CREATIVE PARTNERS: The Centre for Fashion Enterprise, the business incubator tied to the London College of Fashion, and Institut Français de la Mode, have launched Worth, a show of creative work at the Rook & Raven Gallery in London.
Funded by the European Commission, the project aims to develop opportunities within small to medium creative businesses by pairing designers and manufacturers across Europe who would not have had a chance to work together under normal circumstances.
Products across a wide range of categories, including eyewear, fashion and furniture, were born out of 34 collaborations. The projects are meant to showcase skills, innovation and resources based out of Europe.
The British footwear designer Joanne Stoker partnered with French outer sole manufacturer Reltex to create a series of brogues with natural rubber soles. “Working with a factory in France was such an amazing experience, the process was so much more organized and controlled. I already have orders on these and we plan on working together again and maybe create a shoe with a rubber heel this time,” said Stoker.
“Equally, makers and technologists have brought new skills and opportunities to enhance the product development process,” said Wendy Malem, director of the Centre for Fashion Enterprise.
Women’s wear designer Holly Fulton partnered with the artisanal lace manufacturer Sophie Hallette and fabric designer Lauranne Guyomard on a lace-trimmed dress, while British designer Hermione de Paula added her signature prints to lingerie as part of her partnership with Italian lingerie manufacturer Mitica.
Other products included a range of soporific headphones created by Kokoon, a U.K.-based wearable technology company, along with fashion technician Prisca Vilsbol and a range of furniture, created by German fashion designer Dagmar Kestner and Copenhagen-based design studio Overgaard + Dyrman, from material leftovers.
Louise Mullane, enterprise project manager at London College of Fashion mentioned that one of the biggest challenges was facilitating communication between the different collaborators, which they did by appointing a number of coaches to oversee the projects.
“Designers and manufacturers don’t necessarily speak the same language, they work in different industries, that’s why everyone was grateful to have the coaches to make communication easier and also encourage them to push their creative boundaries to achieve innovation.”
The exhibition will be showcased for 24 hours at Rook & Raven this week.