“It’s not just about creating something subjectively beautiful, it’s got to be objectively beneficial to our environment.”
Inspired by a fashion industry brimming with technological innovation, Naarm-based label Love Manifesto seeks to explore uncharted textile territory. Dylan Negrine is the designer behind the label and his journey into the fashion industry is a little unconventional. Love Manifesto was initially his graffiti alias, which was birthed during drunken nights in Venice, Italy.
What started as an art alias and an outlet for creative expression, has transformed into a label which prioritises sustainable manufacturing using innovative technology. Although his medium has changed, his mindset remains the same – he seeks to create art that challenges mass production and encourages creative expression.
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Dylan aims to explore textile science and surface innovation by upcycling and merging his practice with technology such as laser cutting and 3D print. Below, Dylan details how he got started, his slow fashion ethos, and what excites him about technological innovation in the industry.
Tell us about you. What’s your fashion background?
I was a rebellious child with little direction, constantly in trouble with authority and the law until realising my passion for art and creativity. So my journey into fashion has been sporadic and somewhat unanticipated. My practice commenced at a young age, vandalising public property with motifs and imagery in an attempt to find meaning.
Upon returning from Europe in 2016 post-graduation, I decided to study architecture in Australia and I was infatuated by the intricate machinery in the process of creating an art object, so I decided to drop out of architecture and start studying fine art at RMIT.
I was introduced to screen printing at RMIT and it was the perfect medium to combine raw graphic motifs onto essentially any substrate. I started upcycling op shop garments and used them as a canvas to express my practice. From here I decided to study textile design at RMIT so I could further explore the facets of print and surface design within a fashion context. Then after two years of that, I am now studying fashion design.
How did the label get started? Talk us through the process and the challenges.
Initially, I didn’t have any intention to create a label, it was more an art alias account. In 2019, I decided to turn the page into a garment archive where I could sell and showcase pieces. I didn’t want it to be a mass-produced fashion label, that’s something I wanted to make clear. It’s always in the pursuit of creative practice.
My mindset has remained the same from being an artist to a fashion designer. It’s been challenging to learn the skills required for garment construction. However, with drive and persistence, I’ve found it extremely rewarding.
What were you trying to achieve from the project at the time? How has this evolved and what are you trying to communicate through the brand now?
The project was an attempt to distort contemporary values in fast fashion through upcycling and surface decor, mostly through screenprinting to be honest.
But this has drastically evolved because I was really drawn to technological innovations when it comes to art and décor on the surface of textiles. There’s so much technology yet to come too – there’s going to be a massive boom in the fashion industry I’m predicting for textile innovation because everything is so unsustainable right now.
Currently, I am interested in innovative processes and textiles so merging my practice with technology such as laser cutting and 3D printing to create art-based, sustainable outcomes. I am working on a series of garments informed by these technologies and I’m excited to release that as a part of my second-year commencement.
How would you describe Love Manifesto to someone who’s never seen it before?
I would say technical wear for a utopic society, prioritising health and wellbeing.
What do you wish you knew when you started?
The art of manufacturing. Specifically for sustainable and efficient production because I think this is something that is rarely touched on in tertiary education and upcoming designers are the future of the sustainable fashion landscape.
I wished I had learned earlier there are direct repercussions on the environment for your actions. It’s not just about creating something subjectively beautiful, it’s got to be objectively beneficial to our environment. The waste and byproducts of creating something beautiful are really an issue.
What about the Australian fashion industry needs to change?
Prioritising local manufacturing. Designers need to be better trained in sustainability. There’s a lot of waste in trying to make a product multiple times so I think that needs to be taught.
Who are your dream Australian collaborators?
Dion Lee – let’s make some unique pieces [together].
Is there a future project you are working on that you can discuss?
I’m currently working on a textile process that attempts to mimic processes of fossilisation found within nature. It involves laser cutting intricate moulds to form debossed impressions on the surface of a fabric through vacuum forming. I often turn to nature for design inspiration by observing natural processes and how they depict certain aesthetics.
How can we buy one of your pieces?
So a lot of my pieces right now, as I’m studying, are just prototypes while I experiment. However, I do have ranges released at @posture_studio in Abbotsford.
To see more from Love Manifesto, head here.