Caring For Your Clothes with Orsola de Castro, Hikaru Noguchi, Zenzie Tinker, Flora Collingwood-Norris and Ýr Jóhannsdóttir
Renewing, repairing and preserving has always been a part of textiles and clothing. To find new perspectives and ways of caring for your clothes, listen to a series of talks by an esteemed panel of experts. Sustainable fashion pioneer Orsola de Castro, visible mending and darning expert Hikaru Noguchi, textile conservator Zenzie Tinker and visible mender's and knitwear designer's Flora Collingwood-Norris and Ýr Jóhannsdóttir. Our broad range of speakers will each present their different approaches to caring for clothes through methods of preservation, reinvention, mending and reimagining the way we dress and look after our textiles and clothes. The speakers unique skills inspire us to rethink how we can prolong the life of our clothes and find sustainable solutions to remaking our wardrobe.
Orsola de Castro
Orsola de Castro is a pioneer and internationally recognised opinion leader in sustainable fashion. In 1997 she founded From Somewhere, a label designing clothes made entirely from pre-consumer waste: disregarded materials such as surplus and production cut-offs. The label combined sustainable thinking with fashion-forward design, bringing quality and craftsmanship to ‘exquisite rubbish’.
From Somewhere (closed in 2014) sold to the some of the world’s best boutiques and its design collaborations include Jigsaw, Robe di Kappa, Tesco, Speedo and Topshop Reclaim To Wear, a series of bestselling upcycling collections which run from 2012 to 2015.
In 2006, she co-founded the British Fashion Council pioneering initiative Estethica, which she curated until 2014. Estethica was London Fashion Week’s showcase for labels designing sustainably:ethics and aesthetics combined. It nurtured new generations of like-minded designers and supported more established brands who are mindful of their supply chain.
In 2013, with Carry Somers, she founded Fashion Revolution, marking the tragedy in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 24 April 2013 when the Rana Plaza factory collapsed killing and injuring thousands of workers. Raising public awareness of the continuing social and environmental catastrophes in our global fashion supply chains, Fashion Revolution has become a global campaign with participation in over 60 countries around the world.
Orsola is a regular keynote speaker, educator and mentor, a judge and mentor for the British Fashion Council New Gen initiative, Associate Lecturer at UAL, as well as a Visiting Fellow at Central Saint Martins. Orsola’s has recently published Loved Clothes.
Hikaru Noguchi has been a leading knitted fabric designer since the early 1990s, her work being influenced by traditional knit patterns and craft techniques. She works with small knit workshops where attention to detail and quality are still valued, seeking the sophisticated and quirky, achieved through unusual juxtapositions of colour and texture. In recent years she has added traditional darning and mending techniques to her work, aiming to promote sustainability in textiles and garments.
Zenzie Tinker ACR
Zenzie’s conservation journey began in the early 1980’s with a degree in the History of Design, specialising in textiles and dress followed by a five year apprenticeship training in textile and tapestry conservation at Ksynia Marko’s London conservation studio. Zenzie then worked in museums for over a decade, first as Costume Conservator at the Museum of London and then as a Senior Textile Conservator at the Victoria & Albert Museum where she consolidated her costume expertise.
In 2002, Zenzie left the V&A to establish her freelance business, Zenzie Tinker Conservation in Brighton. Fast forward two decades and Zenzie now leads an experienced team of textile and paper conservators treating a wide range of textiles out of a suite of rooms in a large, conservation studio. As well as standout historic dress projects including conserving the Ellen Terry theatrical dress collection at Smallhythe (National Trust), the multi-layered clothing of the extraordinary Royal Funeral Effigies at Westminster Abbey and caring for the Legal Dress Collection at the Royal Courts of Justice, the team have also worked on more contemporary costume including David Bowie stage outfits, almost 200 Stephen Jones hats and many spectacular couture gowns.
Zenzie Tinker Conservation are also currently working on an exciting workshop and talks programme.
Flora Collingwood-Norris a knitwear designer, maker and mender who has just published “Visible creative mending for knitwear”. Flora started her own label, Collingwood-Norris, in 2016 after years of working freelance creating catwalk samples for the likes of Christopher Kane, Jasper Conran and House of Holland, as well as designing hand knit patterns and teaching.
With a strong emphasis on colour, often inspired by the Scottish landscapes around her, Flora creates many of her designs in her small studio in the Scottish Borders, on vintage knitting machines, finishing each piece by hand. Working exclusively with natural fibres and creating pieces that will transcend seasonal trends, Flora also works with a small, local manufacturer to utilise digital knitting technology for designs that aren’t possible to make on her own machinery.
In 2017 Flora started exploring the possibilities of visible mending, as her large collection of second-hand sweaters needed some tender loving care. Flora now offers visible mending workshops, video tutorials, and materials to help others to never throw a sweater away due to a hole again, and offers a visible mending service when she has time.
Ýr Jóhannsdóttir is a textile designer and artist from Iceland working under the name Ýrúrarí. Her work is mostly knitted, where fragments of humour, body movements and the everyday meets in wool based, often wearable, objects. For the past years the importance of sustainability has had an impact to Ýrúrarí’s work. In her latest projects “Sweater sauce”, “I would not do something like that” and Sleik-zine Ýrúrarí raises questions on our absurd consumption habits of textiles and tries out new ways of making unwanted clothes last longer as a one of a kind art- and design pieces. Ýr is also one of four members of the multiart and performance group CGFC.
Ýr studied textile design at Reykjavík School of Visual Arts and got her BA in textile design from Glasgow School of Art in 2017. Her work has been showcased in grass-root art spaces in Reykjavík such as Gallerý Port, Ekkisens and Flæði and also in WIP residency at Textile Art Center in New York. Pieces by Ýrúrarí can now be found in the collections of Textiel Museum in The Netherlands, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Germany and Museum of International folk Art in New Mexico. Articles and publications of her work can be found on Vogue.com, Designboom, Vice, Die Zeit, Iceland Review and more. Ýrúrarí has collaborated and custom made wearable pieces for artists such as Erykah Badu, Tierra Whack, Sheidlina, Noel Fielding and Icelandic musicians.
All recordings of online talks are non-refundable.