Eco Fashion

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Nature rubs shoulders with the city in Karolina Olowsdotter’s fashion label.

A Swedish fashion designer living in Cape Town, Karolina describes her label – Olowsdotter – as an eco-industrial look. This merging and clashing of contradictory elements expresses the duality felt by the 21st-century free-spirited nature lover who longs to feel the grass under her feet yet demands high-speed internet access 24/7.

Ecological principles affect every step of Karolina’s design process. Supporting and affiliating with other local industries is a primary concern. She buys local fabrics, mostly organic, and uses only natural fibres, which she embosses with intricate design details, such as poetry screen-printed onto the fabric.

The industrial aspect of her design comes through in the tailoring – the tuxedo style coats that reference a dandified life of high culture and the sharp lines with tucked waists that ask us to trade sandals for high heels.

Rather than following fickle trends, Karolina designs clothing that emphasises the feel-good factor. “I want people to wear my clothes because they make them feel at home in their skin,” she says.

And who would she love to see wearing her clothes? “Neneh Cherry – she’s edgy, quirky and principled.”

Karolina recently showed her work at Design Indaba 2013.

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