Launched in 2010, Lara Klawikowski is a Cape Town-based eponymous ready-to-wear and made-to-measure brand founded by the South African fashion designer and illustrator. A womenswear label that offers intriguingly tactile and artisanal designs with distinctive artistry, Lara Klawikowski is known for employing unexpected pattern-cutting and garment construction, organic draping, and interesting proportions. Created from recycled materials that mimic botanical textures and shapes, Klawikowski’s collections showcase her love for unusual detail and innovative use of fabric.
“Part of the appeal of my work has always been the element of surprise in what materials I have turned into something wearable, and the women who wear my designs appreciate the thinking and process behind the designs they are wearing,” she told Twyg.
A Cape Town College of Fashion Design (CTCFD) graduate, Klawikowski describes her design and construction process as a labor-intensive and time-consuming one. For her, it all starts with the materials. Inspired by how fabric can be manipulated structurally to form new proportions and silhouettes, this has led to her constant experimentation with recycled, upcycled, and refabricated materials. All the materials are created by hand at her studio using fabric off-cuts otherwise destined for landfills and recycled plastics. Her goal is to transform the waste into an elegant garment, all while ensuring total transparency about the materials used. She hopes this will inspire customers to examine all the clothing they purchase, and motivate them to be more conscious consumers.
During her studies, Klawikowski won the prestigious Durban July Young Designer Award, was a top 5 graduate at the CTFC Graduate Shows, a runner-up in the FAD Awards, and won the SACTWU Condom Dress Design Competition, an award that she says inspired her use of unusual materials in couture garments. In 2013, she showcased her first ready-to-wear collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town and has since become a regular on the roster of South African Fashion week.
- TWYG Sustainable Fashion Awards, Innovative Design and Materials Award Winner, 2020
- TWYG Sustainable Fashion Awards, TWYG x Country Road Changemaker Award Winner, 2020
- South African Fashion Week x Renault New Talent Search, Semi-finalist, 2013
- Vodacom Durban July Fashion Challenge, Winner, 2012
- Durban July Young Designer Award Winner, 2008