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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Martina Spetlova: New S/S 2012 Season Interview

A catch up interview with one of the most interesting eco designers working today: Martina Spetlova talks fish leather, chemistry and teaching in Poland.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Martina Spetlova By Shauna Tranter
Martina Spetlova S/S 2012 by Shauna Tranter.

Eco designer Martina Spetlova first caught my eye when I was putting together Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration last year. She has an inimitable ability to combine materials and colours which has made her past two collections every bit as eye catching as that first one I saw. Time for a catch up me thinks.

Stacie Swift - Martina Spetlova AW11
Martina Spetlova A/W 2011 by Stacie Swift.

For A/W 2011 you shot a more spooky video with a tribal beat, cheap can you speak a bit more about the inspiration for this?
I wanted to work with a dancer and I used a very inspiring film by Maya Deren called A Study In Choreography For Camera as reference. Margarita who performs in my film was loosely choreorgaphed for the piece and then we filmed it over a stretch of a few hours. The music came later and was sourced by Paddy Austin, price who got it from an old Italian opera by Roberto De Simone.


Your use of sustainable leather and zips for A/W 2011 is amazing, how did you mock up trial samples of this range?
I always spend some time researching in the library at the start of a season, but my ideas tend to evolve by experimenting in the studio. I am always testing and mixing the combinations of textures and colours at my studio… playing with various leathers and using zips as connectors and features. 

Martina Spetlova by Celine Elliott
Martina Spetlova S/S 2012 by Celine Elliott.

Your use of colour is very intriguing – where do you get the ideas for your mismatches? Is there something in particular that you look at for inspiration each season, or is your colour choice in your DNA?
In order to be sustainable I work with end of line fabrics and yarns which can be quite limiting in terms of colour. I always have an idea of the main colours I would like to use when I start working on a new collection, but I have to also see what is available and what happy accidents I discover along the way. But I suppose you could say that colour is in my DNA, as I seem to know that the choices and combinations I use are right.


The video for your new S/S 2012 collection is beautiful – what gave you the idea to work with split imagery and different focal lengths?
For my presentation I took the elements that helped create the S/S 2012 collection and separated them out in petri dishes on a large light box. I wanted to highlight the way I experiment when I work, by creating a formula for various processes my designs go through. The film had to sit next to this piece in Somerset House so thats how we thought of using mirrors and a magnifying glass to distort and split images. The film is a collaboration with Ruta Balseviciute and Till Janz, and we were inspired by the short films of Erwin Blumenfeld of course.

Martina-Spetlova-SS-2012-2
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Martina-Spetlova-SS-2012-3
Chemical theory is still a dominant theme, how is this applied to the making of your garments for S/S 2012?
My formula I mentioned above takes the ingredients I use – the end of line fabrics and yarns, ethically sourced leathers, textures and colours of elements such as the zips and knit – and combines them with my own experimentation processes to create the finished piece. I studied a chemistry degree in Prague before I went to Central Saint Martins to study fashion and I found some similarities between the two disciplines. The way I experiment with colours and textures in the design process at my studio echos the blending and mixing of chemicals in order to achieve a prescribed reaction within the laboratory. 

Martina Spetlova S/S 2012 by Erin Sleeper
Martina Spetlova S/S 2012 by Erin Sleeper
Martina Spetlova S/S 2012 by Erin Sleeper.

You first came to my attention as an eco designer – how has a desire to be ethical continued to influence your work, and how do you make sure that all fabrics are sustainably sourced?
I work with end of line fabrics and yarns from European mills which the industry sees as waste material, but which I am able to use for my limited edition collections. I also work with leather companies which have sustainable policies. 

Martina-Spetlova-SS-2012-6
Martina-Spetlova-SS-2012-7
Martina-Spetlova-SS-2012-8
Martina-Spetlova-SS-2012-9
You’ve recently been doing some teaching – how does this compliment and fit in with your design work?
I have just started teaching fashion on Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw which is a brand new course and full of energy. It gives me an opportunity to step away from my own work, whilst helping the students develop their own ideas in the same way I was encouraged to at Central Saint Martins.

Martina Spetlova S/S 2012 by Stacie Swift
Martina Spetlova S/S 2012 by Stacie Swift.

Where can people buy a piece of Martina Spetlova?
Selected pieces from my A/W 2011 and S/S 2012 collection will be soon available at LN-CC. I am also selling my new collection with Osmoda, which is new online shop.

Martina-Spetlova-SS-2012-10
Martina-Spetlova-SS-2012-11
Martina-Spetlova-SS-2012-12
Any future plans or collaborations that you can tell us about?
I am hoping to carry on collaborating with Atlantic Leather, which I have been working with for a couple of seasons now. I am also looking into a shoe collaboration for the new season, to be shown next February. 

Wonderful stuff! You can see more of Martina Spetlova in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Martina-Spetlova-SS-2012-13
Martina-Spetlova-SS-2012-14
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Martina-Spetlova-SS-2012
S/S 2011 collection

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One Response to “Martina Spetlova: New S/S 2012 Season Interview”

  1. [...] Amelia posted this interview with lots of beautiful illustrations. Thank you! To read click here Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. ← Previous [...]

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