By Arwa Lodhi
Winner of the IYCE Fashion Award 2008, Carla Fernandez is the founder of the brand Flora, a fashion label and travelling workshop/laboratory that works with indigenous communities throughout Mexico. Flora particularly focuses on women’s co-ops that produce handmade textiles and clothing.
Fully aware of her country’s rich textile traditions, Fernandez is keen to protect them. After ten years of intensive research, she collected and catalogued hundreds of garment designs that were at risk of extinction, and has thus preserved complex techniques of pattern making, pleating, folding and embroidering–all of which have in turn inspired her own unique designs.
Due to their distinctive cuts and beautiful materials, Fernandez’s collections have drawn interest from around the world, and she has shown her designs in major fashion venues from London and San Francisco to Japan and Los Angeles and beyond. In fact, most of her sales are outside Mexico currently, but she is proud to show her culture to the world:
“In each garment, there is a reflection of how clothing was originally built in Mexico; a system based on squares and rectangles that together form new forms and dimensions,” the designer explains. “Reinterpreting this complex system with the intervention of artisans is the brand’s trademark.”
Carla’s dedication to preserving her country’s heritage and use of natural textiles such as silk, wool, alpaca and cotton, make her one of Eluxe’s favourite designers. Now all we’d ask is that she make her designs available in Paris…