Next Gen Fashion Designer: Diana Canghizer, London College of Fashion


What is the inspiration behind your recent work?
Throughout my research, I have looked at how the woman was perceived in early societies – from the Bible to paintings, historical events to social movements. Decoding a virgin ‘Saint Mary’ and a ‘Mary Magdalene’ until the present days. The aesthetics of my collection meet at the intersectionality of feminine and masculine, of delicate and strong, buried or alive. Each garment has a story to tell that empowers the woman and diminish the stereotypical beliefs. For instance, the trench coat piece that I made shows the story of Margaret Selina Caswell, who helped to form the basis of women’s service in the British Army, during WW1. The printed mesh top that I have done portrays the story of Maud Wagner, an American circus performer that is also known as the first female tattoo artist in the United States. I am proposing a sustainable genderless collection, open for everyone. I want to dress souls, not genders, while challenging the paradigms of our society.

How is sustainability part of your ethos?
I believe that we as designers have a very important social responsibility towards our society and planet. Before everything, a designer is a problem solver. For my final collection, I am sourcing materials, fabrics and embellishments in the most sustainable way that I can, trying to reduce the negative impact. All the leather used for the garments and accessories are up-cycled remnants collected from Italian furniture artisans. I am also experimenting with new materials such as hemp silk, banana silk, recycled polyester and up-cycled mesh. Trying to reduce the use of plastic as much as I can, I am making my own ceramic buttons, which also celebrates the beauty of craftsmanship. The conceptual idea of sustainability and longevity is expressed in my prints. Every print is made by collecting dead, old flowers, scanning them and then digitalising them for a second life. I bring nature back to life through my prints and designs.

“I want to dress souls, not genders, while challenging the paradigms of our society.”

How do you see the current situation changing your expectations/path?
It made me realize that I need to expand my digital skills more. From the way I create to the way I showcase my work. I am trying to look at the bright side and think that a more digital approach could also mean a more sustainable approach.

Where do you hope to be in 3 years?
Working together with very creative people to change the way we consume and use products. The way we dress our bodies. I strongly believe that we are shifting away from being consumers to users.

Three things keeping you sane right now

Painting, baking and planning ahead for better days!

If you could dress anyone in the world who would it be and why?
My grandmother. She passed away right before I discovered the joy that I have for creating garments…

Find Diana at @dianacanghizerportfolio | dianacanghizer