Story 3 was held in high hopes and it delivered. The film has five nominations, including Best Picture.

Gemma Milly-True Grit
True Grit Illustration by Gemma Milly

True Grit
Joel and Ethan Coen make quite scary, but brilliant films. This remake of the 1969 John Wayne western has received ten nominations in total, these include Jeff Bridges for Best Actor and Hailee Steinfeld for Best Supporting Actress.

Alice In Wonderland sees Alice return to the world of magic and chattering objects, as a 19 year old. She learns of her destiny and meets her old chums. The film, which stars Johnny Depp, has been nominated for three Oscars.

Exit Through the Gift Shop saw Bristol’s Banksy nominated for Best Documenary Feature. The story is about an eccentric French amateur film maker and shop owner trying to befriend Banksy.

127 Hours
Ewww. But also amazing story of overcoming the odds, directed by Danny Boyle. This is a real life story about a climber forced to take extreme action to survive. You all know what I’m talking about I’m sure. James Franco has been nominated for his role as the protagonist and indeed, only character in the film. The film has also been nominated for Best Picture.

Michelle Williams by Russty Brazil
Michelle Williams Illustration by Russty Brazil

Blue Valentine is a stunning and devastating film about falling out of love. Michelle Williams has become numb to her life and husband, whilst Ryan Gosling flails around, trying to save the marriage. Making it all worse. The flashbacks to their falling in love are touching, and the soundtrack by Grizzly Bear made me cry. Michelle Williams has been nominated for Best Actress.

Winter’s Bone
An independent film, Debra Granik’s tale is about a young woman living in a rural community, trying to find her missing father. The film has been nominated for three awards.

Now bring on the pizazz and dresses, quaff, quaff!
Ada Zanditon A/W 2011 Preview by Rebecca Strickson
Ada Zanditon A/W 2011 Preview by Rebecca Strickson.

For Ada process is everything. “I don’t want to sit at a desk using Illustrator to design clothes that will be made many miles away. I love the hands on process of choosing the fabrics and creating the clothes.” But she does want to conquer the luxury goods market. “I want to make clothes that are desirable and exciting but also ecological.” The luxury goods market is one that is saturated with leathers and furs, ed but Ada will only use leather by products that have been vegetable tanned. “It’s very hard to find good enough quality fake leather and the biggest crime is waste, approved so it is better that skin is used. Things are getting better but we still have a long way to go.” She describes a trip to the Wastesavers deep in Huddersfield as part of an initiative with Jane Shepherdson and Oxfam. There was such a huge amount of waste that it boggled her mind. She dreads to think how much more goes into landfill every day.

Ada Zanditon comission by The Lovely Wars
Ada Zanditon (commission) by The Lovely Wars.

We ponder the ethics of sustainably produced fur where the animals are treated well, but she’s not really interested in fur from a aesthetic point of view, and worries too much about the air miles and poor conditions of most farmed animals.

Ada Zanditon SS 2011 by The Lovely Wars
Ada Zanditon S/S 2011 by The Lovely Wars.

Ada tries to fly as little as possible – preferring instead to find inspiration in the English countryside when she goes on holiday. “My favourite way to travel is by Eurostar!” She is not interested in the idea of being against things, and would rather look at the relevant alternatives and ways in which to do things with purpose.

Ada Zanditon by Avril Kelly
Ada Zanditon by Avril Kelly.

She is analytical in her approach to sustainable practise. “A lot of the environmental debate comes from an emotional place,” she says. “I used to be both veggie and vegan but now I just try to buy local, organic and free range… I find that meat answers my needs as an adult who needs a lot of energy.” But then her decision to stop eating meat was never based on the killing of animals in itself – she ponders the irony of vegetarians who wear non organic cotton – the pesticides from which have no doubt adversely affected local wildlife.

Ada Zanditon S/S 2011 by Dee Andrews
Ada Zanditon S/S 2011 by Dee Andrews.

She thinks that there is a lot of fluffy thinking in western culture and much prefers to take a scientific perspective. “It takes emotion out of the equation. Emotion is good when it comes to fashion, but sustainable design needs a common sense approach to see ideas with clarity.” With her analytical mind she looks for ways to reduce environmental impacts and ensure positive outcomes within resource management and production.

Ada Zanditon by Dee Andrews
Ada Zanditon by Dee Andrews.

Even though she is a designer of high fashion she concedes that how to make affordable sustainable clothing is one of the biggest problems that needs tackling. “I have my own part in the wheel, but it would be false for me to design differently than what comes naturally.” Despite the possibility of an adverse “trickle-down effect” whereby her high fashion designs could easily be copied at a cheaper price level without using sustainable materials Ada is hopeful that her values of using sustainable materials and local production will inspire others if she can communicate them strongly and excitingly enough. I am inclined to agree.

Ada Zanditon by Maria del Carmen Smith
Ada Zanditon by Maria del Carmen Smith.

Ada occasionally lectures students, and is about to embark on a project in fashion and sustainability at La Cambre in Brussels. “To teach fashion you have to put a lot in. I love giving one off lectures and working on specific projects but I don’t have time for more.” One of the things she finds most inspiring in ethical fashion is that there are more people who are now coming to ethical fashion from a fashion perspective. “In the past ethical fashion companies were set up by environmentalists, but nowadays designers who come from a fashion background are able to bring a distinct handwriting to their designs.” She classifies herself amongst this new wave of designers, alongside names such as Beautiful Soul, Christopher Raeburn, Goodone, The North Circular and Henrietta Ludgate (all of whom feature in my new book). “We feel supportive of each other and it’s really good to see a relevant aesthetic growing and gaining momentum.”

Ada Zanditon A/W 2010 Pre-Collection by Sarah Matthews
Ada Zanditon A/W 2010 Pre-Collection by Sarah Matthews.

Most recently Ada has been commissioned for a couple of exciting fair-trade projects: a collective collaboration with ASOS, for which she designed a scarf to coincide with the launch of Fairtrade Fortnight and a project in conjunction with Vogue Magazine to celebrate the release of fair-trade gold. “They rang on Thursday wanting a substantial geometric piece that spoke of luxury: the perfect project for me. And by Saturday it was sorted!” Ada rightly feels that it is really important to show that fine jewellery can be made sustainably and with awareness for the impact of manufacture on human lives.

Ada Zanditon A/W 2010 Pre-Collection by Sarah Matthews
Ada Zanditon A/W 2010 Pre-Collection by Sarah Matthews.

Her business partner is entrepreneur Philip Levine, who is good at networking and looking out for opportunities. “There is so much pressure on young brands to build a successful business at the same time as being creative,” she says, “but people spread themselves too thinly and can’t always see the best choices in business. Many fashion brands come and go but I want longevity.” She loves evolving illustrations into prints and hopes to expand her prints onto a wide range of products in the future.

At just 28 years old it looks as though Ada Zanditon is already building a brand to remember, and most importantly of all, it is a fashion brand that has ethics at the very heart of it. I look forward to her LFW presentation this Friday with much anticipation. Read our taster of what to expect right here.

Ada Zanditon features in my new book: Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

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2 Responses to “London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Preview: Ada Zanditon on Sustainability”

  1. Akeela says:

    Love her designs and it’s great to get an insight into Ada as a sustainable designer. And I am completely in agreement with her on the environmental debate!

  2. [...] bye bye pleather jacket, you are gold and lovely and I shall cherish you always. Do sneak over there for a peek at the interview and more illustrations by some lovely others. [...]

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