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Turning a sofa into a coat. Introducing Luke Goldblatt’s work

The London-based fashion designer presents his first collection that combines tailoring, upcycled materials, and Scottish wool, cut and sewn by hand

«The mundane, the traditional and the ubiquitous» world adds concept to Luke Goldblatt’s creative process. Instead of searching for reality in fiction, he observes how people dress. It’s usually not about what but how we see things that encourage us to experiment with explicitness and manage to fill our actions with purpose. 

His design background goes back to the story of his mother, the way she used to dress up while getting to work: «She’d wear a pair of tailored trousers or a suit, and with it, she’d put on trainers and a rucksack. I think that sense of classicism and pragmatism stuck with me and informed the way that I work now». This attraction later framed into focusing on craft and know-how; particularly on the types of silhouettes and the way the design fits or distorts the body. The basis of the clothes, says Goldblatt, «is about restoration and continuation of a craft». His family for generations has been involved in garment trading. «They were seamstresses, market traders, factory managers, and homemakers in a multitude of different ways», says Goldblatt. 

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TABLECLOTH SHIRT, SKIRT FROM DEAD-STOCK WOOL, LUKE GOLDBLATT COLLECTION. PH. ALEX SOROKA

This passion for cutting and inner construction of clothes was introduced in his teenage years when he worked for a local tailor and a dressmaker on cutting in his hometown. After that, these skills continued to resonate in his current works. The leading pieces from Goldblatt’s collection reveal the mix and match technique of forms and materials: straight elongated silhouette that layers leather, check print, and shades of beige. Large pointed collar with a vintage touch, double-breasted brown leather coat, and white pointy toe ankle boots giving an autumn hint. Goldblatt’s mood board reveals a cluster of images that brought joy during the pandemic and inspired him to create the collection. He points out details such as round sleeves, narrow shoulders, and emphasizes the layering to complete his idea of forms deriving from the ‘small changes’.

In the age of technologies and consumerism, the topic of sustainability gains momentum in promoting thoughtful purchases and smart waste processing. Goldblatt doesn’t consider to be the discoverer of recycling materials, nonetheless, he implements a versatile manner in choosing fabrics for his designs. «A lot of this collection has been made from offcuts of upholstery leather – the covers of people’s old sofas, unpicked and put up on gumtree. The shirts are all old tablecloths found on eBay, and the rest of the collection is made from past season unsold wool from Scottish mill Harrisons, woven in and around the UK», says Goldblatt. Turning a sofa into a coat does not distort the presence of craftsmanship. The craft is the core of Goldblatt’s work, as he says, adding the influence of England’s history of craft and manufacturing tradition «from Savile Row to Yorkshire cloth mills to the leather workshops of Brick Lane». He needs to feel how the craft in his collection is valued and treasured. 

Like most of the artists around the world, Goldblatt makes his way of examining his style and vision. Implementing the circular economy model by upcycling materials for creating new designs might appear as a statement. For the UK, it is a way to repurpose clothes that eventually fall in a landfill. In 2019, Oxfam’s #SecondHandSeptember campaign urged people to purchase second-hand clothes for 30 days to decrease carbon emissions. According to Oxfam’s research, 11 million garments finish up in landfills in the UK every week, and this issue managing the waste turns into a potential solution, one of which is recycling leftover fabric. To design a shirt out of tablecloth can be one of the alternatives to reducing waste. Meanwhile, as Goldblatt takes his first steps into the fashion sphere, there is room for thought concerning his brand’s philosophy as he is still figuring out his aspirations. Working on implementing sustainable decisions is a small step to reconsidering the industry values. 


IMAGE GALLERY

Luke Goldblatt 
Currently studies Womenswear Fashion Design at the Central Saint Martins

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