Ada Zanditon was five years old when she first spotted a magazine called Vogue on a supermarket shelf , she picked it up and has not been able to put it back down since then. She realised very early how much she wanted to become a designer. So its no surprise that by the age of 19, Ada had already interned at Alexander McQueen and did some work for various brands in Paris. A degree from the London College of Fashion followed shortly afterwards, proving that sometimes designing is not entirely about craft, but also about finding oneself in it. ‘ When you work for different people, your subconscious is full of their subconscious and you’re trying to think like them. There is no space for your own voice.’ explained Ada.
No surprise then that she went on to launch her own label in 2008, which she debuted during London Fashion Week SS 2009. Every single collection has just one major inspiration. Ada tries to emphasize this philosophy in design by building a narrative upon the themes. ‘Every collections enables me to create some sort of a new world’. This is also the case with her SS 2013 collection ‘Tigress Reign’. It is a medley of cultures, eras and ideas. Ada spent plenty of time at the library of the Imperial War Museum researching medals and uniforms which inspired the prints and shapes for this collection. There is an oriental touch too. Especially when it comes to tigers and their image in art, like in Chinese paper cutting tradition. There is also the portrayal of a powerful, strong woman, a real tigress,like in Tarantino’s film ‘Kill-bill’. Unlike other designers, her designing process doesn’t start from the fabrics, but from topics and themes that she can build upon. ‘I can spend a lot of time watching theatre plays or movies or videos on YouTube. I love watching videos of animals in particular. And I also make these ‘mood boards’’. Ada once made one with a bunch of photos of men with moustache from the 1950’s , wearing bermuda shorts. But mixing them with the 60’s mini skirt inspired one of her designs. Ada believes that looking at ugly things and making the most of them can be a very stimulating exercise.
And who would be her perfect client be? Probably not a man with a moustache, but a ‘fierce warrior bride, who finds herself in the middle of a desert and is about to cross it’. The new collection seems to capture this confident and wild attitude. But when I ask Ada what the future holds for her, the answer does not come that easily. ‘I do not like to talk about future, because I do not believe in destiny, but intuition. I think it is more fascinating to think about things that we still don’t know.’ A great philosophy , which probably lets her stay focused and creative without any pressures. And Ada does not have problems with concentration, as she describes herself as a very conventional person ‘When I leave the country, I have tea in my bag. Or I wake up in the morning and listen to classical music.’ Conventional or not, one look at her designs seems to reflect something totally different.
Images the courtesy of Ada Zandition. Portrait Image courtesy of © Copyright 2012 Leigh Keily
Written by Marta Knaś