If you thought ethical fashion was all slogan T-shirts, beige canvas bags and stone block shoes then take a quick look at the exquisite, sculptural designs of Ada Zanditon. Her sheer panelled skirts, folded futuristic capes, maroon quilted sleeves, asymmetric knitwear and distressed leather torsos are beautifully delicate, yet with a bold, sexy undertone that cuts through a strong conceptual narrative; all without a tree hugger in sight.
Graduating with a First class from London College of Fashion, Ada went on to gain vital experience with major fashion houses,such as Alexander McQueen and Gareth Pugh. After being selected for the Estethica Eco Fashion Mentoring Program by the British Fashion Council and then debuting at London Fashion Week in February 2010, it seems Ada was born to design ethical fashion that is noticed and adored. Listing music, future fantasy, the concept of biomimicry and geometry as the main source of inspiration; it is also the delicate illustrations she uses to portray her designs that really sets the tone of her work and enhances the depth, historical knowledge and intrigue that seeps in through all her collections.
After watching a preview of her SS12 ‘Poseisus’ film at Somerset House, I caught up with Ada Zanditon to hear all about her mythical fascinations…
What was your main inspiration behind this line?
My inspiration is always to do with nature; this time it was seahorses. I like to tell mythical stories about real things; I combined the mythical ideas of Pegasus and Poseidon and made them into one goddess of seahorses; Poseisus. She starts her life on the southeast coast of England and then she hears the calls of the Haiti carnival drums and decides to swim there. As she swims, she goes on a chimerical journey in the ocean, which sees her transform into a woman when she arrives on the shores of Haiti and leaves to dance in the carnival. So yeah, that’s the story for this collection! It is the same every season in the sense, it always has a strong story behind it and a character, who comes to life.
Do you have a muse in mind when designing?
Yes, she’s standing behind you (pointing to Viktoria Modesta who is a singer/songwriter) and is awesome, incredibly stylish and an amazing singer. I absolutely love musicians! I find them the most inspiring of people. The soundtrack for the film was by my boyfriend who is also a musician; I just love music.
What is your favourite film?
Mary Poppins! I love all kind of Disney films. I think in my ideal fantasy world, Disney would go goth; I would love to live in the gothic version of Snow White!
Do you have any particular aesthetic likes or dislikes?
It’s hard to say as I am horrifically open-minded! I love structure and geometry which is why I put them into my designs but I never have that much of a closed mind about anything. I think what I do is, I have a very particular style of handwriting which I can filter anything through but it’s more about the process itself and what I do with it.
Where do you think you will go next with your label?
Well we are off to Paris next to do the Zip Zone tradeshow and then lots of exciting meetings in between with hopefully more international stockists. Also, Katie Melua’s new album is coming out in November and my dress is on the cover which is really cool. So I will be looking for more musicians to dress; I would love to do an entire tour collection.
Finally, what is your proudest moment so far?
This is going to sound cheesy but I really feel like I am one of these people who are, “It’s all about the here and now man!” Every moment is my proudest moment. But I can tell you what my proudest moment was this week; on Monday afternoon when my team put the last stitches into the collection… and we were like “what are we going to do now”? So we started A/W 2012. That was my proudest moment, realising that my team are absolutely incredible!