Reader – it is always a moment of pure fashion elation to discover a highly original and evocative, organic, sustainable luxury fashion house like Komana – pop art fashion with a nod to Courreges, Biba and Mary Quant to make you smile and want to skip barefoot through the park in their circle and squiggle dress with a cloud of balloons a la Twiggy! This is fashion as art to make you one, two, three jump for joy and it’s organic and fairtrade too. Fashion to fall giddily head over stilettos in love with, for it is rather like stumbling across a marvellous best-kept secret, tucked away restaurant, quirky tea emporium or the sort of man one might marry!
We know at once that we have found our ideal style match and there is that instant sense of belonging, of loving every extrovert print, every cuff, every delicate Peter Pan collar, and every sliver of contrast piping detail. KOMANA is just such a slow, sustainable fashion treasure trove; the kind of fashion house that used to exist in a more considered, thoughtful, less homogenised age. If Lily James heroine in The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society was penning her essays and books today, this is the kind of fashion she would flaunt! Fashion that is captivating, playful, intelligent and adorable inside and out and supports highly skilled artisan makers and sustainable farming and biodiversity in India. I think Sir Mick Jagger would love the hot lips leggings!
“We design all our prints ourselves,” declares creative director Livia Henne. “They should be playful, mesmerising and evoking (subconscious) feelings within each wearer through the powerful language of pattern.”
That’s it! Get ready to be seduced by the power of print and pattern, stars and snakes and big cats.
Imagine rare, lovely dresses in thoroughly charismatic, hand-blocked folk art and tribal prints that are entirely conceived in-house and then brought to life using centuries old techniques by highly skilled artisans in Jaipur India. Then, imagine that they drape and flutter just as they should, alongside kaleidoscopic tailored jackets, breezy tops that are destined to turn heads and soignée, alluring, billowy kaftans you might see adorning an alluring beauty on late nights at the V&A or supper at The Savoy.
This is the story of Komana – a sustainable fashion house full of charm, playful wit and breezy allure with compassionate fair-trade and organic principles at the heart of this pocket-size fashion marque founded in London and now based in Switzerland. Livia Henne succeeds in creating timeless, slow, conscious luxury fashion works of art, which combine a passion for bold geometric textiles with body-conscious, form-fitting, deliciously playful, yet sophisticated collections in precious, GOTS certified fair- trade peace silk and luxuriant organic cotton.
Henne tells me, “We aim to blur the boundaries between art and fashion; and we hope this will raise the emotional value of the garments too. And maybe make people more aware of the actual skill, time and resources that are used for each piece of clothing.”
I think she has succeeded admirably.
Henne’s designs are as wearable as they are spirited, and they deliver a sophisticated homage to the ancient crafts skills of hand painting and hand-block printing and the idea of fashion that is slow, thoughtful and compassionate. Who wouldn’t want to delight in a dress that keeps alive the ancient skill of peace silk farming, where the silk worm gently and safely undergoes its metamorphosis to become a butterfly and hand-block printing sustains an entire family? Henne and her business partner visit the artisan ateliers in India every year and only natural dyes and certified organic fabrics make it into the sought after fashion collections.
The end result is a collection of garments to invest in and love passionately, in the knowledge that so much care, time and thought has gone into their creation. What a fair feast for the eyes and a boon for the compassionate, discerning sustainable fashion lover.
Who knew that one really must own a pair of supine leggings in organic cotton with cheetah’s gambling or snakes slithering… but oh I do! I do! And I challenge you not to smile and yearn for them too.
The girlish peace silk, star print prairie dress elicits the same longing. It just begs to charm us like the heroine of Little House on the Prairie, laced with a dash of flutter a la Marilyn Monroe. You see this dress is a rather artful fashion conceit. There is something about the way the hem falls, just so, and the sleeves delicately puff just so, and the exquisite, tiny, hypnotic star pattern makes one giddy, and so on and so on…. It’s not this season’s dress; it is a forever, for all seasons dress.
Go to it. Invest in fashion hand-crafted to be worn today, tomorrow, next year and the year after and to forever create a sense of wonder, delight and appreciation – for the perfect marriage of fashion and art for the compassionate, extrovert, sustainable fashion heroine of today!
Sustainable, Conscious Luxury, Fair-trade, Artisan Fashion Cred
*Komana uses GOTS certified organic cotton and peace silk in its collections.
The piece silk is farmed sustainably by a small community of farmers in the north east of India.
*They work on the biological and non-cruel process to grow and cultivate the silkworms without the use of pesticides, fungicides or genetic sprays.
*The star tile pattern is printed in Jaipur India. The studio only uses natural dyes, recycles its water and all employees are paid a decent wage, as certified by the Fair-trade Foundation.
For More Information – Slow, Sustainable Luxury Fashion