We’ve come to the last of our Avant Garde dress Top 10 Finalists for 2013. Last up, but definitely not least, is Claire Sharwood from Design Academy of Fashion.
What was your initial reaction to hearing the news that you had made the cut?
I was completely taken by surprise when I was told by my fellow students at college that I was a finalist in the Live Eco competition, and was totally blown away. I’m very excited to be competing in this challenge.
Tell us a little more about your ‘RESILIENCE’ look. What inspired you?
With my final design I incorporated resilience with basket weaving as my main elaborate fabric manipulation/detailing as I really loved the effect it gave by adding aesthetics to the appearance in relation to the sense of beauty. Along with a simple silhouette in which these two features when combined will turn in to something not only resilient but also beautiful.
What challenges have you experienced by adhering to the competition principles of up cycling and only using eco-friendly dyeing techniques?
The real challenge was the introduction of the leather. I found it challenging to work with, but in the end it made the garment, and I am happy with the result. The rest of the materials were pretty easy to work with in comparison. I enjoyed working with upcycled garments and will do so again. The dying techniques were relatively easy to do as well, as I used beetroot to dye my garments.
One thing we should know about you as a designer?
I am very passionate and an absolute perfectionist.
What did you want to be growing up?
Rich and famous!
Name one local designer who inspires you? And internationally?
Locally I would say Lazuli, as their designs are fresh and incorporate luxury with everyday in effortless styles for complete sophistication and unique attention to detail and quality.
Internationally, I would say Martin Margiela, a Belgian fashion designer for Maison Martin Margiel, his designs expresses its love for concept, simplicity, design, creativity and for the avant-garde.
Do you currently make sustainable choices when it comes to fashion? What, in your view as a consumer, are the challenges to making sustainable fashion choices locally?
I have shopped at an eco friendly clothing shop before, but I find the higher price point can be quite expensive. Therefore it is easier for me to shop for fast fashion. I think sourcing eco friendly material, as well as being aware of the responsible production of the garment when making it, while still being fashion forward.
Why do you think there are so few ethically and eco- minded designers locally?
Because producing locally is more expensive, as in the production. It is much cheaper to buy things overseas. Organically grown fabrics are more expensive, and it is cheaper to use synthetics, as well as there is not a lot of education around the subject.
I can’t start my day without…
A warm shower, to get the day started. And to wake me up, I’m a very bad morning person.
Currently playing on your iPod…
Royals – Lorde
My own style is…
I don’t really have a specific style, usually dress according to my mood for the day. However, I like to keep up with the current trends, and try to incorporate it into my everyday look.
Name 5 celebs (dead or alive) you would most like to invite over for a dinner party?
Cara Delevingne, Zach Galifianakis, Ryan Gosling, Marilyn Monroe, and Rihanna
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Never for a moment loose hope. Always fight for what you want, because in this world nothing is going to come easy. So basically to never give up.
Top tip when it comes to upcycling?
Sometimes you don’t have to look far for products or materials to upcycle, there are hundreds of things you can find within your household, that you could use.