17 March 2014

Slow Fashion at Its Best

Written by Published in Fashion

Items that are made for life and not just one season – Antithesis designs contemporary, multifunctional and perfectly coutured pieces to be worn over and over again

Every six months labels present their new collections at international fashion shows. They showcase their interpretation of the biannual trends and tell the fash pack what to buy and how to wear it season after season. One autumn/winter it's monochromes, the other it’s colour block – as if style and good taste would change every couple of months. The London-based brand Antithesis does things differently. Their concept: Four seasons, four cities in one show.

In January the newcomers celebrated their catwalk debut at Berlin Fashion Week and showed a total of 24 looks, six per season. The show was presented as part of the ‘Celebrating Natural Beauty’ Lavera show floor, which invites a group of designers twice a year from all over the globe. This season the natural cosmetics producer supported twelve sustainable fashion labels from Germany, the UK and the US and offered them a platform at Berlin Fashion Week to show their collections. Lavera stands for green and innovative glamour just as the brands they promote.

Renée Lacroix Zahra Ash-HarperEvery piece in Antithesis’ collection is multifunctional and trans-seasonal and can be worn in many different ways. Inspired by the concept of ‘Berlin in autumn, New York in the winter, spring in Rome and summer months in Cannes', the collection celebrates the versatility of the label’s garments, where the sleeves of blouses can be detached and blazers can be turned into vests.

The label was founded by Renée Lacroix and Zahra Ash-Harper both graduates of London College of Fashion. The two met during a talk entitled 'How To Start-Up in Fashion'. Zahra, with a philosophy degree and experience working in communications, was looking for a partner to design a multi-functional womenswear range. Renée, a designer and pattern cutter, had always dreamt of launching her own ethical fashion label. The girls complemented each other perfectly and Antithesis was born.

The label's garments are developed without regard to trends, meaning they can be worn all year round and will not feel outdated. The pieces are made to last, on both a physical and an emotional level. The garments are not only durable though but also functional and practical. They all contain pockets for example. Antithesis believe garments should be designed with as much consideration as any other products and that ultimately, multi-functional clothing will help fight over-consumption.

Their collections are produced locally in the UK by small production companies. Fair wages are just as important to Renée and Zahra as good working conditions. Low water and energy consumption, sourcing material in the UK and Europe – Antithesis often buy end of rolls and dead-stock fabrics – and transparent supply chains are other aspects the girls put emphasis on.

Antithesis design for strong, contemporary women who uphold frantic work/social lives. The label cherishes individuality and wants to challenge their audience to get creative with the styling of their wardrobes and discovering new ways of wearing and combining pieces. Renée’s and Zahra’s multi-functional designs aim at contributing to a the new consumption/production philosophy advocating quality over quantity, customisation and co-design.


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