The Prince of Wales has helped launch a new design partnership and programme for textiles students to learn more sustainable ways to create fashion collections.
The Modern Artisan Project, a collaboration with The Prince’s Foundation and YOOX Net-a-Porter, was dreamt up after Prince Charles and Federico Marchetti, Chairman and CEO of YOOX, met to discuss a mutual interest in sustainable fashion.
The project will now allow textiles students to create a sustainable menswear and womenswear collection. It will “strengthen textile skills training and profits from the sale of the collection will be donated to The Prince’s Foundation to enable the charity to develop and deliver training programmes that will help preserve traditional textile skills,” according to The Prince of Wales’s official website.
The Modern Artisan Project has been underway for the past 18 months, with six Italian design students from Politecnico di Milano creating the design work and four British artisans trained in small batch production at Dumfries House to produce later the majority of the initial capsule collection at Dumfries House’s Textile Training Centre.
“During the manufacturing process, the artisans learnt advanced technical production skills such as industrial sewing, pattern drafting and quality control, while also developing the expertise to handle wool, cashmere and silk fabrics to ensure garment finishes meet the requirements of the luxury market,” The Prince of Wales website states. “These skills have been formally recognised with the manufacturing artisans completing a Modern Apprenticeship Award in Heritage Textiles in partnership with Glasgow Clyde College.”
The Modern Artisan Project’s menswear collection features eight pieces; the womenswear collection features ten pieces. The entire collection is available online at all YOOX Net-a-Porter websites.
Leonardo Da Vinci inspired the collection; the womenswear collection by his work with drapery, the menswear by his “technical studies of engineering and anatomy, and his fascination with architectural details,” according to the Project’s official website.
In an interview with Edward Enninful, editor of British Vogue for the magazine’s December issue, Prince Charles said about the Project, “I felt very proud indeed of what they’ve been able to produce. There are some very beautiful pieces, and I will be interested to see how this collection goes and what the reaction is.
“But the great thing is that now they’re all either setting up their own businesses or going on in different ways. And this is why we need to help develop these skills because they go on to be really valuable members of the fashion community.”