British-born sustainable designer Patrick McDowell tends to look to his past for inspiration — but this season, he’s also looking to the future, with a new biotech collaboration.
“Every show has a strong story that relates to me as a child,” shared McDowell. “Where I’m from — Liverpool — there’s this rivalry between two football clubs Liverpool Football Club and Everton Football Club. [Referencing the collection colors], LFC is red and Everton is blue….Growing up as a queer kid, I’d watch Cinderella every day, and part of this is imagining what this looks like if Cinderella is at the football.”
Aptly dubbed “Cinderella Shall Go to the Football,” the show is on the London Fashion Week calendar for Monday at The Mills Fabrica. The goods are demi-couture or made-to-order in a limited quantity to curb waste. A floor-length jacket is priced at around $3,000.
McDowell sourced deadstock materials from Harris Tweed mill, Manteco Wool, Taroni Silk and Escetex, as well as used gear from the Liverpool and Aberton teams, among other avenues.
“In the collection, everything is done like that,” he said of his slow fashion approach.
Such is the spotlight in the upcoming collection where McDowell’s four-piece leather capsule is finished with venture-backed biotech firm Evolved by Nature’s “Activated Silk L1,” an alternative to plastic finishing. The capsule includes a bow handbag, a sports bag, a leather puffer and leather jacket.
Based in Boston, luxury brands such as Chanel have contributed $220 million in funding for the commercialization and scaling of Evolved by Nature’s signature waterproof finishing. The product has applications across health and beauty, fashion, medicine and more.
“With Activated Silk biotechnology, we have the ability to replace that fossil fuel feedstock with something natural and renewable, and enough molecular diversity to create better chemistry for a wide variety of industries. Creators like Patrick embracing it early on and showing what can be done is really invaluable as we work to make the biggest difference possible, at a global scale,” said Evolved by Nature’s chief executive officer and cofounder Greg Altman.