Martina Spetlova’s stunning woven leather techniques have graced the runway at London Fashion Week and caught the discerning eye of Selfridges who sell the colourful jackets that she is best known for.
Pictured: Martina Spetlova
FOR THE CONSCIOUS CONSUMER THIS IS SUSTAINABLE LUXURY AT ITS MOST THOUGHTFUL
Her technique, a brilliant marriage of textiles know-how from her BA and her fashion MA at Central St Martins, involves weaving lengths of coloured satin tape into pieces of leather that she cuts into, to create a unique textile that has the strength of leather and the softness and movement of fabric.
The result is a range of wearable garments, from coats to jackets to skirts and dresses that work together brilliantly, each a talking point in its own right, yet retaining a casual, modern air that is never ‘try hard’. More recently Martina Spetlova has introduced a range of bags in the same woven leather in a variety of shapes, size and colourways.
Her collared bomber jackets in contrasting weaves are hard-working pieces fit for any occasion. The brand’s woven items look just as incredible in block colours as they do in their signature colour combinations. The all-black leather bustier and dress are timeless items to be worn again and again, lifted by a wonderful iridescence that comes from the satin weave and playful contrast of textures.
Craftsmanship and incredible attention to detail are the hallmarks of Martina Spetlova’s designs. The inside of each garment is as beautiful as the outside, and finishings and fastenings are minimal, allowing the leather/satin weave to speak for itself.
For the conscious consumer, this is sustainable luxury at its most thoughtful, supported by a commitment to responsible making. The ‘satin’ tape and bag linings are made from Econyl®, a regenerated nylon waste, and the smallest leather offcuts and scraps are used alongside larger leather pieces in each garment, all traceable and ethically sourced. The brand is also building on the blockchain technology that identifies each item so that in the future, customers will be able to access repair and recycling services.
Photo by Kasia Wozniak
Photo by Sylwana Zybura. Stylist: Tomas C Toth
Until the start of the pandemic, the brand’s signature artisan handweaving was carried out by a small team of Syrian refugee women in Turkey, trained by Martina herself and run in collaboration with an independent NGO and a social enterprise called Small Project Istanbul. Production methods that empower disadvantaged women will continue to sit at the heart of her vision.
As she maps out her future, Martina is focused on selling directly to customers as well as working on her bespoke practice. She is also experimenting with the ever-growing rental markets, in an effort to make her designs more widely accessible. But it is the prospect of bringing her distinctive woven designs into interiors projects, small and large, that represents the next chapter in her career.
Cockpit Arts Studio 208, 18-22 Creekside, London SE8 3DZ