Interview: Martina Spetlova – Weaving magic

Martina-Spetlova-by-kelly-beeman

Before founding her self-titled womenswear label in 2011, Martina Spetlova studied chemistry in Prague. Upon arriving at Central Saint Martins, the experimentation continued. Alongwith her structured silhouettes and useof colour blocking, the designer has gained recognition by developing her own textile: woven leather.

Spetlova plays with androgyny on the runway, and, since being picked up by Dover Street Market this year, hergarments have found popularity with both men and women, although shehas no plans to launch a menswear line. “Selling in Dover Street Market really means continuing the production journey, finding a way to make the perfect product,” she says. “It’s never easy, and I’m always keen to talk to people who have more experience and knowledge. It’s all about the quality of the details!”

Her next venture is accessories, and,of course, we can expect woven leather in the range, with Martina Spetlova handbags as soon as next autumn.

martina-spetlova-1

SomethingAboutWEAVING…

“I’ve always experimented with weaving.The first experiment was with leather stripsthrough knitwear. Slowly, I’ve been developing the technique. It’s a lengthyprocess, as it’s all made by hand. A jacket takes one skilled person more than a day tomake. There are lots of stages to making the textiles: preparing templates, cuttingsamples, weaving. Then the panels arecleaned and ready to be sewn together.

SomethingAboutUNISEX…

“My pieces have always had a slightunisex quality in terms of shape, and I’mopen to people of both sexes wearing them. Stylists like Tomas C Toth, withwhom I’ve been collaborating on thelast few collections, seem to pick up onthat. My garments are flexible for thosewho dare.”

SomethingAboutCOLOUR…

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“I’ve been reading up on colour theory,looking at Josef Albers’ InteractionOf Colour, among other books, andexperimenting with how colours interactand patterns are perceived when placed next to each other. For example, grey satin tape would pick up the colours ofthe different background leathers, changing its appearance to the eye.”

Interview: Janine Leah Bartels
Illustration: Kelly Marie Beeman

Interview first published in SomethingAbout Issue #1.