Primal Process – a dynamic of change

Studies of natural resources and ancient traditional crafts are a major source of inspiration for industrial design. The final products are often rough edged and have an earthy, primitive aesthetic. Recently this development seems to have affected fashion with expressive textures, raw edges and organic silhouettes. Under creative direction of the talented Jonathan Anderson, the Spanish brand Loewe takes the lead. I think his commitment to craft and materiality – interpreted in a very modernistic way – can result into new visions on fashion.

Many contemporary designers anticipate to the current economic systems, the growing aversion of mass production, a fully digitized life and major environmental problems, by doing thorough research into raw, natural materials linked to either traditional crafts or cutting-edge innovative techniques. The often ultimately archaic design language – in wood, clay, glass, rattan, stone or metal – seems to connect to a kind of back to basic, conscious lifestyle.

Also in a broader sense ‘back to the roots, back to nature’ is a subject that lives among a growing group of people. Just think about the explosive interest in health and wellbeing, in the origin and preparation of our food, in farm-fresh beauty products or in recent architectural developments. More and more city dwellers are yearning for contemporary refuges like cabins, cottages and other rural hideaways that provide contact with a natural environment.
Materials from earth – like wool, leather, raffia, cotton, linen and hemp – processed into a product where the natural qualities and characteristics truly come into their own, can be of tremendous value for fashion design. What are the specific characteristics of a particular breed of sheep and consequently the wool? How can used fabric scraps be recycled in a fashion forward way? How can natural textiles influence colour and shape? How can new meaning be given to traditional crafts like weaving and felting?
Interesting questions to think about. Be inspired!

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