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Gaschette speaks to Lara Klawikowski about her Wearable Bridal Art  2020 Strange Flowers

Lara Klawikowski is a designer from Cape Town. She has built her design aesthetic based on using unusual fabrics and sculpting garments. so much so that the line between fashion and art blurs. Her pieces are a visual inspiration and every fold feels like a paint stroke.

She has recently brought a new twist to wedding gowns. We sit down to find out more from the designer.

What brought you to create garments out of recyclable objects?

Being a local designer with a small business, I find it extremely difficult and daunting to source sustainable fabrics. There is little or zero information available about the origin of fabrics sold in local stores. The majority of fabric used in bridal or occasion wear is synthetic (pure plastic). If you have to think about the wedding industry and the number of wedding dresses being sold? These dresses are bought just to be won once! How polluting is that industry? I decided to use sustainable fabrics and recyclable plastics to create garments that I can honestly say I know where they come from. 

Tell us more about your design process?

I design creative womenswear or wearable art and my main business is avant-garde wedding dresses in unusual materials and textures that is created by hand at my studio in Cape Town. Part of the appeal of my work has always been the element of surprise in what materials I have turned into something wearable, and the women who wear my designs appreciate the thinking and process behind the designs they are wearing. Its a kind of consciousness that can help us move to more sustainable industries.  

What inspired this collection? 

This collection was inspired by the current global insistence on growing awareness of what we wear, what our garments are made of and who made them, and the emphasis placed on choosing to wear garments that are least harmful to the earth and humans. The intriguing textures and proportions of the designs prompt the wearer to look closer and inspect what they are wearing.

Please tell us more about the materials in your collection?

A collection of bespoke upcycled bridal designs created from recycled materials, re-fabricated by hand at our studio, inspired by the unpredictable and unusual, organic textures and shapes of flowers and plants, and how this can be mirrored in re-fabricated materials for clothes with a unique flora aesthetic. As each pattern piece is created by hand and has its idiosyncrasies, wearing one of these designs is like picking a flower to wear, and promotes the appreciation of slow fashion.

Please tell us about the material used for the blue and white dress 

Using Pick ‘n Pay packets was an ideal material, as there is transparency about their origin printed on the bag. The name of the manufacturer is on the bag, they are made in South Africa, from 100% recycled materials and they are recyclable. As simple as that, they’re a better choice than most fabrics I’d find in local stores. These dresses are an exercise in creating something elegant and glamorous in a sustainable way.

Images used from editorial collaboration: Crew: Photographer was Clive Myburg,  Model Loulou Swanepoel from Boss Models Stylist Nicole Danielle Matchant HMU Jacqui Viljoen Production and creative direction by Nicole Danielle Matchant and Clive Myburg



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