Indian fashion designer and technologist Siddhartha Upadhyaya employs an innovative zero waste design technique, called Direct Panel on Loom (DPOL), in his latest collection for his fashion label, August.
From using computer-generated weaving to using fabric scraps as ornamentation, Upadhyaya's collection is a study of zero-waste design. Click through to view the collection, which appeared at the Ethical Fashion Show in Paris.
I've previously covered Upadhyaya's innovative zero-waste design process that was used to create a blazer. DPOL utilizes a loom, which is attached to a computer, that weaves made-to-fit garment sections. They are then sewn together by hand. No fabric waste is created because no fabric is cut in the process. It saves yarn, dyes and chemicals, and reduces lead time by almost 50%.
Here, he takes the process to the next level with women's dresses. Some dresses are designed solely with DPOL, while others only partially use this technique. When fabrics are cut from a roll and scraps were produced, the designer used these as a way to create texture with ornamentation on the dress.
Upadhyaya works with Khadi, a handwoven organic cotton cloth, as well as raw silk and bamboo fabrics. Natural dyes are extracted from plants and fruit, which are grown in the August design studio. Garments are then dyed by Indian artisans.
Upadhyaya's aim with the textured dresses is to show how waste can add beauty to a garment. Unfortunately, the ornamentation appears out of place and bears a striking resemblance to plastic leis. Keeping it simple and opting for more flattering silhouettes, might have been a better option. American Apparel, for example, uses fabric scraps to create accessories like scrunchies and bow ties, rather than trying to use all material in one garment.
Overall, I wish I could give the collection a better review, but I can't. What Upadhyaya shows is a great start to what I hope might be more cohesive in the future. His technique, materials, and even the colors are spot on. But, I can't picture a woman wearing these clothes on the street.
Next stop for Upadhyaya is the London Science Museum then on to the Poland Museum of Arts, where the designer will showcase the collection.
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