Meet Seerat Virdi, Redress Design Award 2018 finalist
Modular design characterises the work of Seerat Virdi, graduate in fashion design from the Pearl Academy, New Delhi and founder of her own label Miesu. “People always experiment,” she laughs. “Since my designs can be disassembled and interchanged within the collection, two people can express themselves in very different ways.”
Sleeves can be removed and used with other pieces to create new silhouettes; embellished cuffs can be turned into necklaces, flower details into brooches. Applying techniques of zero-waste and up-cycling to silk organza and repurposed trims and threads, Seerat used handcrafted detailing and fabric manipulation techniques in create depth and texture in her competition collection.
Applying for the Redress Design Award has given Seerat a steep, invaluable learning curve. “I’m new to sustainable fashion - but what I’ve picked up has been eye-opening: that a lot of waste can be eliminated with intelligent pattern cutting; that almost anything can be repurposed; and that it’s better to work backwards with the resources that surround you.”
Sustainable fashion still labours under key misconceptions. “Because sustainable fashion is recycled, it’s considered ‘dirty’. In reality, it’s far from that and, in my opinion, can be considered an art form. Making something out of ‘nothing’ is pretty amazing!”
The market is changing. “Today, designers have created products that people happily purchase - only to later find out its eco-friendly. That’s how you know you’ve done something right!”
Designers and consumers are part of a symbiotic movement towards transformation. “A major reason for brands not shifting their practice is because consumers aren’t fully enough aware of the crises to demand change. As designers, we have the power to influence them,” she says. “It’s our responsibility to encourage sustainability and re-usability of our clothes.”
“Fashion is one of the largest sources of environmental pollution. Being sustainable isn’t an option any more; it’s a prerequisite. A problem this big can only be solved if we collaborate, share innovative ideas and spread awareness. The Redress Design Award couldn’t have happened at a better time. It’s given me a platform and encouraged me to work harder.”
This article originally appeared in the Redress Design Award 2018 Magazine.