Isabell de Hilerin’s ‘Eclectic Line’ Revives Modolvan Stories
by: Abigail Doan
July 23, 2012
Berlin-based Isabell de Hillerin is a designer for modern times. As a contemporary fashion label that has become synonymous with state-of-the-art ethical production and smart cultural preservation initiatives, de Hillerin’s pieces are both femininely bold and dead-on timely. Her most recent Spring/Summer 2013 collection, ‘Eclectic Line’ epitomizes the promise of handcraft revival and a palette that is trans-seasonal in spectum. Created as a collaboration with Moldovan embroiderers, this latest initiative continues the designer’s threaded dialogue with traditional textile traditions in Eastern Europe – first in Romania and now in Moldova.
With an aim to “counter the current loss of culture and push highly skilled (Moldovan) craftswomen by implementing their cultural skills in a modern fashion context,” de Hillerin has proved yet again that both stylistic and innovative production solutions often lie in those pockets of society that seem to have been sewn shut and totally disregarded. ‘Eclectic Line’ reworks ethnic silhouettes and intricate embroidery patterns with a new spin on nostalgic narratives and personal identity.
“The local traditional artisan manufacturers have learned their skills from their families, i.e., the parent’s and grandmother’s generations. Their way of creating these beautiful materials is a craft handed down, has an old history, and represents traditional values. With a great investment of time, they weave or embroider natural materials and make them more colourful. The patterns of the embroidery as well as the selection of colours represent their national identity and regional folkways – they tell old stories.”
“In a time where the pulse of the vanguard captures the world and simultaneously moments increase when individuals cut themselves off, we realize that we are increasingly fading out the marvellous settings that surround us every day. The importance lies in the past and the nostalgia which provokes one to remember … The information revolution deletes distances. Keywords like accessibility and transparency gained importance. At the same time our fast moving and modern society [has] ruined traditional roots. The[se] designs reflect a rebellious response to our modern system called life.”
Isabell de Hillerin’s latest collaboration was conceived through the Tandem Programme, supported by the European Commission Culture Programme. It was additionally supported by the Open Society Foundations with contribution of the arts and culture programme of Budapest as well as the aid of Tatiana Popa/Casa Parinteasca (Moldova) and Balestra (Berlin).
Learn more about Isabell de Hillerin’s mission and previous collections here.