These Gothic sustainable fashion designers are anything but hippy!
By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
It’s often thought – even now – that sustainable fashion designers lean towards boho style. But these Gothic sustainable fashion designers are anything but that!
And that’s a good thing. Hemlines may go up and down, silhouettes may change from billowy to bodycon. But if there’s one perennial favourite in fashion, it’s got to be the colour black.
From employing it in the legendary little black dress to supersized sunglasses destined for celebs, the beauty of black is never lost on designers, who embrace its messages of power, independence and self-control. Not only that, but of course black goes with everything. Oh, and it’s slimming!
If you’re working with a palette of basic black, the clothing needs to be outstanding. It should feature a unique design, precise tailoring, an exotic, luxurious fabric selection or a combination of these.
We’ve found a selection of talented Gothic sustainable fashion designers whose work is distinguished by their superlative designs – and dark materials.
Gothic Sustainable Fashion Designers We Love
When it comes to Gothic sustainable fashion designers, few are as cool as Alexandra Groover. The Californian designer moved to London to study at Central St. Martins, but it seems the UK’s lack of sunshine has made a positive impact on her style, too. After cutting her teeth at the studios of Alexander McQueen and Zandra Rhodes, the Alexandra Groover brand came to life in 2008 with a monochromatic Black Label collection that enhanced the sculptural and textural manipulations of fabric.
Today Alexandra is in her 12th season, and uses films and performances to launch her new collections, collaborating brilliantly with artists from diverse creative fields. For one of her most recent projects, she worked with internationally renowned illustrator and tattoo artist Rafel Delalande to launch a capsule collection of printed scarves, T-shirts, shawls, and hoods called La Voisin London, all of which had an enchantingly eerie allure. Conscious of the environment, Groover uses organic fabrics and vegan leather in most of her collections.
2. Mert Otsamo
Finland’s Mert Otsamo may not be one of the greenest Gothic sustainable fashion designers here, but he is increasingly eco-conscious. For example? He has recently created a design that’s a dozen dresses in one! You can check out his Multi-One Dress directly below. Otsamo made it on the premise that a woman really needs only one fabulous dress in her wardrobe. Especially when it an be re-draped to be twelve!
Created alongside with a similar jumpsuit design as part of his debut ready-to-wear collection, the dress is made from durable heavy weight jersey that stretches, folds, wraps or knots in your chosen style.
The dress can be short, long, sexy or subdued. It’s really the only dress you need in your wardrobe! The talented self-taught designer has received attention and praise for both his original and distinguished style, as well as his skilful tailoring that accentuates the dramatic contrasts of the human figure.
He has also created gowns out of plastic wrappers, and his unique creation using Magnum ice cream foils won the young designer much praise.
One of our favourite Gothic Sustainable Fashion Designers here at Eluxe is dark enchantress Titania Inglis, whose philosophy is to choose minimalism as the core principle of her brand, in terms of both aesthetics and environmental impact.
Based in Brooklyn, Titania grew up among the woodlands and waterfalls of Ithaca, New York, and refined her dark, streamlined taste while living in Denmark and the Netherlands. Her Gothic sustainable fashion designs are visually striking, yet easy to wear.
A small, family-owned factory in New York makes each garment. They use only high-quality, low-impact fabrics including Japanese organic cotton, Italian vegetable-tanned leather, and dead stock wool from the local garment industry.
Beyond clothing, Titania Inglis has engendered multidisciplinary creative collaborations with members of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, jewellery designer Bliss Lau, and Zola Jesus.
This darkly dramatic designer loves textured silhouettes and androgynous pieces that are timeless in their urban elegance. Barbara i Gongini takes great pride in rating her collections according to sustainability criteria.
For example? She bases her Gothic sustainable fashion collections the most ecological and least polluting and recycled materials possible, and uses cutting techniques that minimise waste. She also encourages her suppliers to use RSL testing (which involves the control of reduced chemical waste).
All the textiles she uses are approved by Oeko-Tex. This organisation tests them for harmful substances both for health and environmental concerns. This is particularly important when dealing with black dyes, which tend to be amongst the most toxic.
An avid animal lover, Gongini also supports animal welfare, using leather and fur that are 100% bi-products from the food industry or wastage of commercial material.
Iris van Herpen is a sculptress of high tech wearable visions. Using zero waste 3D printing techniques, she creates a modern view of haute couture that combines cutting edge technology with innovative materials. Van Herpen’s work touches on the disciplines of biology and chemistry, so it’s no surprise she often does interdisciplinary research and collaborations with other artists or scientists.
For example, she gets inspiration from the architecture of insect exoskeletons and delves into notions of modifying the biosphere of other planets to resemble that of the Earth. In fact, her collection Hacking Infinity explores the possibility of new geographies and our place within them. No matter the theme or collection, van Herpen’s creative aim is always accomplished: abolishing the boundaries between nature and technology.
Main image: Barbara i Gongini