Designer Arlene L. Martin of drennaLUNA from Jamaica exchanged with artisans MayaBags from Belize to create a bespoke look for The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange - an initiative for established and emerging fashion talent from across the Commonwealth’s 53 countries to showcase the power and potential of artisan fashion skills to deliver new networks, trade links and highlight sustainability.
The skirt portion of this dress is made of individually cut flowers featuring six petals, folded together in three stages and attached to the core fabric of the garment. Fabric for the jacket and bodice has been created from the selvedge offcuts of the fabric that was used for these flowers, by sewing rows of selvedge together for a subtly manipulated textile. The look is completed with a hand-made bag from MayaBags, an artisanal company in Belize working to preserve and enhance traditional Maya handwork skills. The “uh tok” or in English “Moon Spark” basket purse is made from a coiled and stitched basket frame woven of plant fiber (Jippi Jappa), covered with a Maya hand-woven fabric, lined with Dupion silk, and fastened with a coconut button and macramé loop closure.
The project was launched by Commonwealth Secretary General the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland and Livia Firth, founder of sustainability consultancy Eco-Age and supported by Swarovski, The Woolmark Company and MATCHESFASHION.COM.