Internationally celebrated regional designer Nathalie Trad jets to space for Fall/Winter 2016, where she explores new shapes, forms, textures, and materials in her ‘Utopia 2.0’ collection.
Science and imagination meet in her designs through an intergalactic journey, and a ‘New World’ from outer space serves as inspiration to create streamlined, futuristic shapes in hues of charcoal, hazel, maroon, and white and new materials such as agate and red tab shell.
Nathalie Trad’s beautiful, modern, sculptural pieces effortlessly merge architecture and fashion, thereby redefining eveningwear. To mark the launch of ‘Utopia 2.0’, Savoir Flair sat down with the young Lebanese designer to talk about her new collection.
What was the idea behind your new collection?
The idea behind the collection was leaving an uninhabitable planet, going on this galactic journey through space and time, and landing on a planet that was built 100 years in the future, but also abandoned by the time we arrive. The journey itself inspired the collection – the galaxies and constellations especially. The parallel universe I imagined has this crazy, futuristic architecture, juxtaposed by a completely deserted landscape. You can see this in the still life shoot that we did.
I don’t want to get bored with design, so I must find new ways and new styles to keep people surprised.
You reference superheroes with your new ‘Clark’ clutch. Where did that inspiration come from?
It’s part of the story. Superwoman is the one trying to find a world that we can all live in, where there’s peace, love, and joy. A chance to start over after earth becomes uninhabitable.
Your new rounded clutch took several seasons to perfect. Can you discuss why it was so difficult to achieve this shape?
Because the front is rounded, and the pieces are cut in a diamond shape instead of being crushed and set, we had to get the geometry and the equation of the bag right, which was difficult and took time.
On average, how long does it take for you to make one clutch?
Two weeks. There is a lot of soul that goes into the bags. The artisans work very hard. It is a process that takes a long time, and it is a process that is passed down from father to son. It’s not something they learn in school or anything like that.
Where are your artisans located?
In the Philippines.
You’re the first accessories designer from the Middle East to make it really big internationally, with celebrities wearing your pieces all of the time. How does that feel?
It’s crazy. I feel like I just need to keep moving forward. Sometimes I need to look back to give me the boost to go forward, but, when you’re so close to your work and so deep into it, all you really think about is the next step. For me, I don’t want to get bored with design, so I must find new ways and new styles to keep people surprised. I’m already designing Spring/Summer 2017, as of two weeks ago.
Do you find that process of communicating one collection while you are also creating another collection difficult?
Yes! I’ve worked so hard on this collection and poured my heart and soul into it for the past six months, and now I’m already onto the next thing. It’s difficult. There’s too much going on all at once. We’re selling Spring/Summer 2016 in stores, which is what I am currently communicating to my customers. At the same time, we’re selling Fall/Winter 2016 to the buyers, and creatively I’m working on Spring/Summer 2017. And working on an exclusive capsule collection for MyTheresa.com.