Slide START SCROLLING T R A N S F O R M 9 international designers create unique fashion pieces using Icelandic kelp Transform Design Project.

Slide Stephanie Steele Stephanie Steele has worked within the fashion and textile industry for 10 years, graduating with BA (Hons) Fashion Design in 2011, and an MA Fashion and the Environment from LCF in 2013 where her practice focussed on the nature of textiles and clothing life cycle. Her background spans working with commercial to high-end fashion brands for production and sourcing, as well as buying and managing the retail and wholesale of textiles. She teaches fashion students about sustainable and ethical textiles, uses the digital world as a platform for education through content creation and has a personal craft-based approach to making that is curious and experimental. Her passion for exploring organic materials and adopting an experimental design style can be seen in the multi-layered design she created using seaweed. VISIT WEBSITE Stephanie Steele Transform-06-360

Slide VICTORIA PIETRASIK Victoria Pietrasik is a fashion freelancer, predominantly working in product development, pattern cutting and draping, under “Shapeshifter Studio”. Having developed her skillset in Berlin for 3 years, Victoria moved to London to venture into a new landscape, and now counts exciting young designers such as Chopova Lowena and Mowalola among her clients. Victoria enjoys exploring techniques that are new to her, from leatherwork to corsetry, continually developing her practice. Her technical approach to her work can be seen in the exploration of alternative joining techniques in the seaweed top and the implementation of shapes that maximise the usage of seaweed in the skirt. VISIT WEBSITE Victoria Pietrasik Transform-07-414

Slide SOPHIE DANIEL Sophie is a freelance stylist and costume designer living and working in London. She graduated from Middlesex University in 2014 with a degree in Fashion Textiles and Design, following an Art Foundation diploma from Kingston University. She has worked on projects across music, fashion, dance and art, and is particularly drawn to styling and design for performance. Recent styling projects include Mark Leckey’s film Under Under In for the exhibition O Magic Power of Bleakness at Tate Britain and editorial work with photographer Shea Cameron for Kunst Magazine. Pieces created as part of her graduate collection were featured in an adidas short film in collaboration with A/SH Magazine, directed by Jonas Hegi. Sophie pushed the boundaries of what is perceived to be eco-friendly, by using materials such as organic rubber and plastics to create a piece that at first appears to be far from sustainable but in closer inspection is exactly that, reminding us that there are many unusual ways to work with the seaweed. VISIT WEBSITE Sophie Daniel Transform-01-074

Slide ZOE ATKINSON Zoe is a knitted textiles designer with an innate interest in material properties. She studied BA(hons) Textiles Design at Central St. Martins, and currently works in the fashion industry as a knitted swatch designer and maker, selling to a varied international client base. Layering her curiosity to physically investigate tactile forms and her expert knowledge of constructed textiles, she realises outcomes which aspire to captivate and challenge the eye whilst recounting an intimate material and craft narrative. Her seaweed design involved intricate knitting techniques, and very modern finishes such as laser etching and cutting, giving the piece a mysterious and intriguing feel. VISIT INSTAGRAM Zoe Atkinson Transform-04-292

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Slide POLOSOPHIA Pol is a self taught London-based freelance fashion and costume designer and founder of world's first story-based fashion label Polosophia. Her inspirations come from nature's deep design, abstract expressionism, and her own imaginary world. She works with organic and upcycled materials, and creates genderless avant-garde and wearable art pieces. Her piece using seaweed unitises the mysterious textures unique to Saccharina kelp, giving a armour-like quality to a piece that could belong to a time far in the future. VISIT INSTAGRAM Polosophia Transform-02-107

Slide Drífa Líftóra Thoroddsen Drífa Líftóra Thoroddsen is an Icelandic fashion and textile designer. She took her BA in fashion design at The Iceland University of the Arts. Besides a brief internship in London with KTZ Drífa proceeded to do her MA in fashion at Paris College of Art, focusing on technology and new materials. She decided to further her education by taking a diploma in textiles at Reykjavík School of Visual Arts. Drífa explores the human body metamorphosing into different creatures by creating illusions via different techniques such as pattern making and print making, which she incorporated here to create her alien hybrid trousers. VISIT WEBSITE Drífa Líftóra Thoroddsen Transform-05-325

