This is a shot from my newest collection. Most of the pieces have a lattice in it or large sections are cut out creating interesting patterns. The lattice in the clothes are actually supposed to be spider-webs and the model is the spider. I read about spiders and how essentially, they create their own worlds, and are masters of their world – the web. I thought that was a really great idea: each person mastering their own web/world. So the spider thing is not really a dark idea, more one of creative energy and empowerment. Please take a look at the rest of my collection.
I would like to post this collection in memory of Hadba who was always my top supporter in my endeavor to becoming a fashion designer. I think she would be proud at my choice of following my instinct and not the crowd.
The historian Arnold Toynbee has described Afghanistan as a “roundabout of the ancient world” due to the masses of people that have passed through this region over the centuries. In modern times too, many of the world’s armies have passed through temporarily establishing control over this region, and still it refuses to be colonized. At Fen we have in the form of carpets, better known as ‘war rugs’ evidence of one of one of these armies – the Soviet Army’s effect on the region. Weaved in wonderful colours, craftsmen use this age old tradition of carpet making to tell modern stories, and document the weapons and sometimes the effects of these weapons used during the nine-year conflict (1979-1988). Nowadays the carpets being weaved have images of American weapons such as M-16’s or Black-hawks. Some of the war rugs have a flower weaved amongst all the weapons as a sign of hope. Perhaps one day Afghanistan’s carpet weavers will go back to weaving just flowers, landscapes and beautiful patterns.
More on war rugs on this informative blog, click here
One of our favourite things to do is finding and promoting young and unknown artists. On one of our walkabouts we came across the work of Zefrino, a Mozambican artist who uses waste products, specifically old aluminum pot lids and turns them into very interesting, curious looking faces, that have been popular with our customers and also a great conversation starter for people coming into Fen.
Up-cycling is something which I have also dabbled in with the making of my magic rings. To make these little beauties I use scraps of fabric and buttons and bits previously discarded. Thanks to places like Etsy (www.etsy.com) I have realised that there are whole communities out there up-cycling and creating new and beautiful things.
From Louis Vuitton’s Voodoo Shoes and ‘grass skirts’, to the colourful prints used by Emilio Pucci, Issey Miyake and Mui Mui (to name a few…), the rage this summer is not only colour but incorporating the positive vibrations found from global exotic cultures along with our everyday wear. Mixing it up, something which Hadba always encouraged me to do in my work is the way forward this summer, and for me, always – wearing a little story on your finger and piece of history in your ear together with an abaya reworked to make it look more now, or African print skirt with a seriously tailored jacket.
For me, the ultimate summer accessory is one that comes from traveling and can only be found from the highest mountain, oldest desert or hidden shops from an ancient souk. Going to these places provides a tale to go along with a piece of clothing or accessory, an account beyond ordinary, where really creative ideas come from.
How to make this dream work faced with realities of everyday life, the economic crisis and what not? The answer my dear is quite elementary: Fen treasures. And if you can’t easyjet it to Berlin, internet shop it – we will be more than happy to sell an anecdote along with it.