During my travels through Mexico and my research on indigenous craftmanship, I came across the avantgarde fashion label Carla Fernández, named after its founder and creative director, based in Mexico City. Their work instantly fascinated me as it preserves the rich cultural heritage of traditional weaving techniques and empowers local artisans to consistently create beautiful textiles while successfully implementing a modern approach to the design part.
Carla Fernández travels throughout Mexico visiting communities of artisans that specialize in handmade textiles, utilizing centuries-old indigenous techniques. In the face of today’s “fast fashion”, she is helping young artisans understand they can earn a livelihood by continuing their family’s traditions instead of migrating to the city and eventually loosing their trade.
Fernández works closely with the artisans at the onset of each project, where techniques such as weaving or hand looming, are an integral part of the production of new pieces and collections, rather than adding decorative embellishments at the end of the creative process. Dyeing the textiles in mud, or wool felting using the artisans’ feet, are examples of some of the unique techniques practiced. The craftspeople become partners and are compensated fairly for their contributions.
TRADITIONALLY, MEXICAN INDIGENOUS GARMENTS ARE MADE FROM WOVEN SQUARES AND RECTANGLES. THESE GEOMETRIC PIECES ARE FOLDED AND PLEATED TO BE TRANSFORMED INTO CLOTHES THAT TAKE THEIR OWN VOLUME AND FORM. MEXICAN PATTERN-MAKING IS A UNIQUE TEXTILE ORIGAMI THAT REVEALS THE DNA OF THIS CULTURAL HERITAGE. THIS HAS BEEN THE SOURCE OF INSPIRATION OF OUR LABEL, TAKING THE SQUARES AND ORIGINS OF NATIVE GARMENTS TO CREATE CONTEMPORARY MEXICAN FASHION. THIS IS WHY WE HAVE LABELED OUR METHODOLOGY “THE SQUARE ROOT”.
The social and cultural support and effort that Carla Fernández provides to the native Mexicans is striking, even more regarding the creative ability of the whole team to shift the art of weaving, embroidery and rectangular pattern making to a new dimension, that suits the aesthetical zeitgeist of the 21st century. For more information about how the label and their makers work togehter, you should check out the Youtube-Channel here.
IMAGE SOURCE & PRESS RELEASE: http://carlafernandez.com