In the wake of all the fashion weeks I always ask myself, what will last, what left a mark, and what will carry forward before the next season sweeps in to overwrite the latest fashions. That’s where this season, Felder Felder decided to break the mould.
For their tenth anniversary, Felder Felder had me taking major throw backs to my 18 year old self who would have squealed herself blue at the opportunity to be standing where I was on a Friday evening during London Fashion Week at Blakes hotel. The design duo, twins, Daniela and Anette, we’re hosting an intimate star and influencer studded dinner at the luxury South Kensington hotel to launch their latest creation in collaboration with BMW.
What could a car manufacturer and a high end designer brand have in common? Innovation. Creativity. Forward thinking. Ground breaking. These are just a few ways to describe what Dani and Anette’s 10 year collaboration represented, featuring up-cycled and sustainable fabrics. What does that actually mean you ask? Well, the centre piece of the collection was an intricately structured “Carbon Dress” inspired by BMWi and created using carbon fibre from BMW’s electric vehicle program.
The dress was showcased mid-dinner time and I not been so entranced with the incredible truffle ravioli being served up, I would have snuck out of my seat under the guise of getting into better viewing position, but really, I just wanted to touch it. No description, or even photographs serve justice to the new age, avant-garde, enrapturing dress which has such depth and detail aided by the innovation of the carbon fibre which constructs it. The material makes up 97% of the fringe-detailed, metallic grey skater dress which took over 100 hours to make. The unique texture and shine of the material provides a futuristic finish which remains lightweight and strong, but is more tactile and daring compared to other fashion fabrics. And indeed, although the dress looks regal whilst modern and young, it swished along with the models every move showing off its light weight and almost shape-shifting nature. I just stared. Add to that the fact that the models cat walking the collection down the aisle between the dinner tables were Voguing, and I had forever forgotten about the truffle ravioli, now drooling instead over this marriage of old school and new, and a promise of brave and bold trend setting from the Felders for the next decade to come.
Dani and Anette commented on the sustainable material which is not yet available to the fashion industry in large quantities that “The Carbon Fabrics are amazing and unlike anything we’ve used before – we are honoured to be given access to them before anyone else. The woven fibre allows us to do more with the designs and push the boundaries of sustainable fashion. It adds amazing structure and the frayed carbon looks so great as tassels. We can’t wait to show everyone the collection.” Another friend of mine, acting editor at Closer magazine at the time of the dinner, asked the twins where their inspiration came from and then joked at the ease of their answer “it just comes to us!” And maybe, I thought, it just does come to those who are born to create. I was once at the Albert Hall for a ballet production, and at the end of the show as we roamed the entrance halls of this beautiful time capsule for The Arts, they had exhibited costumes throughout the ages from some of their most timeless productions. And as I touched my bands to the glass (I know, I know, you’re supposed to look-no-touch but I can’t help it!) in awe and wonder I remembered thinking about how these costumes told a story of their own: they had out lived the performances, the people who bore them, and the style they embodied. They were the testament of time. And as I drew parallel to this memory, with the timeless creation pioneered by the Felders, I can confidently say that this will be their footprint in Fashion, their “we were here” and their “we came, we saw, we created” for generations to come.
More about Felder Felder: German-born, but London-ensconced, Dani and Annette Felder launched their eponymous brand FELDER FELDER in 2007, after graduating from prestigious Central Saint Martins. Their collection was received to enormous critical acclaim, and soon established FELDER FELDER as one of the leading names on the London fashion scene. The sisters show their collections as part of London Fashion Week and as easy recognisable faces of their brand they have been guest judges on Heidi Klum’s Germany’s Next Top Model and had appearances on MTV’s The City. www.felderfelder.com
More about BMW i: The BMW i cars, which launched in 2014, bring a new meaning to the word premium, defined by sustainability. Both the BMW i3 and BMW i8 are multi-award winning cars that encompass efficient technology with lightweight materials. The BMW i8 is the most successful hybrid sports car on the market. The BMW i cars offer an exciting, agile driving experience with incredible acceleration, which is almost silent in motion. Starting at £104,540, the BMW i8 can be used for 22 miles in pure electric mode. Power can be boosted by a highly economical 1.5-litre petrol engine. www.bmw.co.uk