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LAB TAKEOVER — MELINA TRAPENZALIDOU

events / July 28, 2021

LAB TAKEOVER — MELINA TRAPENZALIDOU

RÆMADE was born in 2001 whilst Christopher was at University. The narrative around repurposing in fashion has come leaps and bounds since then, but the same challenges still persist. We want to give the next generation a platform to showcase their ideas — all about waste utilisation and craft — in action, here at our RÆBURN Lab.

The LAB Takeover is a new project giving talented young designers the opportunity to retail their work in the RÆBURN Lab. We give access to RÆBURN deadstock materials for a limited edition capsule, sold by them for one weekend only at our store. Drop in to meet the designer, observe their making process, and support their collection. All proceeds go to the individual, with 20% of sales donated to our partner charity Hubbub of 1% For The Planet.

Our first takeover guest will be Melina Trapezanlidou on Saturday 7 August — live from 12:00 to 18:00.

Melina is a Greek fashion designer that recently graduated from UAL with a passion for sustainability and innovation. With an architectural background, she enjoys problem solving and exploring new techniques with unconventional materials and approaches. For the LAB Takeover, Melina has used macrame techniques to design two Tote styles using just 100% Air Brake cord — a byproduct of the iconic Air Brake Parachutes in our collections. Both will be exclusively available at the RÆBURN Lab.

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Tell us how you began your creative journey.

My first memories of creating come from my childhood in the 90s, a time when I think kids were encouraged to make their own toys and use their imagination when it came to unconventional materials. That then slowly turned into a passion for design which led me to study first Architecture in Scotland and then Fashion Design Womenswear in London College of Fashion. With both directions I found myself heavily inspired by East Asian cinema which I greatly admire and the art brut movement which contains art created outside the boundaries of official culture.

What is your relationship with responsible design?

When I first got into design, I was not aware of the many issues of the fashion industry. I did not largely follow sustainable approaches because I felt that it was a more challenging route that required skills I did not have. That drastically changed during the last term of my first year in university; a group project and competition where we had to make a whole collection out of scraps of fabric and high street leftovers. What I saw as an obstacle quickly transformed into opportunity and inspiration which led me and my group to create a practical design driven collection from mostly repurposed work shirts — and we actually won the prize.

In your own words, what is the future of responsible design?

The past few years have seen more and more young designers put sustainability as their main creative driving force. With their voices being spread throughout the fashion industry, we see more established companies follow their example and adapt to more responsible approaches, also reaching wider audiences that were not aware of the problematic tactics in the first place. I believe we are looking at a future where fashion plays an important role in problem solving, rather than being the cause of the environmental issues we are seeing every day.  

What was your experience working with our Air Brake cord?

Overall it was great — it ran more smoothly than expected. The material itself, even though I am guessing was not made to look nice, has a beautiful colour palette that is mainly neutral with the orange thread giving it an edge that catches the eye and creates intricate patterns when it is woven. An expected challenge though was the finishing; one that is common when making any accessory or garment. Having to handle an abundance of loose ends to create the handle is quite a challenging process — but well worth it for the final outcome.

Tell us about your upcoming Takeover?

What I’m mostly looking forward to about the event is interacting with the guests, sharing my design process, whilst also learning and being inspired by their experiences and philosophies around sustainable living. I can’t wait to see the reaction!
 

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