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London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Presentation Review: Ada Zanditon

A review of Ethical Fashion Designer and Esthetica Innovator Award Winner, Ada Zanditon with beautiful illustrations by Paolo Caravello

Written by Sally Mumby-Croft

Illustration by Kellie Black

Illustration of Little Shilpa by Yelena Bryksenkova

Illustration of J Smith Esquire by Kellie Black

Illustration by Kellie Black

The Headonsim exhibition is hidden in the Embankment Galleries on the lower ground floor of Somerset house, medicine behind the BFC tent. I’ve been down there twice, once on Thursday and once yesterday – and both times it seemed very under attended. Actually, all the exhibitions around the scrum of the registration area seem very quiet but they are all well worth a look, even if it is just to take a closer look at some of the collections as I did upstairs for Louise Amstrup.

Curated by milliner extraordinaire Stephen Jones, the Headonism exhibition is all about the hats and is the only section of London Fashion Week to do so. There are only five exhibitors: J Smith, Little Shilpa, Noel Stewart, Piers Atkinson and Soren Bach, but the difference between the stands is remarkable. The xxxxx has no one manning it, nor does Little Shilpa – merely a book to leave details in and the only exhibitor to have put any real effort into their display is Piers Atkinson but more on him later. The importance of showcasing your wares appropriately at London Fashion Week is shockingly something that many have left to the last minute. Read xxx post on the displays upstairs to find out who did it well.

We were lucky enough to interview two of the exhibitors prior to the show, the first was J Smith Esquire. His exhibit is immediately to your right as you enter the exhibition, displaying his most recent foray into the high street market with a Mister Smith display of flat pack hats in colourful cut out leather. He told us about the collection: ‘Mister Smith is designed to be robust, accessible, affordable millinery with high design values, so everyone can have a J Smith Esquire hat’.

Illustration of J Smith Esquire by Kellie Black

Mixing together the ready-to-wear and couture, J Smiths talent shines with his main collections. Illuminated promises to be VERY eclectic, ‘(it’s) inspired by vintage Italian fashion papers to create a modern-day Edwardian couture, and yes, expect a very colourful collection!’

Illustration of Little Shilpa by Yelena Bryksenkova

Illustrations by Paolo Caravello

Monday saw the fourth day dawn on London Fashion Week and delightfully my first day of intriguing ethical fashion presentations. First up on No. 1 Greek Street was the delightful Lu Flux, try followed in the afternoon by – congratulations! – the Ethical Fashion Forum’s Innovation Award winner Ada Zanditon. -

All photographs by Sally Mumby-Croft

In the run up to London Fashion Week, stomach Katie Antoniou interviewed Ada Zanditon about the trials, tribulations and positive rewards of producing innovative ethical fashion. Often the problem lies in the assumption that ethical fashion is boring and unfashionable – that most heinous of sins! – a situation being speedily rectified with the continuing presence of Estethica’s exhibition and support of young designers exploring the possibility of sustainable fashion at London Fashion Week Exhibition.

Illustrations by Paolo Caravello

Starting at 2pm, Ada Zanditon’s presentation – which in the grand scheme of things was more of catwalk – displayed the designer’s incredible 3D textiles used to embellish the collection of pretty dresses. Utilising her presence at On|Off, Ada showcased the delectability of clothes made through using up-cycled materials. The outcome of which had the group of ladies behind me swooning.

Christopher Raeburn and Lu Flux, (whose review will be appearing later on today…) are but two of Ada Zanditon’s trailblazing contemporaries in the field of ethical fashion. All three designers are successfully proving there need be no distinction between ‘fashion’ and ‘ethical fashion.’

Surely it is time for all designers to take the ethics of their production lines into consideration: namely where the fabrics originate and who is physically making the clothes for commercial consumption.

Illustrations by Paolo Caravello

When answering Amelia’s Magazine’s final question , Zanditon touched upon the difficult reality of encouraging people to achieve not only sustainable fashion, but sustainable lives; “I only think the planet can truly convince people of the importance of sustainability. I’m sure most people living on the coast of Bangladesh are highly convinced that we need to live in a more sustainable way as they are effected daily by climate change.”

A common fault in humanities mentality is our failure to project successfully beyond today, nurtured as we are on natural resources being infinite. It is incredibly hard to convince worldwide populations’ materials are and will become finite, whilst items still appear in their thousands on shop floors. Perhaps it will take empty shelves to convince us of the perils of fast fashion.

Intriguingly Ada Zanditon uses geometric cutting to produce zero waste. Tell us how you do it Ada!


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