Fashion Revolution's Open Studio
BE CURIOUS, FIND OUT, DO SOMETHING with FASHION OPEN STUDIO
Fashion Open Studio 2018 – “the only fashion week worth caring about” – is expanding as a powerful platform for designers and brands to discuss who made your clothes during Fashion Revolution Week. Building on the initiative which started last year, designers from London to LA will be taking part, sharing their processes, ideas and best practice. This is a platform that celebrates transparency in the industry.
I've been super busy helping put together the week-long series of events designed to engage us all further in the conversation about who makes our clothes - and to get involved in some of the processes along the way.
Open Studios is an opportunity to shine a light on a group of emerging designers - and some established trailblazers - who are finding alternative ways of producing fashion that is mindful of the makers, the planet, and its resources. They all work in very different ways and are at different stages in their journey but are united in their mission to make fashion better.
‘We want to celebrate the invisible process behind designers finished collections, the intimacy of a studio, the reality of the team, and see the people that make out clothes,' said Orsola de Castro, co-founder and creative director of Fashion Revolution.
A diverse range of designers including Stella McCartney, Phoebe English, Christopher Raeburn, Community Clothing, John Alexander Skelton, Roberts|Wood, OneByMe, Katie Jones, Kepler London, Elvis & Kresse x Burberry Foundation, and Vivienne Westwood will each be adding their own voice to a Fashion Open Studio 2018, a week of talks, workshops, picnics and radical quilting.
A highlight of the week will be the Burberry Foundation will be talking about their five-year partnership with Elvis & Kresse to re-engineer waste material through innovative craftsmanship in an open conversation at sustainable luxury visionaries Elvis & Kresse’s Kent HQ.
To kick off Fashion Open Studio 2018, Patrick Grant, founder of Community Clothing and CEO Lucy Clayton will be talking about why – and how – they are trying to revive the British manufacturing and textile industry. Their state of the art Cookson & Clegg factory in Blackburn now has the facility to produce 2,000 garments a month. They will be joined by fellow industry veteran (ex Topshop, Asos and Finery London) Caren Downie, who recently launched her own Made in Britain glasses brand ByOcular. The opening event is supported by CELC - Master Of Linen, who will launch the I Love Linen campaign collaboration with Chelsea College.
MEET AND MAKE
Fashion Open Studio is a rare chance to meet and make with some of London’s most exciting young designers and their teams including Jaimee McKee and Alexandra Hadjikyriacou, both knitwear graduates from Central Saint Martins and co-founders of Kepler London .
Kepler will be opening up their Ridley Road studio to talk about how they work, how they source their materials, and show some of their innovative knit pieces in production.
The designer cooperative Congregation who will be hosting a 3-day workshop to engage the public and create new work. They will be creating new pieces from the previously discarded. The pieces will be passed from designer to designer, each adding their own thoughts and expertise along the way and allowing them to develop into an unpredictable outcome. Jodie Ruffle is already working on samples for the project.
This is a generation of designers who are finding new ways of producing their collections so they can take greater environmental and social responsibility for their fabric choices, supply chains and production processes.
Fashion Open Studio is a great way to learn new skills from some of the industry’s most exciting talent. There will be a rare opportunity to join Phoebe English at her Deptford Creek studio in her Quilting From Waste workshop, using her waste fabric from the past year. She is looking forward to having time to join the stitching, to discuss waste, recycling, and how to combat mass consumption.
The activist artist and poet Wilson Oryema will be on hand to read from his recently published book, Wait.
The acclaimed accessories designer Michelle Lowe-Holder will be hosting a ribbon reclaim jewellery workshop. Lowe-Holder's work will also be on display as part of the V&A's Fashioning Nature exhibition opening this week.
And to end the week, one of the most innovative design duos devoted to creating their own circular fashion system, OneByMe will be hosting the launch of their ONELAB. A social enterprise, they will encourage people to create their own garments like the OneByMe One Piece T-shirt.
HOWWILLYOUMAKEIT? will be an opportunity to try your hand at making your own piece of ONEBYME. This radical new brand is finding a new way of making fashion based around circularity. Any waste fabric is fed to their wormery. Cocktails using herbs grown from the resulting compost will be served.
In partnership with Sarabande: The Lee Alexander McQueen Foundation, there will be two talks. Orsola de Castro will be in conversation with Emily Tilden-Smith from global leading law firm Baker McKenzie to discuss Why Transparency Matters. Fashion Open Studio curator Tamsin Blanchard will be discussing the merits of slow fashion with Sarabande designers John Alexander Skelton and Roberts|Wood.
DISRUPTING THE WAY WE SHOP
Fashion Open Studio is excited to announce a partnership with the social clothing marketplace Depop, to promote their campaign Nothing New, focusing on why vintage classics are all you need. 40 % of 18-24 year-olds bought second hand clothing last year. Second life and luxury consignment clothing sites like Depop and The RealReal are changing the retail landscape, giving clothes a longer life and slowing the sale of new clothes. The Depop event at Protein Studios will be a chance to meet some of Depop’s own community of sellers and will feature an exhibition of iconic items and their story throughout the years. There will also be a workshop by the extraordinary footwear artist Helen Kirkum .
Remade Reduced Recycled has long been the Christopher Raeburn mantra. For Fashion Open Studio, Raeburn will be hosting Raeburn Repairs, an open day of free repairs.
Guests will be welcome to bring along their favourite items that are in need of a little TLC to be repaired and remade as good as new (if not better). “In a world of overconsumption and fast fashion, one of the most radical thing we can do as consumers is to keep our clothes in use for as long as possible,” says Raeburn. We couldn’t agree more.
Fashion Open Studio is a global event and will include workshops, talks and studio tours around the world. Highlights include:
Melbourne, A.BCH will be sharing the transparency story behind their basics brand, with Cutpiece, a series of up-cycling workshops. Participants are invited into the studio to make a new item from old clothing, off-cuts or salvaged materials. Participants will be able to choose their own adventure and skill level by choosing one of three workshops to be held throughout Fashion Revolution Week.
And in Shanghai, LVMH-shortlisted designer Xu Zhi will be opening up his Chinese studio with a rare opportunity to see some of his production techniques and craft.
In Buenos Aires, Manto Abrigos will be hosting daily events at their showroom to talk about the stories behind their brand, the sociology of fashion, and the close connections with the artisans who make the clothes.
In Jakarta, Manual Jakarta presents Fashion Revolution Open Studio: Wilsen Willim, supported by British Council Indonesia and also Fashion Revolution Indonesia.
In New York and LA, Stella McCartney's stores will be hosting workshops on how to look after your clothes in collaboration with TheRealReal. This is a forward thinking step for a designer to embrace the second hand market of their own brand but for McCartney it makes perfect sense – part of the circular economy she has been promoting with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Check out Fashion Revolution Open Studio events page for details of an event near you. Follow @fashopenstudio on Twitter and @fashionopenstudio on Instagram.
Fashion Revolution Week, April 23-29 is a global campaign sparking a wider public conversation about the impacts of our clothes on the people who make them. It's time to take action. See you there.