Posts Tagged ‘Pachacuti’

London Fashion Week Special // Estethica – the accessories

Posted in London Fashion Week on Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Another great season for Estethica, the Slow Fashion area of London Fashion Week. From swimwear to hats to bags, check out these collections to see what you’re going to want come next Spring Summer.

No reason to wait till next year to sport a bag by Sonya Kashmiri, really. Make one yours, and you’ll love wearing it all year round, especially in black. However SS14 sees the introduction of a particularly subtle tone of nude, perfect to complement most outfits, from the city to the resort. The shapes betray their inspiration “from the architectural buildings of Zaha Hadid, such as the modern Art Centre in China combined with the botanical drawings of Ernst Haeckel”, but with an organic feel to them. All made from a range of natural Italian chrome-free leathers and organic linen, and manufactured in Europe.

Neutrals also feature with Mich Dulce (love the monochrome), but the three-story collection also comprises of a bright lipstick red and a soft cornflower blue which is probably my favourite colour of the season (you’ll see more with Pachacuti and Beautiful Soul). The shapes are full of details: from the signature angular folds to the dainty piped bows. And the material is very much worthy of a note: it’s banana leaves, handwoven by women from the Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, a Philippine-based poverty alleviation org where Mich herself gives personal skills training to support female tribes in impoverished regions.

From Philippines to Brazil, another example of how local skills can be used to produce cutting-edge fashion comes from Bottletop. They had already introduced colour with the AW13 petrol green, but the SS14 collection takes this up a notch with an explosion of citrusy-cum-neon hues – also a perfect match to the Brazilian flag, which will be absolutely everywhere come summer (Football World Cup!). All Bottletop designs are created by hand in Salvador de Bahia, and profits are used to fund the operation of the Bottletop Foundation – using contemporary art and music to raise funds and awareness for education projects that tackle delicate teenage health issues such as HIV/AIDS, drug abuse and teenage pregnancy (not just in Brazil, but in Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda).

If it’s primary colours and neon flashes you’re after, you’ll be dazzled by Auria‘s swimwear range. The Wish You Were Here print has a dizzy 3D effect, and the Air Mail theme is just downright cute – all paired with classic shapes which a utterly flattering, and also great for a cocktail as much as the pool edge. The collection is Made in Britain from 100% recycled polyester – the most glamourous possible second lease of life for those decommissioned fishing nets.

Same principles, different prints: Auria also collaborated with Ada Zanditon to produce Ada’s swimwear for SS14. Here’s a sneak peak – more about the womenswear collection and film in tomorrow’s Womenswear post.

The largest range by far was shown by Pachacuti – with something for everyone, from beach bags to classic Panamas, to feather fascinators and colourful trilbies featuring handwoven houndstooth details. The Mardi Gras collection is inspired by Mexico, where the use of feathers is one of the oldest costuming traditions and a staple adornment in Mexican carnivals. The St Barths collection (designed by Wendy St Barths) and the Riviera Maya collection feature a first for Pachacuti: beach bags. Panama hat palm is combined with hand-loomed Ecuadorian ribbons, cabuya cactus fibre, rainforest-friendly tagua and coconut to create a durable and stylish collection of bags for the beach or a trip into town. The hats have wide brims for sun protection, and classic nautical colours complemented by Italian trims. The A Day in Havana collection pays homage to Cuba, that used to be one of the main importers of Panama hats. But these are revisited in Cuban-inspired colours and Italian linen ribbons and Dashing Tweeds accents, that bring a timeless sense of classic sporting style to this range. All hates are made under fair trade conditions in Ecuador.

LFW AW13 Special // Estethica, the accessories

Posted in London Fashion Week on Friday, February 22nd, 2013

I often question myself whether I’m more passionate about accessories than I am about clothes. And the answer is probably yes. I don’t wear precious jewellery but I like custom pieces, the bolder the better. I fall in love with a necklace a day and I sometimes (well, regularly) plan my outfit around which necklace and shoes I feel like wearing that day. Shoes and bags, I’m prepared to spend good money on, and see them last for years and years. I don’t wear hats much, but I still managed to be wowed by the millinery prowess I saw…

But let me show you (still in perfectly random order):


Well, the fact that I’m starting from Veja is not so random after all. Indeed, they were at Estethica as Special Guest (a tradition started last season with Honest by.). Also, they were the only brand presenting a shoes collection (and if you recall how much I love brogues then you’ll know what I was immediately drawn to). So who are Veja? “Organic cotton, wild rubber, vegetable tanned leather, Veja tries to change world trade rules” – all explained in a few simple words. Since 2004, Veja has created trainers, bags and accessories which combine principles of economic, social and environmental development, working with a cooperative of 30 families of little producers, based in the North of Brazil. The brand’s main collection is trainers, but they also have Projet Numéro Deux, a range of bags and accessories made of ecological materials. All Veja leather goods are tanned with acacia extracts, a natural and non-polluting tannin.

In keeping with their Brazil relations, Veja have just collaborated with Dr Greg Asner, a research professor at Stanford University. Flying over the Amazon on a small plane, he detects carbon emanations from the ground and creates aerial cartographies of the Amazonian forest to track changes in forest cover and biodiversity over time. The thing is, these maps are beautifully colourful, and they have been the inspiration for a limited edition of trainers.


