Marie Claire (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - WORDS ZANELE KU­MALO tthe abou learn fab­ric To key to top10 trends, go

50 shades of Lupita Does skin colour still


if you had just spent R50 000 on a Giles Dea­con dress, would you even think of adding it to your load of laun­dry? And I don’t mean send­ing it to the dry-clean­ers, but putting it through one of your spe­cial cy­cles at home? That’s what Mr Dea­con, the top Bri­tish de­signer him­self as the global fash­ion con­sul­tant for Proc­ter & Gam­ble, to­gether with Louise Wil­son, Bri­tish pro­fes­sor and di­rec­tor of the most fa­mous fash­ion-de­sign school in the world – Cen­tral Saint Martins – along with high-minded fab­ric ex­perts and trend fore­cast­ers gath­ered at the Proc­ter & Gam­ble Fu­ture Fabrics event to share: how to bring high-end fash­ion into the clos­ets of ev­ery­day con­sumers. And to help us hold onto our favourite cloth­ing items for longer.

As Marc Ja­cobs, an­other fash­ion force, once said, ‘Clothes mean noth­ing un­til some­one lives in them.’ And he’s com­pletely right. Gar­ments come alive when the buyer takes them home and be­gins a sort of af­fair with them. A fever­ish ro­mance for a sea­son or some­times decades-long en­chant­ment. We know this de­pen­dence well; we all have at least one item of cloth­ing that we have a spe­cial in­ti­macy with. That well-worn pair of stretch jeans that even the fat­test day couldn’t touch, that jersey num­ber that dresses your hips with enough stir­ring to ren­der on­look­ers en­vi­ous or lust­ful; items never to be dis­carded. Some­times not even when they’re fall­ing apart. So, while fash­ion changes and fabrics evolve, one thing that stays con­stant is people try­ing to pro­tect the re­la­tion­ship they have with their cloth­ing. We spend a lot of money buy­ing our clothes so it makes sense to try and take care of them, to keep them in that sweet spot of look­ing like new but also feel­ing like your most favourite thing in the whole world.

The stylish con­fer­ence, held in Mi­lan – the home of ex­quis­ite tex­tiles, tai­lor­ing and one of the four big­gest fash­ion weeks in the world – was like be­ing at the most high-tech gath­er­ing of fab­ric mas­ter­minds. There was much talk

Just as you cleanse, tone and mois­tur­ize your skin (…) the fab­ric of your clothes needs the same three-step care

of care regimes dis­cussed with me­dia from glossies based around the world – the three­step of fab­ric sci­ence – and the anal­ogy of skin or hair care was a recurring theme. Just as you cleanse, tone and mois­tur­ize your skin, they ex­plained how the fab­ric of your clothes needs the same three-step care – cleans­ing, colour pro­tec­tion, en­hanc­ing and soft­en­ing. But, un­like skin, cloth­ing of­fers a par­tic­u­lar dilemma – laun­der­ing causes dam­age and ages the gar­ment. It’s that ‘first-wash’ anx­i­ety, where you might hold off clean­ing your newly ac­quired item un­til wear­ing it com­fort­ably be­comes a hy­giene is­sue. Fi­bre sci­en­tists (one even works for NASA) an­a­lysed the life cy­cle of cer­tain fabrics and how they age in or­der to find out how best to pro­long the longevity of clothes, look­ing right down to the mi­cro­scopic level of fi­bre and how stains and soiling af­fect fabrics.

In­spired by this new tech­nol­ogy that Proc­ter & Gam­ble are us­ing in their wash­ing pow­der, Ariel – which prom­ises to pro­long the life, beauty and per­for­mance of clothes – the won­der­fully charm­ing Dea­con launched a whole range of cou­ture cloth­ing that could sur­vive nu­mer­ous spins in your wash­ing ma­chine at home. (Pro­vided the right wash­ing pow­der was used, nat­u­rally.) In­clud­ing draped gowns with flo­ral ap­pliqués, his seven de­signs, in a pal­ette of bright or­ange and black, were made from fabrics like poly wool or coated in lac­quer, which you could lit­er­ally throw into the wash. It was ex­tra­or­di­nary, this ma­chine-wash­able cap­sule collection, and no less beau­ti­ful or less con­cep­tu­al­ized than any­thing he would usu­ally place on the cat­walks of Mi­lan Fash­ion Week. In fact, I even told him how un­com­fort­able I was with the idea of putting his de­signs in a load of laun­dry. But that was of course the whole point.

The de­but of Giles Dea­con’s en­tirely wash­able collection of seven dresses for Proc­ter & Gam­ble

Fab­ric Care’s Fu­ture Fab­ric pro­gramme, first un­veiled in

Mi­lan in Novem­ber 2013; back­stage with mod­els; the two new dresses from Giles Dea­con’s A/W 2014 collection;

cat­walk im­ages from Giles Dea­con’s collection at Lon­don

Fash­ion Week A/W 2014.

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