Designer Collectives are a great way for young designers to get together and make a name for themselves. Often they may not have the money or the clout or enough fashion savy to get into the big shows so by grouping together these up and coming entrepreneurs can have more of an impact and learn the business from each other.
Revamp is a designer collective consisting of 26 designers; thirteen of them are in the Estethica exhibit at London Fashion Week. Revamp was created and headed up by a Canadian ( those crazy Canucks are everywhere) who was in fashion and became inspired by the level of skill and creativity amongst the young designers. But it is hard for them to compete against imported goods especially in this economy. So she seeks out the designers, and works with them to develop their skills. In order to boost their presence they have linked up with Cancer Research UK, a cancer charity with second-hand shops on the main streets of London.
They take the used clothes that Cancer Research rejects because they are in unacceptable shape to be sold. They recreate and re-design the clothes and make new items out of them. These are then sold at the Cancer Research shops, with the designers' names and biographies noted and mounted on the wall. This way they reach a much larger audience, and one that appreciates vintage things. The collective also include jewellers (pictured) and hand bag designers.
The Conscious Designers Collective is another newly launched non-profit collective created to help new designers and improve the way they run their business. Started by Elena Garcia, they teach them how to start with small eco-steps towards becoming more sustainable and how to work in a sustainable way. Many need help in working with manufacturers and in getting their work displayed. This exhibition is a good opportunity to really expand their presence. Elena Garcia herself uses felting on silk to make beautiful camisoles and blouses (pictured).
House of Tammam, another member of the collective, works with people in India and Nepal, creating clothes that are a fusion of traditional and modern styles. Some of the fabrics are fascinating; made in India and Nepal they use organic cotton, nettle, bamboo and banana. The sweater knitted out of banana looked just like loopy wool. Other pieces were made out of printed organic cotton. :: London Fashion Week
More on London Fashion Week
:: Estethica, 2006
:: London Fashion Week 2007 Accessories
:: London Fashion Week, 2008