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13.10.2017 | fondazione zegna

From London to San Patrignano

Conscious Contemporary Tailoring, a project connecting young talents at the London College of Fashion with the weavers at San Patrignano and the inmates at Making for Change, has come to a close. The two students who won and were invited to Italy gave us their impressions

Holly Sibley and Yubin Meang returned from San Patrignano full of enthusiasm: “absolutely incredible”, “extraordinary and magical” are the adjectives the two students used to define their experience with the 30 girls in the San Patrignano weaving shop, who everyday work on traditional wooden looms to create products for the outside world, thereby helping to sustain the community’s economic independence.

Holly and Yubin’s visit to the center in Coriano (they also went to Casa Zegna and the Wool Mill during their Italian trip) was a prize for their outstanding performance in the Conscious Contemporary Tailoring program. Driven by the conviction that fashion can be a force for change towards a sustainable future, the project originated in an idea of Fondazione Zegna and was developed together with the London College of Fashion (UAL), the weaving workshop at San Patrignano and Making for Change, a fashion training and production unit based in Downview, a women’s prison in the UK.

Conscious Contemporary Tailoring was launched in February 2017 at San Patrignano, where Tom Adams, a teacher at the LCF, and Bethany Williams, a men’s clothing designer just graduated from the LCF, worked alongside the girls in the weaving shop to create unique fabric samples using industrial waste materials, textile fibers and threads of paper or plastic.

These new textiles formed the basis, and inspiration, of a competition of ideas and sketches involving 70 students of men’s fashion at the LCF. The finalist projects were selected in June and designs for semi-structured overcoats and accessories were entrusted to the hands of the weavers at San Patrignano and the women at Making for Change to form a small collection, fruit of a research project in which the talent of tomorrow’s designers interwove with that of craftswomen to generate social change.