Fashion in Motion: Carla Fernández

Fashion in Motion is a series of live fashion shows at the V&A featuring leading fashion designers from across the world. Mexican fashion designer and social entrepreneur Carla Fernández presented five collections to coincide with the exhibition 'Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up'.

Carla Fernández's manifesto of 'Fashion as Resistance' was performed by a live chorus, accompanying the staging of pieces from five collections, in an event that highlighted the designer's commitment to decolonisation, intersectionality and social justice.

Carla Fernández works at the forefront of ethical fashion, documenting and preserving the rich textile heritage of Mexico's indigenous communities, while simultaneously making it avant-garde. She travels extensively throughout Mexico and works in tandem with artisans – hand spinners, weavers, embroiderers and garment-makers – to document their age-old techniques and processes, adapting and transforming them to make striking clothing. Her designs present a departure from the western canon and bring fresh textures and silhouettes to contemporary fashion.

Catwalk highlights

Fashion in Motion: Carla Fernandez, 2018. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Carla Fernández has been a professor at MIT and a Prince Claus laureate, the British Fashion Council named her Young Fashion Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008. She has had solo exhibitions at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston; the Americas Society, New York; the Museo Jumex, Mexico City and this December she will be honoured with the Design Visionary Award by Design Miami. The brand has been featured in publications such as Elle, Vogue, i-D, *wallpaper, Officiel, Monocle, The New York Times Magazine and the Los Angeles Times.

Carla Fernández said:

We make fashion alongside people whose roots are in the same earth from which they sustain themselves. In Mexico we use fabrics that were woven to be treasured. We create few of them, and we do so slowly. We say death to planned obsolescence, which renders expendable all it draws into its abyss of waste. We believe tradition is not static, and fashion is not ephemeral. Neither is our planet, nor our relationships. We understand that artisans require time to think, time to learn, and time to transform and transcend.

Behind the scenes

Find out more about Fashion in Motion.

Background image: Fashion in Motion: Carla Fernandez, 2018. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London