There was a bit of a Brazilian connection at Estethica this season. Just like Veja, Bottletop also manufacture there. If for Veja the strong link is with the country’s natural resources (like the natural Amazonian rubber), Bottletop were inspired by a local popular form of recycling, and they’ve turned it into a fashion product, that is lovingly crafted in Salvador de Bahia and supports artisans and their families. The AW13 collection consists of three distinct lines: the Leather, Silver and Enamel Line. My absolute favourite was the enamel, both in the petrol blue gloss, and in the black matte.

Rudá rings

If Veja and Bottletop are European brands that have understood the enormous potential of Brazil, Janice Perez hails directly from Belo Horizonte. Her contemporary jewellery is made of Brazilian hardwood, sourced from old furniture and demolished houses, and raw stones such as hematite, pyrite, vanadinite, uvite and lapislazuli. After decades as a designer for Brazilian shoes brands, Janice decided to set up her own fashion business. She was looking for something aesthetically original which, as a first rule, should be organic and environmental friendly. To package the rings Janice recycles coffee’s sisal bags. The ring is placed inside a loofah’s case made from loofah (vegetable bush) to protect it throughout the transport and delivery. Inside the package there is also one small carnauba wax can, in order to encourage the customer to care about the ring and make it to last longer preserving it beauty.

The North Circular

TNC returns to Estethica after a few seasons, at a time when the attention to Made In Britain labels is really strong, with their accessories made from British wool, including cashmere, alpaca and rare breed Wensleydale. All items are hand knitted, loomed and weaved in the UK to help regenerate the ailing wool industry and support local manufacturers and craftsmen. The new AW collection is called Tribes and plays with patterns, cut and function to denote heraldry across British taste, from Medieval armour to hipster dip-dye to the English Gentleman’s style.Scaled up hounds tooth, checker and herringbone are mixed together in graphic panels on hats, gloves and scarves in contrasting monochrome and red and black to a bold effect. More architectural pieces come in the structured fisherman’s collars, snoods, lapel scarves and shrugs with corresponding hats and gloves, all knitted in cables of varying size and tension.

Lost Property Of London

Another welcome returnee! Lost Property of London is an independent accessories brand handcrafted here in London, incorporating second-hand fabrics by transforming them into beautiful yet practical totes and travel bags. Each season, the collection will employ a new theme or textile, with the A/W13 collection featuring some of the UK’s finest. Courtesy of Britain’s top yacht clubs, each bag has been made from faded tarpaulins and weathered sails, complemented with leather. Katy Bell, the brand’s founder, told me that Lost Property of London has been asked to produce a limited collection using Liberty’s art fabrics. Can’t wait to see those, too!

Mich Dulce

Mich’s headpieces are whimsical, quirky and feminine all in one. That’s quite something already, until you find out how she produces such beauties, and then you don’t just love the pieces but admire the business, too. Mich Dulce works with T’nalak, a traditional Filipino fabric made of hand-woven banana fibers, each piece handmade by women members of a poverty alleviation community, to which Mich gives personal skills training. Out of this, she produces a collection which is bang on trend with her graphic monochrome and red and yellow accents. Ethical fashion needs to be edgy and stylish to compete for buyers’ and customers’ attention, to drive sales and ultimately trade for the people who produce it. Mich achieves this 100%.


“Our 21st Birthday collection has been inspired by four diverse themes, Supernova, Spiced Jazz, Peacock Revolution and Proper Country. ‘Supernova’ is a modern collection of fresh shapes
and cool colours, bringing a new look to winter in the city, reinterpreting utilitarian headwear such as aviator hats, moped helmets and riding hats. ‘Spiced Jazz’ matches rich, warm colours with neat,
stingy-brims and sharp details. The ‘Peacock Revolution’ combines the dapper with the opulent. Deep, rich jewel colours are combined with amboyant feathers, hand-woven Fair Trade Ecuadorian ribbons and Devon silk ribbons in a nod to the dandies of the past. ’Proper Country’ provides perfect hats for prowling both countryside and city. This is a luxurious mix of earthy colours, natural feather trims and horsehair bands. It goes without saying that all of our AW13 adheres to the highest standards of Fair Trade and Sustainability. Pachacuti has been a pioneer in ethical fashion since 1992 and continues to push the standards higher. For 2013 we are excited to be piloting the new WFTO Fair Trade Guarantee System, alongside People Tree in the UK and seven other Fair Trade organisations around the world, with the new label expected to be launched this Summer.”

 Phannatiq & Ada Zanditon

Wait, I hear you say, didn’t you already covered these two collections in your previous post on womenswear? Well, yes I did, but did you really think I would miss these two boards of super cool accessories? Ada Zanditon has been collaborating with Luca Romanyi for a few season now – but while the previous collections were based on wood, this one is all about mirror reflections and metal. Talking of reflections, Phannatiq picks on the fluo colour of the hi-vis uniforms she’s been inspired by for her jackets, and transfers them onto light and geometric perspex. Want, want, want!

LFW AW13 Special // Estethica in close-up detail

Posted in London Fashion Week on Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

A teaser. A close up view of Estethica, before you get the full report (and pictures) tomorrow.



Henrietta Ludgate

Liora Lassalle

Rudá rings

Katrien Van Hecke

Beautiful Soul

Mich Dulce


Lost Property of London

The North Circular



Ada Zanditon