Last year when I was in japan for 3 weeks, I came across the wonderful fashion of Reem, aka Reem Alasadi.
There was a pop-up store in the front of La Foret in Harajuku, and I was drawn in by the incredible texture of her work. Fabrics of all types, including vintage lace and fur, had been recycled, ruffled, pleated, torn, sequinned, dyed and re-made into couture pieces such as voluminous skirts, exquisite Victorian jackets and multi-layered tops. There are punk, Victorian, vintage and eco elements to her work that I really enjoy.
Reem, who is Iraqi, began her line in London’s Portobello Market, where she sold her own customized vintage clothing. Developing a loyal fan base, she eventually established a name among the design community. She still has that stall today! But visiting Tokyo for a holiday convinced her that it was the place to be.
As she said when she spoke to Dazed Digital last year,
The concept was fresh to Tokyo. A concept stall aiming for designers and stylists though it goes without saying the Japanese kids were amazing at dressing, so it took off from there.
She is one of the few UK designers to show at Tokyo Fashion Week A/W 09, though I can’t find ther label amongst the exhibitors in the upcoming March Fashion Week. Examples of her work are below, including some from her show at Japan Fashion Week in Tokyo last April:
Circus music set the tone as fashion followers sat shivering, awaiting Reem’s collection on a raw concrete runway outside of Yogi National Stadium Friday night at Japan Fashion Week. A steady stream of sequined, studded, fringed, and ruffled sculptural pieces, with a likeness to Galliano, came down the runway one after the other. Girls with bold glittered lips, leather leggings and asymmetrical hats worked a futuristic but decidedly of-the-moment look.
At London Fashion week in 09, Reem showed 2 seasons at once, based on her eco-principles.
As an on-going commitment to raising ecological awareness Reem believes that if all Designers adopt the one runway/two season’s approach we will half our carbon footprint and make a real impact on energy efficiency. When asked about this radical new approach Reem said:
“Imagine the collective impact of our huge international fashion carbon footprint. By changing the way we do things we have a chance to be more creative and more productive. We can respect the earth’s resources but also own time, energy and creativity. By showing both seasons I can spend more time creating and the buyers can budget in advance and everybody works in a much calmer and more focused fashion.”
In January this year, Reem participated in EcoChic Geneva, amongst other international designers who were invited to design and create a dramatic showpiece look out of sustainable textiles specifically for the event.
I encourage you to check out the work of this amazing eco-designer, and I look forward to seeing what she has in store for 2011.