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Kering Award Winner – Laure Fernandez

Image: Laure Fernandez

Image: Laure Fernandez

Kering Award winner Laure Fernandez tells us a little about her project for Gucci as part of the Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion 2017.

Can you briefly explain your project?

Gucci’s culture of prints and the dreamlike narrative they evoke offer the opportunity to explore the future of printing processes and an unique way for designing patterns. Color is the main attraction of any fabric, but the use of synthetic dyes in the fashion industry has an adverse effect on all form of life, when on another  hand, natural dyes extracted from plants or flowers do not provide the same brightness and longevity of color.

As an answer to this challenge, designers and biologists combined their skills to eventually find a balance between quality and sustainability with the use of microbial pigments on textiles.

By reacting to external stimulus, such as sound vibrations, micro-organisms are capable of expending while creating unique patterns. This is the process I explored for my project ‘Future Artisans’, by imagining surreal patterns. Their true beauty, created through the cross-pollination of micro-organisms, sound and textile, can reinvent the meaning of luxury while provoking a discourse around the origin of colors. David Abram said, ‘Humans are tuned for relationship. The eyes, the skin, the tongue, ears, and nostrils – all are gates where our body receives the nourishment of otherness’.

This is a call on senses. It is an innovative process from science, but at the same time, with the qualities of an Artisan, and creating with time unique pieces with a different kind of beauty, and a different story for each of them. Future generations need to be excited and amazed by the possibilities that sustainability in fashion can offer, and I hope, making this incredible process accessible to a larger public will inspire and encourage people to rediscover sustainability in fashion.

What does sustainability in fashion mean to you?

Sustainability in fashion is for me about the meaning behind the making process of a piece and its sensorial experience. We have different relations to nature and material exploitation is the main one. But instead of being masters of nature, could we learn to co-create with living materials and allow them to take part of the design process? I believe in minimalism in our wardrobes, a closer relationship to each pieces, that we fully own and feel emotionally connected to because of their story. It makes our minds clearer, our hearts richer and our planet safer.

In what ways has the natural world impacted on your approach to sustainability in fashion?

The natural world doesn’t need us to evolve, expand, create, and also, to design incredible patterns. By looking closer at nature, through each of my five senses, I discovered five different worlds. My intention is now to create bridges between those worlds, in order to magnify our perception of nature through fashion and give value to fashion through nature. It has to be an exchange as, we, Humans, are also part of the natural world.


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