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MEET R DESIGNER: LIA, THE WOMAN WITH JUXTAPOSITION ON HER MIND

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Israeli designer, Lia Kassif loves juxtaposition. And that is the impression she leaves on you. That serene smile contrasts her steel backbone and her tomboy presence is at odds with her soft femininity. But it’s in her fashion design where her love of contrast really shows. And nowhere is juxtaposition more evident than in her upcycled Military Collection, which was created exclusively for Lane Crawford. 

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The seven-piece The Military Collection features one-of-a-kind iconic quilted bomber jackets with hand-drawn camouflage stitch patterns, a shirt dress created using military trousers and a reversible trench. The entire collection was created using a variety of military uniform waste from China, USA and Israel. Providing that iconic juxtaposition, Lia finished her collection with satin, hand-made origami details and trims from the bridalwear. 

“Military uniforms represent big power and yet become personal symbols of comfort and they are tough but when worn become soft. And by upcycling military with bridalwear waste, they unite the powerful emotions of love and war,” she explained. “But ultimately, my collection talks about fashion’s transformative power to send one global message about the need for sustainability.”  

Lia, who recently bolted out of world-renowned Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art with her degree in Fashion Design, was selected to design this collection following her success in The Redress Design Award 2017, the world’s largest sustainable design competition for emerging designers that is organised by our sister charity, Redress. 

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Lia’s Military Collection is our most challenging textile-waste-reduction project to date. It required extensive military waste sourcing from around the world, arduous deconstruction – think of the hours it took just to unpick these robust uniforms – then cleaning, ironing and meticulous pattern making and laying. And all of this was before the first stitch was even made!  

In keeping with our mission to prove that fashion can be a force for good, our manufacturing was done by two Hong Kong social enterprises, Sew On Studio and Splendid Fashion. Both empower communities within Hong Kong, from providing jobs for marginalized people. Working with these social enterprises provides them with a respectful form of employment and it serves to train this workforce with sustainable manufacturing techniques to empower their own future prospects. 

And it is this juxtaposition that is so passionately sewn into this collection that we know you will love too.