Technology really is remarkable. Case in point, Steven Harkin’s collaboration with Dr Frances Geesin on a collection of gorgeous bespoke handmade luxury bags.
Steven Harkin studied leathermaking in Italy over 25 years ago and has been crafting luxury leather products ever since. Dr. Frances Geesin is a textile artist that specialises in using interactive conductive fibres – in other words, materials that respond to heat and steam to produce interesting distortions and distresses on the fabric.
When Frances explained the process to me yesterday at the Considerate Design briefing at London College of Fashion, I didn’t understand a single thing she was trying to explain to me, which leads me to believe that she is definitely the archetypal mad scientist and also a very, very brilliant and exceptionally talented artist. Peter Gabriel even has some of her work in his private collection, what a compliment!
I was completely taken aback by these stunning creations. Each of the handcrafted bags are ergonomically designed to the exact shape of your body using 3D body scanning imaging technology. This means that every piece is totally unique and designed to fit every nook and cranny of your body for maximum comfort and the ultimate flattering size and shape. I’m definitely going to save up for the bespoke Flatpack, at only £797. It would go with any outfit, and you could wear that thing forever.
Steven uses sustainably sourced Italian cow hide leather and all-natural vegetable tanning, plus everything is sourced from small producers in Tuscany and handcrafted in his workshop just outside of London. Although sustainability isn’t the top priority, Frances tries to develop textiles that stand the test of time and thus will be re-worn for many years.
The Considerate Design project is a collaboration between Sandy Black from the London College of Fashion, Dr Claudia Eckert at Open University and Dr David Wyman of the Engineering Design Centre at the University of Cambridge. By fusing fashion, science and engineering this project is exploring the creation of products and processes that put the individual, the environment and the entire life cycle of garments at the forefront of design. It also aims to develop new ways to design clothes that have lasting appeal and utility and thus will help to reduce overall consumption and textiles going to waste.