The Red Carpet Green Dress Design Contest For 2020’s First Winner From India On Her Gown That Can Later Turn Into Table Linen, And Her Academic Approach To Design

“More research-based, innovation-driven fashion brands can collectively change the narrative for the better,” says Chennai-based Sanah Sharma Mehra, 28, who has simply bagged the Red Carpet Green Dress (RCGD) award for 2020. A robe designed with Tencel (a sustainable rayon material made out of wooden pulp), a primary for Mehra, has been made conserving “circularity in mind” and is zero-waste.

Conceived by actor Suzy Amis Cameron on the press tour for husband James Cameron’s movie Avatar over a decade in the past, RCGD ‘challenges designers to create an ‘Oscar- worthy’ costume made solely of sustainable supplies’. The contest pointers mirror this — utilizing licensed eco-friendly, natural and/or recycled supplies is necessary, as is adopting initiatives to scale back textile waste. In addition to a money prize and mentoring, winners will ‘see their designs constructed and worn by the contest ambassadors’. At this 12 months’s Oscars, Marlee Matlin sported a sustainable Vivienne Westwood custom-made robe crafted in black vegan textile made with Tencel luxe filaments. And prior eco-collabs have included the 2019 AMUR x RCGD (bought by choose Bloomingdale’s shops), and Reformation x RCGD in 2015 that featured ‘six dresses loosely inspired by previous Oscar gowns’.

The Pearl Academy graduate, who developed Planar Flux — a reducing approach that drew inspiration from a maths idea known as Mobius Strip and Subtraction Cutting — again in 2015, says the concept to use for the competition happened because of influencer Kestrel Jenkins’ podcast, Conscious Chatter. After she was interviewed by Jenkins final 12 months, Mehra had listened to an episode that includes RCGD’s CEO, Samata Pattinson. Curiosity piqued, the designer (who runs her personal label, researched the organisation and submitted her utility for his or her Design Contest in July 2020.

Excerpts from an interview:

How lengthy did the ideation and making course of take?

This robe is particular due to the design course of behind it. Usually designers make a sketch of a completed product and work backwards, however my strategy is totally different. I wish to design the patterns, the foundations of garment making, after which watch a silhouette develop. There’s lots of danger concerned as a result of one can’t actually predict the looks of the tip product proper initially.

How is that this outfit totally different out of your earlier designs?

The robe makes use of a particular reducing strategy of its personal that amalgamates an idea in physics with garment making. It’s zero-waste and in addition has gildings which might be consultant of the story behind the design. This costume is sustainable in design and materials which is a complete win-win. Additionally, it was designed with circularity in thoughts. So, later within the lifetime of the robe, it could actually simply be transformed into purses, desk linen, maybe one other costume too.

Which movie star would you wish to see in your successful design?

I might positively wish to see celebrities who imagine within the want for sustainable improvement and are actively collaborating on this motion put on my designs. My checklist contains Michelle Obama, Emma Watson, Shailene Woodley, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Diipa Büller-Khosla, Nikki Reed, and Livia Firth.

The RCGD pointers are mentioned to be fairly stringent.

This was a real take a look at of design prowess since candidates needed to work with their materials [Tencel]. I needed to painting the Earth’s essence within the costume, I needed it to be very symbolic. More than difficult, I checked out it as the right alternative to speak my journey, perspective and ethos by the language of design.

You’re mentioned to have an ‘academic approach’ to trend.

Sustainable improvement and schooling go hand-in-hand, and what bridges them is analysis. While researching, I used to be shocked to study that we had been making garments the identical means we did within the Middle Ages. The common reducing waste is about 15%. I needed to alter that and created my very own reducing approach. I used to be impressed by famend sample cutter Julian Roberts [of the Royal College of Art, UK] and reached out to him to know if my strategies had a spot on the planet, and he started mentoring me nearly.

Knowing that just about 80% of a product’s environmental affect is decided on the design stage places lots of duty on the designer. While my model focusses on educating customers about sustainability, I additionally interact with college students on the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Pearl Academy, UID (Ahmedabad), VIT, and Iowa State University (USA) by workshops and visitor lectures on experimental sample reducing, materials manipulation, and so forth.

What are you engaged on now?

We’ve labored on three traces: pret, upcycled and a digital drop. The latter options attire created on a software program, and the method of procuring and manufacturing the bodily product begins as soon as an order is positioned. This ensures no stockpiling and lowered wastage.

Every product shipped out has the identify of its maker on the tag. We need folks to know that sustainable clothes may be excessive trend and glamorous as nicely.

We retail on digital marketplaces like Etsy, and our gender-neutral pret assortment [to be launched this Diwali] goes to characteristic Oeko-Tex licensed and GRS licensed materials in very transitional silhouettes. We’re additionally engaged on a line made solely with recycled handloom materials in straightforward, comfy silhouettes [a September launch]. To be extra measurement inclusive, we now have opened as much as customisation so clients can now both stroll into our studio or have an internet session to position orders.


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