Olivia Rubens Will Represent Canada in This Year’s International Talent Support Competition

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Photography by Brian Rankin.

The livestreamed occasion occurs this Friday at 10am EST.

Later this week, sustainable knitwear designer Olivia Rubens, who hails from Ottawa, will compete in the International Talent Support competitors going down nearly this Friday at 10am EST. The 11 finalists in the Fashion class of the celebrated competitors (who observe in the footsteps of greats like Richard Quinn, Mark Fast and Demna Gvasalia) are vying for not solely The Diesel Award – a €10,000 money prize and 6-month internship on the Italian model’s headquarters; the festivities additionally embrace a Responsible Fashion Award, and one for People’s Choice.

Rubens is nicely poised to win the responsibility-focused accolade because the ethos of her model centres round utilizing moral manufacturing practices in addition to upcycled and recycled supplies to craft the complexly quirky knits she’s recognized for. “My motto is that once you know something, you can’t unknow it,” says Rubens whereas describing her foray into conscious design.

Photography by Brian Rankin.

After collaborating in one other design competitors a number of years in the past, for which she crafted “the heaviest sweater you’ve ever seen” out of yarn she spun from 15 pairs of second-hand denim, Rubens started to dig deeper into the roots of moral and sustainable practices. And after studying extra in regards to the myriad aspects of those points, together with what supplies are literally higher for the surroundings versus these which are merely marketed as such, Rubens stated there was no going again with for her model’s course. As she asks, “Why would you want to continue using certain materials once you know how horrible they are for the planet, or how bad they are ethically in terms of production?”

In addition to not utilizing petroleum-based textiles in her collections, Rubens – a Fellow on the Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute who did her MA via the London College of Fashion – has collaborated with textile scientists Dian-Jen Lin and Hannes Hulstaert, of the London-based Post Carbon Lab, on two materials improvements: Creating a pigment dyeing course of utilizing micro organism, and growing ‘photosynthesis coating’ for materials (that means it could convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, and also you’d need to water your garment like several low-maintenance houseplant).

“My standards are really high now,” says Rubens about her method to researching, growing and sourcing the weather that go into her designs. She says that originally the shortage of sustainable textiles – significantly when she was figuring out of Toronto – was frustratingly daunting; however she’s constructed up “a good network” to attract from, and he or she even lends her abilities as a sustainability marketing consultant to others in the trade.

canadian design
Photography by Brian Rankin.

Another approach Rubens has taken cost over her future as a designer is by going ‘off-schedule’ and selecting to not adhere to the standard style week cycle. Having most not too long ago participated in the digitized Helsinki Fashion Week this previous Spring, Rubens has determined going ahead to “release looks whenever I want. It’s kind of stressful, but also exciting.”

Charting such unfamiliar territory appears second nature to Rubens. Growing up a “weirdo” who was bullied all through center college, she says that she considers herself to “be a very resilient and stubborn person. That’s how I got through that period without changing who I was; I was always super eccentric – definitely an oddball. I stuck with that, and I think it made me stronger.”

In reality, Rubens says that what she endured is “a huge influence on where I derive my research, and how I decide to express myself through my work.” Her ongoing curiosity in unpacking questions on humanity, judgement, and the perceptions now we have of each other knowledgeable her MA graduate assortment, titled Duplicitous Lives, which took inspiration from the analysis query, ‘Is it possible to really know yourself truly?’

canadian design
Photography by Brian Rankin.

“My perspective is no,” Rubens says with amusing, including that in order to try this, one must meet “every single human being on the planet, and perform yourself to them because you change based on who you’re in front of. [It’s] logistically impossible.” The notion of id and the way we current ourselves is related to the gathering in different methods, together with the inspiration Rubens drew from the work of visible artists Laurie Simmons, Juno Calypso, Nadia Lee Cohen and Cindy Sherman.

“She doesn’t act out anyone specific,” Rubens’s says of Sherman’s difficult oeuvre. “She acts out these types of ‘nostalgic’ people, and we are able to read who that person is without having a direct reference or knowing who that person is. It comes back to us putting our perceptions on people of who we think they are.”

Rubens surmises that for these causes the journey to self-discovery is rarely ending; and he or she says that she additionally has “more purpose” to satisfy. After creating masks and medical robes for native long-term care amenities and hospices when quarantine started, Rubens is now considering the launch of a sustainable knitwear biking model (she rediscovered her love of the outside in latest months whereas again in Ottawa throughout lockdown). And she says she’ll proceed to seek out methods to enhance the lives of others via design. “It’s about creating positive impact through everything I do.”

Watch the 2020 ITS competitors right here.

Odessa Paloma Parker – fashionmagazine.com

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