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Fashion is a Turning Wheel of Innovation
Updated 2015-07-29
Clad in an angelic-white, long-sleeved and collared dress, Christine Walter-Bonini, ESMOD’s International General Manager, told ESMOD Kuala Lumpur’s Fashion Design & Pattern Making students to contemplate about new ways of thinking about the past, present and future of fashion before they start working on new collections recently.

Her first time in Kuala Lumpur, she expressed her excitement in hosting the master lecture in conjunction with attending the ESMOD International Fashion Show 2015 and the ESMOD International Annual Reunion.

As a France-based fashion expert, Walter-Bonini is a strong advocate for modern fashion technologies, especially Lectra, in order for the convenient advancements to be utilised optimally for a better outcome in fashion designing. She was involved in the development of Lectra Education Program and advanced modules of patten-making to cater to industry demands.

During her presentation, she claimed that present-day consumers would opt for fashion that are practical, economical, minimalist and simple. Besides that, they can also be confrontational, challenging the society to think in ways that had never been crossed before. “Designers should be able to make a garment that talks, gives impressions, and tells a story all by itself”, tells Christine Walter-Bonini.

She mentions that fashion designers should be well-versed with the history of fashion, without which designers will not realize the paramount statements that fashion has made and is still seeking to make. Part of the fashion routine is to take inspirations from the past, renewing them and re-appropriating them into contemporary fashion. To Walter-Bonini, fashion is a turning wheel where older and used designs reappear as modified pieces to project a different voice. As a background, she explained some of the critical timelines in fashion – 70s hippie movement, 80s minimalist concept, 90s inspiration of grunge and the provocative and explicitness of the 2000s.

Innovation is an imperative branch in the fashion directory. With countless years of experience in the industry, she asserted that competition is getting more and more voracious. Before citing the incorporation of fiber optics and lights as examples, she opined that current designers will only prevail through creativity in their designs.

One form of innovation comes in the form of technology. 3D, and even 4D-printed textiles are the cutting-edge utility for modern fashion. Photoshop and other image editing software are also commonplace, embellishing garments with visual plus points in attractiveness.

However, designers should never neglect the aspect of craftsmanship which could be overwhelmed by the ease of technology. According to Walter-Bonini, the use of both technology and craftsmanship should produce a compatible and balanced relationship in creating garments.

According to Walter-Bonini, the menswear subculture uses aplenty of 3D technology, especially for the production of Denims. Previously a non-sustainable material, it can now be eco-friendly with the help of high-end technology.

The environmental aspects of fashion is also heavily debated within the sphere. As future fashion designers, students were urged to bear the responsibility of maintaining a good ecosystem, and this can be done by balancing ecological materials with the use of technology. Japan is exemplary when it comes to this prospect that every designer should strive for in the near future.

In terms of research, Walter-Bonini reassured the pupils to be smart with the world wide web, saying that the young generations have a rather economical and endless access to the internet. They should always keep themselves up-to-date with the latest fashion news and trends by following fashion blogs.

Students were encouraged to expand their taste and knowledge into the fashion scene of foreign countries. Nonetheless, knowing one’s own culture inside out should be considered a prerequisite before venturing into an unfamiliar culture.

From the multiculturalism that can be observed, Kuala Lumpur is the most strategic melting pot of cultures in which students can draw inspiration from. “You guys are lucky to have a hub of culture such as Malaysia to be inspired from”, stated Walter-Bonini.

Christine Walter-Bonini compels students to collaborate with other designers or market their collections on the social network for sponsorships.

Christine Walter-Bonini during the master class for Fashion Design & Pattern Making students at The One Academy.