FAULT Featured: Ada Zanditon

Tommy D Bridge

Ada Zanditon began to learn the art of fashion and design from the late and great Alexander McQueen prior to obtaining a first-class degree from the London College of Fashion.

Ada’s approach to fashion design is one of ecological sustainability and transparency; since her company’s foundation in 2008 it has been committed to promoting and encouraging sustainability in the fashion industry. Every fabric, dye, light bulb and cleaning product used – presents a determination and drive towards efficient and ethical fashion.

Since her first catwalk show in September 2009 at London Fashion Week, Ada has garnered much acclaim and patronage from the likes of Patrick Wolf, Bishi and Stephanie O’Brien. Her latest A/W collection has been hailed as “truly covetable” and combines colourful and sculptural designs, which go some way reinterpret refined classicism – whilst still remaining refreshingly elegant. Thus creating an overall pleasing and striking collection which helps to illustrate the modern and glamorous side to sustainable fashion.

FAULT: Have you always wanted to approach fashion from an ecologically sustainable angle?

I love fashion and have been inspired by the natural environment since childhood so I think it the synergy and connection between them felt right when creating my own brand.

It is something that is really important to me as I practice it in everyday life and wanted to emphasise the fact that high-end fashion can also be ethical. My aim has always been to create ethical fashion without compromising on the aesthetics of the design, and in fact being inspired conceptually by biomimicry, fractal geometry in natural structures and bio systems.

FAULT: What motivated and inspired you to adopt your sustainable approach to fashion and design?

Many things but mostly the incredibly obvious: the beauty of the Earth and the incredible diversity of life upon it, the immense appreciation I have for that and the desire to create fashion that not only does not exploit that but can have a positive impact on upon it.

FAULT: Why do you think eco-friendly attitudes are less popular in the fashion world than they have become elsewhere. Is it correct to assume that we care a lot more about the ecological implications of what we eat and how we build are homes, than what we wear?

That’s very obvious – buildings dont’ have to look sexy. Fruit looks the same whether its organic or not… maybe not identical but fairly similar.

To begin with the eco fashion movement was lead by environmentalists who wanted eco friendly clothing but didn’t necessarily come from a design background. Now there is a total sea change in that trend and more and more designers like myself are coming from a fashion and design background and creating eco fashion. There is a rapidly expanding amount of choice for consumers looking for exciting desirable eco fashion at every market level from high street to the catwalk.

FAULT: What are your inspirations behind your A/W collection?

My initial thoughts for the collection came from watching an intensely colourful low set winter sky through the dark inky outlines of bare tree branches from my studio window and imagining the creatures inhabiting this sultry nocturnal world, the most mysterious and eerie of which for me are bats with their fine structured wings and unusual ability to navigate in the dark. This led to the name ‘Echolocation’, which is the way bats hear, by sending sounds out to the environment and listening to the echoes that bounce back from the objects around them, this idea of sight and hearing being used together is fascinating and I tried to capsulate this idea both in my print and with the materials used in the collection, such as silk organza.

FAULT: Have your collections been well received by the fashion industry?

I can’t speak for the whole fashion industry but I certainly know that I have had a great response from the very beginning from the British Fashion Council who are now supporting my label as part of the Eco Fashion Mentoring Programme, by giving me the opportunity to work with mentor, Bev Malik. I also know that Neil Hendy, head of womenswear at Marks and Spencer greatly enjoyed my first solo show in February this year. But I’m not trying to please the whole industry, no one can. It’s important to please oneself creatively and to most importantly to please the customer because it’s the buyers and the customers who will sustain a brand whether press or industry like you or not.

FAULT: You now design clothing and jewellery, what’s next?

To grow and develop the brand and create a strong international business that operates on the principle that people, planet and profit are of equal importance and value. I also working on several exciting international collaborations but for the moment I can’t say much about it so instead I’m going to say: “wait and see!”.

FAULT: Which designers and influential people have inspired your collections the most?

Anish Kapoor and Zaha Hadid but I don’t know if that is literal in its translation, it is not only their work but their methodology. My own world and imagination, concepts and research, are also a big influence for my work.

FAULT: What is your FAULT?

Fainting at undulating lilting trombones.