.Her designs are geometrical and ecological. She’s obsessed with organic fabrics. Meet designer Susana Colina, the caped crusader
By Diane Small
Venezuelan born, New York based designer Susana Colina is a designer on a mission. Whilst most of us know the benefits of organic food, fewer are aware of the importance of organic fabric. But Colina is on a crusade to educate through design.
Her highly stylish collections use only organic fibres to create her garments. This means none of the material she uses has been produced with artificial fertilizers, pesticides or hormones. They’re better for the environment, they’re better for your health, and ultimately, they’re better for every living creature on the planet.
In addition to using organic cotton, bamboo and Lyocell, eco designer Susana Colina uses a more controversial fabric too: hemp. Despite its association with a ‘hippy’ counter-culture, this has been touted as the ultimate eco-friendly fabric because it requires no chemicals to grow. It’s extremely versatile, and can be used to create strong, sturdy fabrics – even rope. It’s also perfect for blocking the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, making it the ideal fabric for summer clothing.
The designer also uses what is sometimes called “vegetable cashmere.” This is a super soft, soy-based fabric that’s easy to care for, absorbs dye quickly and hangs gently on the body. It’s the ideal textile for Colina’s penchant for flowing maxi dresses and cape-cut sleeves.
The Caped Crusader
Beyond being on a crusade to promote super-conscious fashion materials, Colina is also dedicated to creating the kinds of designs that draw “oohs” and “ahhs” from the most prestigious catwalks in the fashion capitals of the world. Coming from a Fine Arts and Design background, she states: “it’s important to me to respect shapes, forms and the purity of what I can create with these types of fabrics, all of which have such a noble nature.”
Her work is undoubtedly minimalist, both in its sparse design and use of single blocks of colour, which allow the wearer to accessorise each outfit to better express her personality. These clothes never ‘wear the woman’, but rather act as a canvas for her to paint her own style.
Designer Susana Colina is best known for her useful wraps, caped dresses, and oversized, flowing lines. These are seen not only in her classic evening dresses, but also in her unique knitwear.
She believes her basic, almost geometric designs add a “fully modern dimension” to her clothing. But there’s more to it than that. Such simple cuts normally mean zero waste of fabric, which is yet another reason her brand is so sustainable.
While bigger names like Stella McCartney, Maggie Marilyn and Gabriela Hearst may dominate the headlines when it comes to promoting sustainable fashion designers, we think that Susana Colina definitely has a firm place in that pantheon.
For more information on designer Susana Colina, please click here.