Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ariel Clay Reports on Laura Siegel Fall/Winter 2012

Laura Siegel F/W12 'Dreams Resurrected' Collection

Laura Siegel's 'Dreams Resurrected' is only the designer's second collection, but it is obvious from her innovative melding of natural materials and traditional textile techniques, that she has an eye for combining modern tailoring with centuries-old craft handwork. Siegel's passion for exotic travel, her deep love of nature, and her affinity for indigenous cultures globally has greatly influenced the artistry of these one-of-a-kind layering pieces.

Mind, body, and soul are entwined in eco-luxe garments that speak to the elements of ancient craftsmanship – resulting in a rich tapestry of cultures and varied landscape expressions. A  palette of deep black, soft grays, and alchemical purples conjure both shadows and light.

Using a combination of traditional fiber techniques, Siegel effortlessly combines multiple elements to create sculptural yet functional clothing. Her collaboration with textile artisans in India and hand-knitters in Bolivia has yielded expressive knits, relaxed cotton blend harem pants, shibori and tie-dyed silks, chicly draped dresses, and textured tasseled scarves. Siegel's work the Khatri family in the Kutch district of Western India to create 'Ajrakh' hand block printed fabric, has helped to keep a ten generation line of local printers in business.

The nomadic Rabari tribe, also in the Kutch region, is well known for their Dhebaria embroidery. Fifteen years ago the elders of the tribe banned women from doing this embroidery work, but women found a loophole in the decree, and Siegel has now been fortunate to be able to use this local technique in the detailing on some of her designs.

Siegel also travels to Kerala where most of her fabrics are naturally dyed in the city of Munnar. Although labor intensive, Siegel takes care in knowing that the natural dyes used will not pollute the local water source or harmfully impact the community's long-term health.

Siegel has also partnered with Clothing Traceability to further the connection between artisan producer and garment wearer. The Clothing Traceability project uses QR codes for smartphones to give the consumer access to information on how the garment was made, adding another layer of transparency to the supply chain. 

Laura Siegel's aesthetic reflects her commitment to give back to the communities that continually inspire her. "The process of working with the artisans really shapes each collection," says Siegel. "The artisans themselves create their own interpretation of the season's themes. The result is a collaboration of past dreams, future dreams, and the cultural values and expressions of everyone involved."

artisan photos: Shaina Shealy
look book photos: Federico Peltretti

1 comment:

iNd!@nA said...

i discovered your blog almost accidentally while searching for writing about 'blue'...and i'm so glad i did. lots of fascinating reading and imagery here