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Mania at Clements Ribeiro

In line with their series of projects since 2008, Clements Ribeiro have launched the fourth instalment to the line with 'ScarfMania'

For the last two years, Clements Ribeiro have been churning out special projects such as their collaboration with Karen Nicol and capsule collections using an aspect of handcraft and 'found materials'. Now for 2010, Project 4 entitled 'ScarfMania' and is a five-piece collection created by up-cycling vintage silk scarves. Featuring a dress, blouse and skirt made from mismatched scarves with hand-painted detail, they span influences from the 40s through to the 80s, alongside two merino wool sweaters embroidered with silk scarf scraps. Focused on up-cycling; each project is made out of unique pieces created by the recycling of vintage materials combined with high-end crafts, fashioned into unique products produced in an artisanal scale.

Dazed Digital: Do you see your way of 'upcycling' as something that contributes to eco fashion in general?
Inacio Ribeiro: We definitely think our upcycling projects contribute to the debate of eco fashion. The fashion system is essentially wasteful and in its incredible number of brands and collections there is an enormous surplus of products. We devised the Projects as a pragmatic approach to this reality: creating a minimum amount of new products and fashioning them out of existing materials. Besides the eco benefits, the resulting pieces are unique and artisanal, totally bunking conventional formats, which is sort of exciting.
DD: How did you balance the different designs of the scarves in the pieces?
Inacio Ribeiro: When approaching the scarves we think of it as a collage and the visual selection is totally intuitive, patterns and colours combined or contrasted through some sort of 'free-association', with a vague underlying theme (floral, say, or painterly, etc...)
DD: How do these 'Projects' sit alongside your main collections?
Inacio Ribeiro: So far we have been creating Projects according to inspiration, without a direct link to the main collections. We love when buyers can think outside the box and just go for it on the basis of its exception, for the surprise value and the originality of the product. But lately we are beginning to conceive and edit them in a way that facilitate its merchandising with the collection that will follow it, to create a flow.