McQueen Creators NO.6 – Patchwork

12.06.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

This week, British fashion house Alexander McQueen is inviting their audience to recreate patchwork using scraps of fabric found in our home with the brand’s quilt coat & suit from their AW Womenswear 2020 collection as inspiration. 

The pieces from the collection were created with inspiration by the allegorical tailor’s quilt at the St Fagans National Museum of History in Cardiff that withholds a rich history of being hand-stitched over sixteen years from 1842 by master tailor James Williams with over four and a half thousand patches. McQueen’s tutorial features a much more condensed version with a tutorial by a member of the house’s design team taking us through the process of the creation of the tailor’s quilt patchwork . 

McQueen Creators was a weekly initiative brought forth in reaction to the current global quarantine, and calls on the house’s followers to artistically engage with their favourite pieces from a selection of images shared on the McQueen instagram page. A selection of final will be published across their social media platforms. Follow the house’s social media channels for updates, and to be considered in the batch of images shared on the McQueen page, be sure to tag @alexandermcqueen and include the hashtag #McQueenCreators in your caption. 

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The New Intimacy with Designer Nensi Dojaka

07.05.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Designer Nensi Dojaka’s vision is strictly about the modern woman – and that means embracing her in all her polarities. AW20 marks the designer’s first season with Fashion East, and already it’s clear her message is as powerful as the designs it informs. A recent Central Saint Martins MA graduate, it’s her BA in Lingerie Design that serves as the underpinnings of a delicate interplay, where strength and vulnerability are held together by the finest thread, or just-concealed among collaged layers of sheer silk. Talking to Twin about subverting sensuality with a female-first mindset, the Albanian-born creative tells us just why empowerment is shaping her approach to femininity. 

How did your label begin?

After finishing my MA, SSENSE contacted me about buying the MA collection, and their trust and support pushed me towards working on my own brand. I followed with another capsule for SS20, and now AW20 with Fashion East, and things started to evolve naturally.

Where do you find inspiration?

At the beginning of each collection, I always have a ‘mood’ I want to convey. My woman is out there to stun, but she does it discreetly and this gives her a flavour of danger and fun. After that, I start to drape it all on the mannequin and it comes naturally as a result of visual research. My references of ‘90s fashion will always be there as most of my fashion research stems from ‘90s magazines, and looking a lot at designers like Ann Demeulemeester, Alessandro Dell’Acqua, Jean Colonna. 

Your designs are intimately feminine – what made you want to explore femininity through your collections?

I studied lingerie during my BA so naturally, my work is about silhouettes that complement the female body. It is about embracing the strong and the soft duality of modern womanhood. I love working in the same amount of detail and scale that lingerie has, the mini details like straps, rings, which I use a lot. 

I like the way lingerie contours the body because of the way it’s constructed; how some delicate straps can hold and create the dynamics of the whole piece. There’s always some bra elements in my work. I try to come up with unconventional shapes like the circle bra part of a top in AW20, which is held together by a contrasting elastic strap and goes across the bust in a very graphic way. 

There’s both a strength and a vulnerability to your designs. How would you describe the message behind your aesthetic? 

I think my woman is complex and her beauty stands in the fact that there is a perfect marriage between severity and delicacy in her, and I try to translate this idea onto my clothes. By distorting the perception that comes along certain materials; creating delicacy from severity, and vice versa. 

To mirror that duality of softness and severity in women, I work with different levels of transparency intermingled together in every piece; some bolder drapes against lighter bits which are placed next to each other in an asymmetric, more erratic way. The way the drapes fall onto one another in a more “unexpected” way is to distort that notion of being just pretty and give it a twist into something more aggressive. The sheer fabrics also allow for me to play around with layers, which gives a more ethereal look and also serves as an “armour” by covering up despite being sheer.

Why do you feel fashion is the best way to communicate your message?

Because it is the wearer that brings that message to life and I love the relationship between the wearer and the garment and the meanings attached to it.

How do you want women to feel when wearing your pieces?

Beautiful, strong, alluring yet mysterious. 

How has your connection to London and Albania shaped your design approach?

Both places have shaped the way I think for sure. In Albania, I had the luck to have the help of amazing tutors who contributed to my well-rounded knowledge. And when I came to UK, it opened up even more possibilities for me. Both places have a nice juxtaposition of chaos and order that really inspires me and is reflected in my work and the way I see things.

How do you see the fashion industry adapting in this time of uncertainty? 

The pace is suddenly much slower but I see brands passionately trying to move forward despite the difficulties, and of course adapting to finding ways around it without having the comfort of being at the studio with the team or the usual cash flow. 

What have you got planned for your next steps? 

I’m looking forward to showing my next collection in September, and figuring out the best way to do it to ensure safety during these tough times. 

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