Slide G-ELSA Elsa is an Icelandic fashion designer and tailor, having completed her fashion education in Iceland in 1996 she has been been very active in the fashion world including working at Reykjavik Fashion Week, Iceland Fashion Week and Budapest Fashion week. Her latest project has been working for both seasons of  'Allir geta Dansað' (the Icelandic version of Dancing with the Stars) as a head costume designer. She is also the head tailor for the Icelandic Dance Company. She creates unique glamorous and eye-catching outfits for professional dancers and has explored varied forms of fashion design, from wedding dresses to fitness bikinis. For her seaweed outfit she explored the idea of movement and segments in the outfit, while producing something very high end and durable that could withstand movement - something her own designs for the dance community demand. VISIT FACEBOOK G-Elsa Transform-09-604

Slide Julie Amalie Svensson Danish designer Julie Amalie Svensson has an MA in fashion design from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art and Design. She has work experience from Preen and Vivienne Westwood, and for the last few years has been working freelance within fashion design, styling, set design, and costume design. For this project Julie made an outfit mixing many different types of seaweed. The seaweed has been pleated, ruched and manipulated to give it a raw and textured look. The many layers of seaweed are sewn together by hand and machine to give the delicate organic seaweed a bold and strong punk look that shows off the different textures and colour variants. VISIT INSTAGRAM Julie Amalie Svensson Transform-03-154

Slide Susan Sainsbury Susan Sainsbury studied Textiles at Northbrook, a BA in illustration and MA in illustration and sequential design at Brighton University. Currently she works in Brighton where she was born and raised, as both an illustrator writing and illustrating graphic novels as well as a dressmaker, making varied designs including 50’s inspired pieces. In approaching the seaweed design she used space and structure to create a piece that utilises the lengths of the seaweed, using draping techniques, and avoided using other materials so as to let the seaweed take centre stage. VISIT WEBSITE Susan Sainsbury Transform-08-489red

This project is a combination of design testing, experimentation and art.

After interviewing numerous textiles and fashion designers, all of whom had the level of technical skill needed for working with such a unique material, ultimately nine had the ideal mix of skillset, innovation, interest in sustainable materials and the curiosity needed for the project.

The brief was to create something unique and exciting using the treated kelp as the main ingredient, and while other eco-friendly materials were allowed, the designers were encouraged to feature the kelp as much as possible.

Each designer was kept in a bubble, aware of the others participating in the project but not given any idea of the direction of their designs, so as to intentionally push them towards risk taking and intuitive design – something the studio strongly encourages.

The idea was that their creations would not be influenced by each other, nor the current trends or seasonal styles, but rather to allow them to make a more personal reflection of their own creative tastes and styles.

The result was beyond anything we could have imagined and completely exceed our expectations. Each designer created something unique while ensuring the material was the main focus, working with the unique textures and colours of the seaweed as a main feature.

The project served as a fascinating experiment to see not only what was possible using kelp as a material, but also to discover how each designer approached such a technically challenging project. Techniques for the connections, binding and structure of the garments were very varied, with layering, linking, weaving and even laser etching applied to the garments.

Each outfit stared in a fashion shoot that took place across Iceland, featuring a range of landscapes and textures such as lava, moss, colourful rocks, fauna and geothermal sites, as well as seaweed harvesting sites by the ocean. The outfits will feature in an upcoming exhibition giving people a chance to see the pieces up close and to appreciate both the beauty of the kelp and also the outstanding craftmanship of the designs.

Photography: Charlie Strand
Photography assistance and retouching: Magnus Andersen
Model: Kristýna Tulachová
Hair and Make-up: Roksana Kruszewska