A Look Inside

Made in Italy | Designed in Britain: A Look Inside

When a creative collaboration is forged, the end result becomes something far greater than its individual parts. The Made In Italy | Designed In Britain exhibition is a testament to this, proving that collaboration has the power to push ideas forward to uncharted heights, to open the doors to innovation, to make the impossible seem possible.

On the 12th of July, Made In Italy | Designed In Britain opened its doors at the Protein Gallery. The exhibition is hosted by the Italian luxury material manufacturer, Alcantara S.p.A and Not Just A Label in order to showcase the astounding design talent of ten chosen NJAL designers and the artworks they have created in Alcantara® material. The blank white space in which the exhibition takes place has been transmogrified into a futuristic showcase, housing the artworks of each designer in a spectrally lit transparent chamber. The mannequins tower above the viewer, preserved in mirrored boxes as though possessing a quixotic and otherworldly life of their own.

The industrial setting forms an ideal backdrop to an exhibition which marks a foray into the future of material innovation. Alcantara S.p.A and Not Just A Label have a pioneering vision for the future of fashion, a future in which emerging designers can have access to high quality, sustainable materials that allow them to push the boundaries of fashion design. There is a preconception in fashion that sustainability attains to high costs - an age old notion that each artwork on display dismantles with an arresting aesthetic and disarming design integrity.

Experiencing each artwork up close reveals the infinite potential of Alcantara® material since every designer interprets the material's properties in a strikingly distinctive way. Viewers are blown away by the textural manipulations of Fannie Schiavoni, the intricate folds of Jule Waibel, the copper embroidery of Sadie Clayton and the elaborate weaving of Per Hansson. The countless effects made possible by one material are awe-inspiring.

Fashion can only hope to truly innovate by stepping out of its own enshrined structures, seeking collaborations with other industries, looking forward by letting go of tradition. The exhibition represents only the grass roots of a future of innovation through the use of high-tech, luxury and sustainable materials. Technology is opening doors and creating the unimaginable but fashion is lagging behind. With Made In Italy | Designed in Britain, Alcantara and NJAL attempt to lay a stepping stone towards closing this gap. The exhibition is open to the public, so don’t miss the opportunity to see for yourself. 

Made In Italy | Designed In Britain runs from the 12th to the 24th of July at the Protein Gallery, 31 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EY.