streetwear made from preserved seaweed shows algae's future in fashion at reykjavik edition

streetwear made from preserved seaweed shows algae's future in fashion at reykjavik edition

fashion pieces stitched with icelandic seaweed

 

Inside The Reykjavik EDITION hotel in Iceland, fashion designers Tanguy Mélinand and Drífa Líftóra unveil their collection of clothes stitched from harvested and preserved Icelandic seaweed for SEAWEEDWORKS exhibition. Both designers collaborate with SEAWEEDWORKS, a project founded by creative director Charlie Strand in hopes of spotlighting the uses of seaweed from art and fashion to design and technology. The trio has realized the seaweed-sewn garments to life, finding a platform to showcase their upcycled fashion pieces to reach a broader audience.

 

This is where two rosters of design and creative mediums stepped in: The Reykjavik EDITION Hotel, the recent addition to boutique hospitality’s growing properties, and DesignMarch, a platform festival in Iceland that highlights new approaches to materials in the field of design. Through the Icelandic festival and the deluxe hotel’s space, Mélinand, Líftóra, and SEAWEEDWORKS exhibit the process and materiality of seaweed clothing.

seaweed fashion reykjavik edition
photo and header images: jacket by Tanguy Mélinand, photos by Tanguy Cattin | images courtesy of SEAWEEDWORKS and The Reykjavik EDITION

 

 

Exhibiting the materiality of seaweed as garments

 

Before Tanguy Mélinand conceived his pieces, he waded through the shallow water in Iceland, his jeans rolled up around his knees, and languidly palmed the strings of seaweed his hand caught. He hung them in his workshop to dry, and as soon as the strands of seaweed were free from water and moisture, he tailored and repurposed them into a buttoned jacket, a high-waist skirt, a pair of plaid trousers, a handbag, and a pinstriped over jacket.

 

Mélinand says that his collection revolves around the memory of the fire he saw in his childhood home when he was younger. He vividly remembers the date: March 10, 2014, Monday. From this recollection, he names his series ‘03/10/2014’ as a way for him to, once again, rehash his treasured souvenir of the past. Like a fire that fizzled out and time that passed by, the changes in the states of matter form part of his overarching theme, more visible in the gradient, shifting hues of seaweed in his collection.

 

Designer Drífa Líftóra shared the space with Mélinand in showcasing the future of seaweed as a fashion ingredient with SEAWEEDWORKS. For her work, she hangs a one-off jacket piece inside The Reykjavik EDITION Hotel, in time for DesignMarch, embedding seaweed into the fabric and material of the clothing. The outfit appears to be streamlined with a puffer-jacket look, layered with rectangular cuts and detailed with stitches and threads. ‘When it comes to fashion design I like bending and breaking the rules of human anatomy by applying weird pattern making and complex prints in my designs,’ she says.

seaweed fashion reykjavik edition
drying seaweed | photo by Tanguy Cattin

 

 

The Reykjavik edition is rooted in design and architecture

 

Part of The Reykjavik EDITION is rooted in design and architecture. Opening in 2019, the property was designed in partnership with local architecture firm T.ark and New York-based studio, Roman and Williams with the guidance of ISC design. Its ties with these industries unraveled in an extension of showcasing progressive design pieces, making its involvement in DesignMarch a natural next step.

 

From the outside, The Reykjavik EDITION stuns guests with its ebony façade of shou sugi ban timber, charred using an ancient Japanese technique, and blackened steel frames that allude to Iceland’s abundant lava landscape. As soon as guests step inside the hotel, arriving in Iceland in high spirits through the country’s flag carrier Icelandair, volcanic rock on the floor and the sculptural reception desk mimicking basalt stone greet them, embodying intricate patterns inspired by Icelandic geometry.

 

The design team installed an Icelandic lava stone sculptural totem in the lobby center to even out the warm landscape between the tactile terracotta saddle leather wrapped around concrete columns and white oak floors, ceiling beams, and slats that flank the lobby bar. Reaching the rooftop, the hotel’s ‘The Roof’ offers a panoramic mountain, North Atlantic Ocean, and old town views on the 7th floor. Here, the space can be divided by a glass door for private events and doubles as a place to enjoy the endless bright summer evenings and the mythical northern lights in the colder months.

seaweed fashion reykjavik edition
photo by Tanguy Cattin

 

 

Warm retreats cocooned in suites

 

Below the floors of the rooftop, the hotel’s 253 guestrooms and suites cocoon warm retreats, each with their beds facing floor-to-ceiling windows that frame the lush landscapes of the surrounding neighborhood. After a deserved break in the room, The Reykjavik EDITION opens up modern meeting and event spaces on the ground floor, including flexible studios, a boardroom with natural light, bleach oat-wide plank floorings, and a grand ballroom with pre-function space.

 

It is here that Mélinand, Líftóra, and SEAWEEDWORKS featured their fashion pieces all while Mélinand and Líftóra showed a live work-in-progress overview for the public to see, a visual invitation to the circularity of the numerous wonders of nature when sourced and approached right. Mélinand was a graduate of fashion design at Geneve University of Art and Design and a 2022 winner of the Yinger Gold Prize for sustainable design, and Líftóra, who is a fashion design graduate in Haute Couture and Technology in Paris College of Art, combines screen painting with her fashion approach and textile pieces.

seaweedworks-tanguy-mélinand-the-reykjavik-EDITION-designboom-ban

jacket by Drífa Líftóra | exhibition images courtesy of The Reykjavik EDITION

seaweed fashion reykjavik edition
seaweed as fashion materials at the exhibition

seaweed fashion reykjavik edition
jacket by Tanguy Mélinand at the exhibition

seaweed fashion reykjavik edition
jacket by Drífa Líftóra at the exhibition

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lobby inside The Reykjavik EDITION | photo by Nikolas Koenig

seaweed fashion reykjavik edition
meeting space inside The Reykjavik EDITION | photo by Nikolas Koenig

seaweed fashion reykjavik edition
Tides Restaurant inside the Reykjavik EDITION hotel | photo by Nikolas Koenig

seaweedworks-tanguy-mélinand-the-reykjavik-EDITION-designboom-ban3

Tides Restaurant inside The Reykjavik EDITION | photo by Nikolas Koenig

 

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Tides Cafe inside The Reykjavik EDITION hotel | photo by Nikolas Koenig
Tides Cafe inside The Reykjavik EDITION hotel | photo by Nikolas Koenig
Lobby Bar inside The Reykjavik EDITION hotel | photo by Nikolas Koenig
Lobby Bar inside The Reykjavik EDITION hotel | photo by Nikolas Koenig
Tolt Bar inside The Reykjavik EDITION hotel | photo by Nikolas Koenig
Tolt Bar inside The Reykjavik EDITION hotel | photo by Nikolas Koenig
Loft King inside The Reykjavik EDITION hotel | photo by Nikolas Koenig
Loft King inside The Reykjavik EDITION hotel | photo by Nikolas Koenig
Guest King inside The Reykjavik EDITION hotel | photo by Nikolas Koenig
Guest King inside The Reykjavik EDITION hotel | photo by Nikolas Koenig

project info:

 

name: SEAWEEDWORKS

designers: Tanguy Mélinand, Drífa Líftóra

platform: Seaweedworks

hotel: The Reykjavik EDITION

festival: DesignMarch 2023

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