Fashion, hair and activism make a dramatic statement we discover, on seeing the Manifesto of Fashion as Resistance show by Mexican designer Carla Fernandez last week.
Coinciding with the excellent Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up exhibition, London’s V&A museum’s latest Fashion in Motion series invited Fernandez to present pieces from five collections which highlight her commitment to decolonization, intersectionality and social justice. Johanna Cree Brown at Trevor Soribe led the hair team, and did hairdressers proud. She and her team (sponsored by L’Oréal Professionnel) presented four shows in 10 hours with five strong hair stories. It was stunning.
Carla Fernandez works at the forefront of ethical fashion, documenting and preserving the rich textile heritage of Mexico’s indigenous communities, while simultaneously making it avant- garde. She works in tandem with artisans – spinners, weavers, embroiderers and garment-makers – using age-old techniques and processes. Her designs are striking, sometimes using slogans to express her disdain for globalisation, exploitation and mass production.
“We make fashion alongside people whose roots are in the earth from which they sustain themselves. In Mexico we use fabrics that were woven to be treasured. We create few of them, and we do so slowly. We understand that artisans require time to think, to learn and to transform and transcend. This platform gives us a very special opportunity to show that another fashion system is possible”.
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