26 March 2011


'its aesthetic similar to the shredded remains of a desert reptile'

A recent Wallpaper magazine article pointed to a radical innovation - Bio-Couture - the work of experimental London designer Suzanne Lee. This contemporary venture into a previously unknown territory in the fashion industry doesn’t rely on the common cotton field, Lee grows her materials from a vat of liquid. The resultant material undoubtedly possesses an eerie quality - its aesthetic similar to the shredded remains of a desert reptile, not that of a material produced in a London bath tub.

The product Bacterial Cellulose is produced by immersing a compound of bacterial mother culture and yeast into a vat of green tea. The fermentation process takes hold to produce a sheet of cellulose at the liquid’s surface, ready to be moulded by Lee’s skilful hands. The clothing that has been created has taken various forms from kimonos to biker jackets.

The uncomplicated production process may allow ‘home-grown fashion’ to encompass an entirely new meaning as ethical warriors seek to take greater control of the inputs in their lives. Just be careful not to wear such attire in the rain, the result is less than impressive - a gelatinous mess. Uncompromising on her ecological integrity, Lee refuses to apply a petro-chemical based waterproof sealant, instead seeking to produce an all-natural garment.

This desire to produce an honest product has to be admired, Suzanne has stated she has avoided using the material to produce dramatic shapes and forms for fear it will distract from its environmentally-friendly focus. This resistance to explore the upper boundaries of the material may limit the ability to unleash its full potential. Without further exploration how can Lee expect to recruit new designers or gain the publicity necessary to propel this niche product into a broader fashion market?


To Find out more visit: Biocouture

1 comment:


OMG as if you don't work at MR Porter already.



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