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Mythology, Hybridity and Tradition: A Look At Azura Lovisa

Bringing hybridity, mythology and tradition to the forefront, Azura Lovisa is a designer who exudes confidence and her eponymous slow, luxury fashion brand based in London draws on her mixed Malaysian-Swedish heritage. Oscillating between her Southeast Asian aesthetic traditions and her Scandinavian approach to design, her design aesthetic is otherworldly and ethereal.

Azura Lovisa is a Swedish–Malaysian designer, artist, and writer based between London and Miami. She graduated from Central Saint Martins with a BA in Womenswear, and earned experience at Balenciaga and Peter Pilotto before launching her label. She debuted her degree collection at the 2016 Central Saint Martins press show, and presented her second collection independently in 2018, exhibited alongside artwork, research, and a film at a solo exhibition in London. In 2019, she began showing at London Fashion Week, as part of BFC’s inaugural Positive Fashion Exhibition. Since 2020, she has showcased her work as part of the digital LFW showcase.

Azura Lovisa understand the necessity for a sustainable approach to fashion; their garments are designed with mindfulness at its core, choosing to create only a small amount of clothing which are seasonless and gender-fluid. In addition, collections feature handwoven raw silks and heritage textiles sourced from small-scale cottage industries, supporting and empowering women in rural communities in South and Southeast Asia whilst upholding the legacies of traditional craftsmanship.

Her new collection, entitled Chapter IV, explores themes such as shamanism, utility and folklore. As an exercise in minimizing waste, the collection samples have been made with leftover fabrics from previous collections as well as an assortment of unique textiles collected over the years, rather than sourcing all new materials. Garments are rendered in a rich and sumptuously textured mix of distinctive raw Thai silks, diaphanous sheer checked silk, Malay silk songket in traditional checked patterns interwoven with gold thread motifs, airy ramie, deadstock silks and cottons, and characteristic horsehair cloth, in neutral colors punctuated by bright jewel tones. The utilitarian designs, some of which can be tied and worn in various ways are adorned with a range of statement brooches created in collaboration with jewelry designers Tanaporn Wongsa and Birgit Frietman. The jewelry references the Malay folk magic practice of susuk, the ancient art of embedding charmed gold needles and diamond shards under the skin as talismans. The gold brooches, some in a crescent shape and others cast from roots, are adorned by an assortment of charms tied on with metal wire or thread, cast or electroformed in metal as well as in their raw organic forms.

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