Day three for London Fashion Week and I wore head to toe Harisma. Based in Lativa, Tatyana Tulchinski and Julia Bibik’s womenswear brand approaches cutting denim and combining textures – structural versus fluid – in a way I find to be quite incomparable. Whilst technical innovation is the design motivation, the brand incorporates no-waste techniques into the process which also ensure that no fabric is left wasted on the cutting floor.
I loved wearing Harisma, and as I was running around and getting through a decathlon of shows today, opting for a comfortable yet still design-led style seemed astute. The baggy hand crafted cropped denim jacket and satin trousers felt both effortless and elegant, and quite frankly the jacket had me feeling like an extra in an Aaliyah meets Total music video. The brand itself began not as a fashion house, but as a family premium jewellery brand called ‘Imperial Court’ back in 1778. Fast forward a few centuries, a new generation of designers – Tatyana Tulchinski and Julia Bibik – have pushed through with the idea of combining luxury, durable fabrics with affordability to deliver everyday clothing. My jumper was 100% GOTS certified silk (Harisma only work with certified suppliers), and felt luscious.
I like to think that I know good denim when I touch it, and Harisma denim is one of the most durable fabrics I have encountered. As we all know, the best denim ‘takes to its owner’ over time (you have to win it over, it’s definitely courtship), and a quality piece like this will stand the test of time, getting better with age and wear. Today, men’s shirts are designed to last just 30 washes, according to trade association the International Fabricare Institute. The decision to use quality inputs is not simply conscious design, it is also reputation management – quality denim directly translates to a less throw-away product, which in the long run translates to a more enduring product-customer relationship. Natural fibres – like cotton, silk or wool – are more durable than synthetic and blended fabrics, this is actually one of the reasons that so many vintage pieces – made before the time of mass synethic use – last so long in our wardrobes. According to a recent report by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), retention becomes significant because extending the average life of clothes by just three months of active use per item can lead to a 5 percent to 10 percent reduction in each of the carbon, water and waste footprints. Couple this with the fact that an estimated 350,000 tonnes of used clothing goes to landfill in the UK every year, the need to make our clothing more durable, and our connection to it more emotional, becomes even more pertinent.
Harisma support fair trade by working directly with the farmers who supply their cotton and silk, with a focus on socially responsible work conditions, fair wages and environmental considerations. Specialising in hand crafted denim and natural fibres, the small independent brand do not possess retail channels which are wide and far reaching yet, but you can find out more by visiting them on Instagram. My faux suede shoes are Public Desire and jewellery (ring and bracelet) are from Swarovski.
In the evening I changed into womenswear brand Taka Naka again, you can find out why they made my style diary here.