In his new collection Pridon Niguriani, designer of the Georgian brand LEM, puts a focus on upcycling experiments. In creating most of the items he uses the patchwork technique, which involves making bright dresses, suits and outerwear from discarded scraps of fabric.
“As I worked on the collections, I thought back to a movie I saw as a child – the first Georgian musical “Melodies of the Vera Quarter”, directed by Giorgi Shengelaia and featuring all the stars of Georgian cinema. In one episode the protagonist’s daughters were sewing a dress from a blanket cut into pieces,” says Pridon. “Besides, this is a personal story. My grandmother was a noted seamstress. At the time it was difficult to find good fabrics. So once, with her own hands, she fit pieces of fabric together and came up with an incredibly beautiful blanket, one that we still keep in our family as a relic.”
Despite the fact that each item in the collection is made up from fragments of different kinds of fabrics, the result are colorful, eye-catching combinations that look harmonious. The designer has employed both the traditional patchwork technique as well as new ones, such as when fabric patches are superimposed on one another in layers, making the end product puffy and even voluminous. The collection also features a variety of frills, folds and texture layers.
As well as the aesthetics, the designer also cares about the ethical side of things. More than half of the materials that went into making the items represent the fabrics left over from the brand’s previous collections. What’s more, the lavishly decorated hats, bags and jewelry – the bracelets, necklaces and chokers – are made from metal waste from electric lighting equipment and discarded pieces of Styrofoam packaging.