Photos by Evan Browning
Titania Inglis didn’t call her Spring/Summer 2011 collection “Almost Zero” for nothing. Waste reduction was an important consideration for the Brooklyn designer, thanks in no small part to the advocacy of Timo Rissanen, an assistant professor at Parsons The New School for Design and a vocal proponent of zero-waste fashion. But good design is invisible, and Inglis’s pieces aren’t the least overworked—or overwrought. Comprising nine origami-inspired pieces that belie their underlying complexity, Almost Zero offers an immaculate terrain of alabaster and ivory, punctuated by occasional flushes of indigo, rust, and pale madder from nature-derived dyes.
ZERO TO HERO
Inglis describes her collection as “a bit future ’70s Edwardian,” with a palette that owes a debt to Olaf Otto Becker’s photographs of icebergs in Greenland. “I absolutely fell in love with the light-blue Japanese denim I used, which is organic cotton dyed with natural indigo,” she tells Ecouterre, “so I challenged myself to make a long denim skirt that would look modern, and that skirt became the departure point for the rest of the collection.”
Like all her clothing, every piece is stitched in New York City’s famed Garment District.
An ultra-thin organic-cotton shirting from Japan, in the meantime, became the basis for her bias dress and tee. A third fabric, a blend of silk and organic-cotton twill from Italy, developed into a wide-leg trouser and blouse. Like all her clothing, every piece is stitched in New York City’s famed Garment District. Inglis does cop to a shortfall or two, however. “With concessions to fit, sizing, and plain old practicality, I wasn’t able to make any perfectly zero-waste pieces,” she admits. “But they’re quite close, and it was a fascinating challenge that really helped me expand my thinking about sustainable clothing design.”