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London Fashion Week estethica highlights: Minna

Posted Mar 02 2010 5:58pm

minna 300 Ethical designer Minna Hepburn has traded her signature vintage prints and ivory coloured lace for her autumn/winter 2010 collection and we can’t help but fall head over heels with her newest designs. Eleni Sardi met up with Minna at estethica.

The thing you immediately think when you first meet Minna Hepburn is that she is absolutely beautiful. Tall, blonde and blue-eyed, she’s the type of Scandinavian girl you probably expect to watch walking down the catwalk modelling clothes, not one who has created them. During my numerous attempts to have a chat with her at her estethica stand, camera crews, fashion editors, international buyers, all paraded in front of her stand wanting a piece of her and her designs. And for good reason.

Minna’s previous collections of tops and dresses in Scottish lace and vintage textiles quickly managed to grab the attention of ethical fashion lovers and not just theirs. Her latest range has been the result of a laborious process under the mentoring of Liberty’s Creative Director Yasmin Sewell.minna2

minna dress3If the clothes have so far appealed to a younger audience, it seems she has taken a firmer step this season as Minna has now created a collection for the luxury end of the market under the mentoring influence of Sewell. Inspired by the visual style of the classic 1950s film noir period, her whole autumn/winter collection is in dark minna dress 1colours and sumptuous fabrics that make it sophisticated and at the same time very wearable.

Based mostly on dresses, this is a small collection made with organic wool crepe fabric, hemp and silk, as well as of course her signature lace which is now used in black. ‘I am inspired by dresses that you can just throw on in the morning that will carry you throughout the day. I love dresses’, Minna confessed. Some pieces are in hand-dyed shades of grey while the collection has also toyed with lengths creating mostly playful mini dresses and two very long designs that are evocative of the silver screen sirens in the black and white crime films of the 1940s and 1950s. Everything is exquisitely tailored, handmade by a group of trusted seamstresses.

‘I used a bit more lace for this collection and incorporated different types, some Scottish, some vintage’, Minna told about her signature material. She also stayed true to her minna dress2ethical style using leather scraps to trim some of the designs, particularly the Elise dress. Her quirky details can also be found on the bird necklace and the bird brooch which are adorned with lots of old antique watch parts that she found in vintage stores.

Explaining about the zero waste policy and her love of recycling and upcycling, her face lit up when she started talking about her creations for the kids’ collection that use all of the scrap materials of the women’s range and even end of the line materials and old cashmere curtains. She admitted that she is very passionate about this project and this couldn’t be more evident as the loving mum talked about the new shop in Notting Hill that is going to feature this collection.

Minna’s designs can be found in Harrods, Anthropologie and Emily Evans as well as in fashionable boutiques around Europe. I’m sure that it won’t be long before women who never knew of ethical fashion before will be wearing her dresses with their red-soled heels.

Minna’s latest creations are pieces that will strike a chord with all fashionistas, ethical or not.

Visit Minna’s website.

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