“We are not machines” was created out of the urge to continue raising awareness for the exploitation of cheap workforce within textile factories in third world countries. What triggered this was the shocking discovery that not far from the Western world (in South-East Europe) in the homeland of Teodora, sweatshops are a sad reality. Meeting one of the biggest Macedonian activists for textile worker’s rights was both scandalizing and a very fruitful experience that fueled the collection. Playing on the title itself, the collection questions when one’s body starts becoming a machine, by juxtaposing functionality and restriction. Teodora decided to start with the obvious – sewing machines and apply the same construction and design elements to create clothing.
Thinking about machinery, made it inevitable to incorporate hardware elements in the collection. This was the key focus of the sampling and development. The main challenge was to merge hardware techniques such as drilling, laser cutting and moulding with traditional garment construction. Along with the plastic pieces, it was exciting to work on other print and embroidery techniques, as well as, sewing PVC and industrial rubber.
In doing so, she challenged herself by, once again, using unforgivable materials in unconventional ways. She stayed true to her aesthetic of combining contrasting concepts and mixed, wearable with avant-garde, soft with stiff materials and dark with vibrant colours. The collection features a variety of silhouettes , both figure-hugging and oversized. Going back to the initial concept, almost all looks consist of garments that are super practical and versatile, mixed with rigid and restraining pieces.