Although I normally love capturing more conventional fashion as you know only too well from following my little lifestyle blog (that’s assuming you do follow me on a regular basis and haven’t just rocked up here by accident after mis-typing another search engine query), that doesn’t mean I’m blinkered to other aspects of a truly dedicated fashionista’s life, which have the potential to be beautifully shot. And while leafing through the pages of a certain fashion publication the other day (very glossy, very fashion-y) whilst on a train, I happened upon some stunning images of Delhi-based fashion designer, Rimzim Dadu’s metal-inspired dresses.
Some Actual Information
Dadu is renowned for her ambitious and daring use of materials which other fashion designers would shy away from; yes, including even Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood for my money. So, yeah, we’re talking pretty far out there, in a good way. Plastic, acrylic, paper and now textiles woven with steel wires; no material is off limits for Dadu, as she strives to – in her own words – make “my women to look strong.” Her unique creations lends heavily from her own cultural reference points, and describes how she enjoys ‘deconstructing’ traditional Indian attire and then sets about reimagining it with an even bolder sense of symbolism; yet never losing sight of the background and inspiration behind the original piece. And the resulting metal and steel wire sarees are nothing short of amazing to look at, empowering any woman who has the confidence to wear Dadu’s unique designs.
Americans Make Loads of Steel Buildings! Who Knew?!
And this got me thinking just what other designers have experimented with steel and metal as a material. Apart from MGM when they were designing the Tin Man’s outfit in The Wizard of Oz. My search (obviously) led me to the internet, and like everyone who’s ever used the internet in the history of, well, the internet, I became instantly distracted and lost an hour of my life I’ll never get back. Yeah, have you ever tried typing the words ‘steel’ and ‘style’ into your browser and see where it takes you. I even wound up on the American pre-engineered steel building systems website Armstrong Steel, which services the denizens of Colorado with all their steel-constructed units needs. Seriously fascinating stuff, actually. Did you know that some churches are even built from steel in America?!
Swedes and Dutch Love Their Metalwork Too
Anyway, I finally got back on track and discovered that only last year Swedish fashion designer, Naim Josefi had showcased his bespoke steel dress on the catwalks of Stockholm’s fashion week. I learned that the designer collaborated with Swedish precision strip steel manufacturers, Voestalpine Precision Strip AB (who might be kinda like a Scandi version of Armstrong Steel??) to create his stunning steel dress. Apparently the metal material can be used for various other applications, such as razor blades, scalpels and something called valve flaps.
A bit more delving revealed that in 2015 Dutch designer, Iris van Herpen fashioned ‘wearable’ clothes from a steel mesh polished in swirls, for a supposedly ready-to-wear collection. To wear, where, I’ve absolutely no idea. Maybe a fancy dress party, judging by the OTT quality of the actual item. Oh, and finally I discovered an Italian company which specialises in the manufacture of metal-infused fabrics. Brass wire, stainless steel, pure copper wire, the works, are meticulously woven into materials for dresses to be made out of.