Last week, I attended a showcase of Ada Zanditon‘s new collection at the fabulous quirky boutique, Chic Freak, on Notting Hill’s Portabello Rd. Chic Freak and Ada Zanditon go hand in hand as they both represent women who are individual, have their own sense of style and are irreverent as to what other people think. The evening was as expected a great turn out with lovely ladies (possibly men- not to be rude but I ‘m almost sure they were) on the guitar and violin playing jolly tunes matching with the vibrant shop display. I spoke to Ada Zanditon about the amazing achievements of the brand and what she’s been up to over the past few months.
LS; So what have you been up to recently?
We participated in Berlin Fashion week this January with a show opened by Katie Melua who gave a speech about the brand. We were also very excited that she wore one of our dresses on her album cover. We presented the new collection in the Lavera showroom. Then we exhibited at Esthetica during London Fashion Week and made a film with Fashtag tv featuring singer, Victoria Modesta, screened in the BFC cinema.
LS;Your collections are well suited to bold and confident women. Whats the boldest thing you’ve done during your career as a designer?
That’s a hard one (consults team). I think its taking the new collection to Berlin for the first time for our first international catwalk show. We had less than 2 months to create 27 outfits, jewelry and customized sunglasses! The show was scheduled at the same time as Hugo Boss but we had a great turnout. The experience was emotional and it was a proud moment for me and the team – we were brave together.
LS; Who do you dream of dressing;
I’m currently working on costumes for singer, Karen Parks, video. She is great- like a gothic princess warrior. I’m drawn to strong, confident women and unique characters. I don’t set tout to dress particular people – it just happens. I’ll be dressing Jameela Jamil this year – she’s very individual, unique and very down to earth. She previously wore Ada Zanditon to the Glamour Awards.
LS; Can you sum up your latest collection in 3 words?
Well the collection is titled March of the Tigress and its about a journey from one place to another, going from the darkest part of winter to the first part of spring. It represents a multifaceted woman who can on one day look austere and on another be floaty and light. The words that sum it up best are bold, sexy and confident.
LS. I spent some time talking to your Dad at Chic Freak (a very cool Dad). As a photographer did he encourage you to pursue a creative path?
Yes- he gave me my first camera when I was 5 and I was taught how to take a photo which was very inspiring! My mum is a poet and an artist so both my parents encouraged me to be creative and we regularly visited museums and galleries. But they weren’t pushy and gave me realistic support making sure I was aware that it wouldn’t be an easy route.
LS; Sustainability is at the heart of what you do. How does this affect the design process?
You have to start with the fabric. The design process usually starts with experimenting using a simple cotton woven cloth called caliko toile and its amazing how much you can do with this basic fabric. When you’re sustainable there’s a narrower range of fabrics but there’s still a lot of scope to be creative. Its often just a mental barrier that makes people think that being sustainable is limiting. When eco fashion was relatively new the collections had a certain – pause – (treehugging- inserted by me- LS) vibe. I’m inspired by nature but my designs are edgy, original and different.
LS; What fabrics do you use?
Silks, fairtrade organic cotton, end of line fabrics eg from Burberry and Chanel, bamboo-I know there are arguments for and against but our supplier has won awards fro the Ethical Fashion Forum. We’re also proud to use UK based wool mills, such as Marling and Evans who have been in the trade for 500 years! Its untrue that there is no textile industry in the UK and with costs in China going up even more manufacturing will return here which will be great for jobs!