Everything is not waste – In conversation with Mariel Manuel
JD Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore organized a talk session with international designer and artist Ms. Mariel Manuel, on 14th November 2019 for the students from Fashion Design, Interior Design and Jewellery Design departments. The talk session concentrated on sustainability which is one of the core principles promoted by JD.
During the session, Ms. Manuel went onto share with students the genesis of her design journey which was marked at the age of 13, during her visit to Africa that made her fall in love with prints. She acquainted the students with her work, starting from her design school days. Post her education she joined Balenciaga and thereafter worked with Paco Rabanne. Her tryst with these two luxury brands helped lay the path towards transitioning from a mainstream designer to a conscious sustainable thinker after witnessing a large amount of waste at her former places of work. This helped her gain perspective to make use of materials that would otherwise end up in landfills and work with it to give it a longer lease of life.
After her stint with the luxury brands, she went onto start her own label Manuel Manufacturers which allows her to have a free form in terms of expressing her ideas and has since consulted for Alyx and Haider Ackermann. She has also collaborated with Nike, Fleche Love, Worn Geneva and conducting of workshops at Apple.
Ms. Manuel’s extensive travel sojourns coupled with her strong design background transcends cultures, countries and materials. She considers her work as art rather than conventional fashion design. Ms. Manuel shared that rather than being a contemporary designer, she believes in telling a story through her work which was influenced by the then newly appointed Creative Director of Paco Rabanne.
She encouraged students to look inside themselves to tell a story and be observant of their surroundings, culture, environment and people.
Some of the work shared by Ms. Manuel during the course of her talk session:
“What Happens in the Grotto, Stays in the Grotto” – Third Year Collection of Ms. Manuel (2009) at Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp
“Keep your Eye on the Doughnut” – Eight women ‘Venus Gang’ – inspired by a summer spent in California – Third Year Collection of Ms. Manuel (2009) at Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp
Balenciaga F/W 2011
Paco Rabanne Fall 2017
Bird of fire for a new music video for Fleche Love
Custom piece for Nike Airmax 720
Satin scraps, cut and dyed using a turmeric powder bath which was then embroidered on recycled tulle.
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