The Radical Designer Award is designed for fashion designers over the age of 21, who have a fashion label or about to set up a fashion house. It rewards exceptional cutting edge design talent, and identify those who break through the boundaries of creativity and become fashion leaders of the future. These are designer who are the ones to watch in the coming years. The awards are designed to raise awareness of multi-cultural cutting edge designers.
The day commenced with a presentation from each Designer where Judges looked for the candidates who show the most creativity, originality in the interpretation of their idea, their research and technical skill. Designs were be critically assessed by a panel of judges from the world of fashion and the media. The winner was later announced during the gala evening with a catwalk show showing the collections of all participating designers from both categories, the Young Designer Awards and the Radical Designer Award. Chyna Desveaux, who presented the award to an emotional tearful José Hendo, hosted the event.
Hendo wooed the judges with her Resonance Collection of environmentally conscious custom couture constructed entirely of organic materials.
Hendo is passionately devoted to environmental conservation, designing with bark cloth made from the ficus natalensis tree, a UNESCO-recognized process dating back to the 15th century. Historically the fabric of ancient Ugandan kings, bark cloth still remains a valued wedding gift to brides and in-laws. “Over the past years, I’ve realized what a damaging impact the fashion industry has on the environment,”
Using Mother Nature as her muse, Hendo adheres to her mantra of the three Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Her Resonance Collection explores a completely new way of dressing and thinking about clothes. With nary a metal snap or plastic fastener, the garments are completely biodegradable. Sculpted with architectural precision, Hendo’s wearable art may be worn upside down, collapsed, unfurled, shapes created and changed with each wearing – and with each wearer - by ingenious pulley systems of strings and loops (natural materials, of course), hidden or aesthetically incorporated into the design.
Hendo roots her fantasy fashions in multiple strata of practicality. “If it’s not natural, it’s recycled. I use every bit,” she says, describing her Memories Collection created from thrift shop finds and end-of-roll scraps of fabric. A percentage of her profits support Bridging the Gap, a Ugandan charity providing nourishing breakfast for children whose learning might otherwise be hampered by hunger. In the UK, she patronizes thrift shops similarly sustaining children’s charities.
Hendo’s designs will be presented next at the Curves in Couture Charity Catwalk Show on Thursday November 17th, 2011 at 19:00, at the Tabernacle W11, Notting Hill, London.