At last week's Estethica exhibition, part of London Fashion Week, there were many familiar faces, but as we greeted old friends we also welcomed new talent. One of those that particularly stood out was young designer Mark Liu, a recent graduate of the Textile Futures course at Central St. Martins. Liu's collection firstly stood out for the beautiful fabrics and delicate detailing. However, it was only on closer inspection that we discovered these details are not after thoughts, but are integral to the production of the garment. Mark Liu has a bold ambition and that is to cut waste out of fashion, one pattern at a time. He certainly is nifty with a pair of scissors. Mark told us that his "Zero Waste Fashion" mission was inspired by the shock of seeing 15% of all fabrics going to waste in the pattern cutting industry and by the challenge of pushing tailoring to its limits; as he says very succinctly, "Wasted material is a loss of profits and bad for the environment."
By designing and cutting his patterns, like jigsaws from a single piece of fabric, without creating any waste, Liu is producing new forms and details in his clothing that are totally distinctive. Not only is he challenging himself in terms of design, but Liu is motivated by a reason deeper than just style. While we would love to see him embrace more eco-friendly textiles, such as organic cotton, to complete the picture, we do think his creations are truly innovative. Appropriately enough his collection is entitled "On the cutting edge".