North London-based multiple award-winning Ugandan designer, José Hendo debuted her SS17 collection at Kampala Fashion Week 2016. She is trying to make a positive contribution to society through sustainable fashion, using zero waste techniques, fabric factory off-cuts and end-of-line fabrics. She took some time off to speak to us about her new collection:
It’s in memory of my late father – Mr P K Bahemuka. The Japanese word “motto” means “the origin, the foundation, the basis, the cause”. Realising a collection involves many stages: research, design development from inspirations, design realisation – making patterns, choosing fabrics, making samples, reviewing the range of designs, designing accessories, and so on. “Silhouette” reflects the shapes that emerged from my research. The silhouettes in this collection reflect the organic shapes and forms that conceal the shape of the human body and shroud it in an air of mystery and intrigue, which excite the wearer and fascinate the onlooker, yet still remain practical.
“Sustainable by design” has been my by-line from the beginning. Eco-sustainable barkcloth is used in creative ways in each of my collections and by combining barkcloth with other fabrics, I am able to manipulate the shapes to get the results I need. It is a zero waste collection which uses fabrics like barkcloth, organic silk and hemp, eol wool, eol felts, eol and organic wovens & up-cycled seatbelts in their original colours.
Accessories complete the unique signature of the collection. This one includes astonishing accessories such as necklaces, bags and backpacks which can be worn with passion and flair. This gives rise to surprising futuristic experimental shapes, abstract with unexpected perforations. Relaxed voluminous shapes allow the wearer to wrap themselves thus mixing authentic traditions with modern designs, and simple construction methods.
We’re working on finally stocking our outfits in Kampala, but for now, you can get them directly from the José Hendo website. I’m glad to make it back for KFW; it is established now, and improving each year. Every year the KFW venue improves, more designers are able to showcase – the SEED program is giving opportunities to young designers to enable them to create their own unique style and not copy other designers. I highly encourage other designers to get their collections on the next runway!
All photography is by Giulio Molfese.