Fashion designers at Design Indaba 2011

Monday, 28 February 2011

Mohair sweater by Laduma Ngxokolo - nominated for the prize of Most Beautiful Object at Design Indaba 2011 - Photo by Astrid Arndt
The Design Indaba conference spans all forms of design and some of the most beautiful imagery and print and pattern we saw at the conference came from emerging fashion design talents who are saving traditional indigenous design work from extinction.

Rising star Laduma Ngxokolo is a Port Elizabeth-based knitwear designer. His colourful collection is inspired by traditional African Xhosa beadwork.The collections has already earned him first prize from the International Society of Dyers and Colourists, and now a nomination for Most Beautiful Object at Design Inaba 2011.

Traditional African Xhosa beadwork. Photo by Vusumzi Peter

Made from locally sourced mohair, the colours used are as close a match as possible that Laduma could get to the actual beads themselves. Laduma told us at the conference that his ambition is to launch a collection of textiles for interiors also.

Carla Fernandez
Mexican designer Carla Fernandez's inspirational pieces are made in collaboration with local artisans in her home city of New Mexico, whose craft skills she believes are undervalued. "In Mexico sometimes we don't see what we have; very few people have studied indigenous tailoring."

Traditional Mexican embroidery by Carla Fernandez

She set up tailoring workshops which used traditional design as an opportunity to increase literacy and education in local communities. Using these traditional techniques and forms as a basis, Carla has put together her own clothing line, called Taller Flora, which works in collaboration with artisan women so that they also have an input into the design process.