Monday 27 February 2012

LFW Diary AW12: Ada Zanditon (part 2)

Introducing her new collection, ‘Simia Mineralis’ via an enthralling film presentation on the inaugural day of this season’s LFW, Ada Zanditon’s AW12 collection is a triumph. With a title meaning ‘ape of the mineral’, Zanditon’s new offering depicts ‘the human thirst for technology and the consequences of our greed for it’ through an intense colour palette of red, grey and black.
A journey of awaking, the collection deftly uses expressions of shape and form to explore the past, present and future of the human race. Signature silhouettes are reworked, taking inspiration from the structure of metals at the atomic level and layers of the earth from an archaeological yet modern perspective.
With an undercurrent of the Victorian era bubbling beneath the surface, prints are inspired by Pan, the god of nature and the wild, created from intricate repetitions of the designer’s drawings, photographs and paintings of animals.
In keeping with the film short directed by Thomas Knights, the mood and tone of ‘Simia Mineralis’ is frantic and conflicted, seeing swathes of silk geometric prints drawn together effortlessly to create a plethora of glamorous evening dresses and staple jackets and coats.
The showpiece of the collection is a dramatic, yet elegant conceptual tailcoat inspired by the Silverback male gorilla and features a shock of sustainably sourced human hair – highlighting a controversial and expanding sector of the hair and beauty industry. An animal with whom humans share 95-99% of our DNA, Zanditon has an affinity for the Silverback gorilla, exploring the impact of mining on primate species and the consequences of human conflict and poaching which result in increased habitat loss.

An immensely gifted and intellectual designer, Zanditon is in her own league, eschewing cyclical trends and mainstream inspirations to instead reflect her passion for ecology and in particular conservation, exploring the individual and social struggles to resolve both natural and manmade conflicts through a series of simple choices.

A collection of juxtapositions, there is a tension between fluid shapes and strong structures throughout, with a range of textures and cuts creating a cacophony of beautiful garments of varying volume. A scholar of sustainability, this season sees Zanditon work with several luxurious S+E fabrics including fair-trade organic velvet, denim and cotton sateen, British woven wool, up-cycled Chanel tweeds, eel skin and vegetable-tan leather.

Keeping waste to a bare minimum, Zanditon has gone one step further for AW12, reapplying fabric residue from her SS12 collection to create the interior architecture of many of the intricate pieces.

Once again geometric jewellery is produced in collaboration with the wonderful Luca Romanyi, seeing laser-cut and etched walnut dominate, with organic paint, eek skin and vegetable-tanned leather providing exciting accents and embellishments. Lifting a key print of this collection from Zanditon’s original artwork, Romanyi has effortlessly translated it to wood, creating an expertly crafted collection of architectural inspired pieces.

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