Cleo De Laet – Your Next DIY Fashion Project

In Scandinavia, the mentality of fashion designers seems to be doing a 180° turn. From fast-produced, poor-quality clothing to garments that are meant to tie in with current trends, but also be wearable in 50 years – sustainable fashion concepts are cropping up all over the region. Cleo De Laet takes this concept, and sprints with it.

Her clothing label was established in Copenhagen, after a lifelong passion for making garments finally developed into a larger project. With her concept of selling both patterns, sewing kits and ready made clothes all manufactured in Copenhagen, Cleo goes back to the roots of DIY fashion and her own experiences of learning the trade from her grandmother. “I wish to make high quality, sustainable fashion accessible at a lower price,” she explained. Her proposition makes unique and long-lasting garments more accessible to young people who seek an alternative to cheap, mass-made clothing that will last.

“I definitely feel that the younger generations are getting very disconnected with the way our clothes are produced, they have no idea how much handcraft goes into making a garment. Too many people take it for granted that we can buy cheap fast fashion and don’t think about the consequences for the environment and the people who make the clothes.”

As opposed to unknown fabrics bought in shops or factories, Cleo curates her sewing kits to include the finest, most unique textiles that have stories behind them. Organic cottons and silks sourced in small amounts from Italy will not only make your garments durable and comfortable, but also impossible to reproduce. Ethical production plays a big part in the project, as Cleo strives to support fair trade, local farmers and harm-free working conditions – whether that’s for the silkworms or seamstresses.

For those seeking originality and freedom when it comes to what they wear, there couldn’t be a more suitable venture. “I hope to inspire some people to start sewing again in their free time, or asking a friend or family member to sew a garment for them. This way you get much more involved in the whole process, and people will hopefully start appreciating the craft and effort again that goes into making clothes.” added Cleo.

Her Cibachromes collection that is now available to purchase in whichever form you desire, was inspired by early work of the American photographer Sally Mann. The 80’s polaroid picture aesthetic is most definitely recognisable in Cleo’s designs and colours palette she has used, with muted oranges, greens and floral patterns. The retro inspiration is traceable in exaggerated flairs, voluminous 50’s housewife skirts and feminine midi silhouettes, however it is impossible to fish out any current trends out of the collection, nor is it seasonal.

“I don’t focus on trends. I have never followed, nor understood trends. I believe in style and personal expression. I try to make clothes that are timeless, and I hope people will still like the designs in the future, even 30 years from now.”

Perhaps just as the whole concept, it is to be interpreted individually: made your own, worn as it pleases you. The idea is certainly interesting, and should people want to invest time in creating unique clothing keepsakes for themselves and other, we can only hope to hear more of Cleo De Laet soon. We love the idea of developing a new relationship with your clothing!