It is not every day that a fashion designer credits biomimicry expert Janine Benyus and architect Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studio as “heroic” influences, but ethical fashion visionary Ada Zanditon is very outspoken about her mission of seamlessly fusing organic construction and environmental activism. Zanditon’s Poseisus Spring/Summer 2012 collection, which debuted as a film presentation at Somerset House during London Fashion Week, demonstrated yet again that sustainably produced collections can indeed illustrate cutting-edge design tinged with the deep mysteries of nature.
Ada, the fashion-creative, describes her pieces as high end, desirable ready-to-wear garments that are sculptural, innovative and artfully printed with her unique illustrations. Ada, the eco-minded, will in the same breath make it known that research for Poseius S/S 2012 included the non-stop viewing of nature documentaries as well as regular trips to the London Zoo to observe and photograph seahorses for her digital fabric prints. Add to this her announcement that two species of seahorses actually inhabit the south coast on England and are severely threatened by ships dropping anchor and decimating the seafloor and waters, and well, you begin to get the point.
With a commitment to sourcing sustainable fabrics, manufacturing collections locally, and also serving as a voice for a new generation of designers that does not distinguish between good methods and good business, Ada Zanditon is a force in the best sense of the word. Her studies at London College of Fashion and stints working for Gareth Pugh, Jonathan Sunders, and Alexander McQueen, no doubt laid the groundwork for a career where the melding of sculptural form with fashion storytelling would be part of the agenda. She has been a pioneer is the ethical fashion movement in the U.K. and has defied many eco-fashion stigmas by appearing in Elle, Glamour, Vogue UK online, Oyster magazine, the Telegraph and numerous glossies.
Zanditon’s signature geometric and polygonally formed dresses and coats are mapped with engineered prints that typically reference natural phenomena as well as her own hand-drawn illustrations. Her models are always accessorized in a pared down though theatrical manner, as if to mimic the ingenuity of the natural world and its overall cool factor. Recent jewelry collaborations with Luca Romanyi have referenced geometric patterns that mimic the innate brilliance of bee’s nests, insect wings, and floating, cracking ice. All of this symbolic play is done with an eye towards celebrating organic beauty and fragility by pure suggestion, not a militant eco agenda.
Poseisus, the art/fashion film, now a See.7 Feature, was co-created by Andrew and William Ho with make-up artist ‘Mika’. As testament to the mythical underworld and techno-vibrant carnival spirit that we might be missing out on in our daily lives, the film’s slow motion sequencing suggests that the answer to urban renewal might be in the poetry of microorganisms or “Poseisus” the maiden who fluidly navigates her environment despite certain hardships and austere conditions. Promise can be a beautiful thing when it is layered on in a way that makes exquisite sense.
What’s next for Ada Zandition? A desire to increase the brand’s presence both in the U.K. and internationally and further experimentation with her signature silhouettes and prints–with specific emphasis on innovative zero waste pieces.
Visit Ada Zanditon’s website for more information.