EFWA 2018 Upcycling Challenge Interview with Matilda Janosi of TildArt Eco Luxury

All images by KrisJ Photography
Please share a bit about about the journey that led you to embrace fashion design as a career. 

I moved from Transylvania to Budapest, Hungary with the aim of starting my own fashion brand. In, 2012, I arrived in London with a big dream – to establish TildArt as a viable business. I worked at first as a rickshaw driver in Central London. This was hard physical work but I got the chance to meet very interesting people and generate some funds in order to begin to establish my brand. It also provided me with the inspiration to recycle the hundreds of discarded inner tubes at the Rickshaw base to create fashion! 

I was invited to show two of my collections at the Eco Fashion Week 2013 in Vancouver, Canada. This gave me the confidence to move forward with the business! The next year I opened my studio in London where TildArt “Eco Luxury” continues to invent a new way of looking at fashion. 2016 - I went back to the Vancouver Eco Fashion Week and showed my “VeloLux” collection, which is made from a combination of recycled inner tube and natural fabrics such us wool, natural latex - inlaid with Swarovski Crystals. From 2017 to PRESENT, I expanded my brand to include fashion pieces made from recycled old curtains and a combination of plant based organic fabrics, such as bamboo silk, cotton, “pinatex” and cork. The curtains were sourced from “Spencer House” where Lady Diana, Winston Churchill and a few British aristocratic family were based. I’ve created a new Eco Luxurious Fashion Style with a touch of British History! All of my pieces are tailor made in London and made to order from the TildArt website.

I know you trained at UAL, London - Creative Fashion Design Course. Talk about the highs and lows of studying. What did you find easy? What was a challenge?

I found it very easy to improve my designs skills acquired form this course because this is my passion. It was an great experience to learn in one of the world’s best fashion university’s. It was one of my big dreams to do that. The one very difficulty thing was finding the time to do the course while I was working full time.

Images by Kris Pinter
Who you are as a designer? Aesthetic? Customer? Brand? Etc.? Do you offer a new line each season, create custom work or both?

My brand is a sustainable fashion brand and I design a few looks per annum. I like to have a story behind every look. I don’t want to be a competitor with the “fast fashion” labels who produce lots of collections every year. I wanted to make sure if somebody is purchasing an item from our shop, it will be long lasting and a loved classic piece. One would be able to pass from generation to generation.

I call myself an “Eco Luxury” fashion designer. My fashion label is TildArt and my collections are created by using a combination of recycled and high quality. These are carefully sourced organic fabrics where I am trying to bring recycled eco fashion to a luxurious level!

My motto is” I love when the fabric has a history”. It is the materials are inspires me and it gives me a sense of passion to breathe new life into the material over and over again.

All my fashion pieces are tailor made in London, UK and all pieces are Make to Order (MTO).

Lift image by  KrisJ Photography - Right image by Images by Kris Pinter
I am so thrilled to have you a part of the EFWA Upcycling Challenge by Marilyn R Wilson. Have you ever upcycled used garments before? If so, how?

In the past, my collections were made from recycled bicycle inner tubes, movie strips, vinyl records or even moss.
  • In 2009 I baked my first vinyl record bra
  • In 2013 there was a lot of attention around my filmstrip hat at the Canadian EFW in Vancouver.
  • In 2016 I started to combine bicycle inner tube with natural latex and wool, inlaid with Swarovski crystals.
Recently, I have been concentrating on working with a combination of organic and 100% degradable recycled fabrics, using natural dye technics.
Please share a little about your approach/inspiration for creating your runway look for this international show? What can the audience expect?

A very exciting look! J

This dress will be made from a combination of recycled men's shirts and a small amount of recycled old curtains. (The curtains are sourced from Spencer House next to Kensington Palace where Lady Diana lived). My inspiration for this dress is coming from the Sydney Opera House shape, which has a very beautiful unique design. 

This TildArt piece name is "Eureka"…what I'll feel when I get the chance to visit Australia.

Images by Kris Pinter
What would you most like the international fashion audience to know about you as a designer and your brand?

We need to realise that “cheap clothes” come at a huge human, social and environmental price and do a lot of harm to nature and us. I believe we can bring positive changes in the fashion industry if we don’t just talk about the issue but all of us take responsibility and do something about it – making our and our children’s and grandchildren’s future a lot better.

I’m hoping my look made from recycled materials can show the world we can make unique, fun to wear, in demand pieces that people will be happy to acquire and hold for a long time.

What's next for you as a designer? What are your long term dreams?

An exhibition at London Fashion Week is next.

My goal is to spread the word about the eco-luxury approach. I would like to be part of eco-warrior campaigns, which can help to bring big changes in the fashion industry. TildArt’s business goal is to represent a new wave of luxurious fashion, taking into consideration sustainability while producing wonderful and interesting pieces that people will love to buy and wear.

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