I first wrote about Laura Siegel 2011 during Toronto Fashion Week. She works closely with artisans from both India and Bolivia. This month, I was fortunate enough to be invited to a private viewing of her collection for New York Fashion Week 2012.
Laura has a sweet welcoming disposition; she took the time to talk to me through all her pieces, she also openly discussed her past and future aspirations. When asked where she sees herself in 10 years Laura said she wants to work with more artisans from more countries all over the world and also mentioned she is venturing into home decor and other streams of design, which is something to watch out for.
Her creations use raw materials such as bamboo, raw silks, jersey, and handcrafted knits in delicate merino, baby alpaca, and eco-cotton. The result is a beautiful collection of intricate designs, incorporating both delicate soft pieces and strong bold pieces that can be easily combined and layered, making her collection quite versatile for the every-day woman. One thing that struck me about Laura was that she emphasizes her collection is a true collaboration between her and the artisans she works with. The artisan’s talent is apparent in her designs. She places great effort in representing the people she works with, as well as her own vision, which come together harmoniously in her designs. These pieces carry great ancient traditions from the eastern tribal women of India and meets a modern sophisticated look that is adaptable for a woman who seeks comfort, strength, femininity.
“The aesthetic reflects Siegel’s commitment to give back to the communities that inspire her. She believes strongly in empowering the artisans, not just by providing social and financial support, but also by actively including them in the design process. “The process of working with the artisans really shapes the collection,” Siegel explained. “They created their own interpretation for this season’s themes. The result is a collaboration of the past dreams, future dreams, and cultural values of everyone who worked on it.”
I feel that ethical fashion is more than just eco-friendly clothing, it’s a shift of attitude in the fashion world. Laura Siegel represents this shift, rather than being the typical stuck up fashion designer, she is extremely down to earth, open and very connected to the people she works with. Her attitude is fresh, and her values are represented transparently in her clothing. She is definitely someone to watch for in her future endeavours.