< Take Me Back

Barbara I Gongini

Avant-garde, Danish designer Barbara I Gongini is one of a group of designers that participated in Bright Green Fashion, a collaborative project spanning the borders of Berlin and Copenhagen, and showcasing sustainable fashion, as a means of striving for greater environmental and social responsibility within the fashion system.  Gonginis ongoing environmental concerns shape and direct her collections, sourcing most of her fabrics from organic sources, she produces the collection in fair trade conditions, recycles, and works towards safer production methods.  Her aesthetic however, is far from granola, Gongini’s designs are slick but rough, urban, raw and powerful.

Disturbingly beautiful, ethereal and fantastic, Barabra I Gongini’s designs reference insect like beauty through their shape and texture.  Totally black, bold in shape, varying in depth of texture and sheen, there is an infinite depth to her work; occasionally diversifying her color palette to incorporate all beige or white, but always monochromatic.  Her wrapping, twisting, draping, shredding and eccentric cutting is magnificent.  A true artist, using fashion as her medium, she designs for a post apocalyptic world. Minimal and complex at the same time, Gongini re-examines and reworks angular volumes and abstract forms.  Androgynous in spirit, Gongini works with an interesting array of fabrics, including organic cotton, silk, fish, lamb and goatskin, waxed tulle, canvas, rubber and metal.  Knitting and knotting plastic, as well as tattering furs, some items are painted with a layer that cracks and wears over time, to add to the eerie distressing of her designs.

Her catwalk shows are replete with a soundtrack of haunting digitized voices and repetitive chords, matted hairstyles and Matrix-like visual imagery projected in the background.   Models look as if they should be participating in an end of the world, debauched celebration, or a lamentation of the destruction of nature.

Her fashion movies have to be watched, ethereal, dark, conceptual, provocative, they embody the spirit of the clothing with digitized imagery, and ink blot style photography, reminiscent of old black and white Bela Lugosi Frankenstein movies, or Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, with a touch of The Fly thrown in for good measure; disturbing and alluring at the same time.

A devout protector of the environment, Barbara I Gongini presents a collection with striking androgynous appeal.  Famous for her longstanding belief in ecological sustainability, she achieves seventy five percent use of ecological materials and methods, working with alternative means to achieve her goal, along with the more traditional ones of recycling.  Her multifunctional garments are not seasonally bound, making more a statement to a belief and style than to a seasonal specific visual message.  Completely shattering the myth that eco fashion is limiting, or that clothing made from ecological fibers is boring, ordinary and ugly;  nothing could be further from the truth.

Nominated for the Danish Fashion Award Committees Ethical Award, she was also selected to represent Denmark at the Berlin Nordic Eco fashion and Product Design Exhibition in Berlin.  Her clothing is available online through her website.

Website: www.barbaraigongini.dk

You May Also Like

Marc le Bihan

French designer Marc le Bihan’s work is rooted in conceptual design to produce beautiful, timeless fashion, not transitory trends.

Selene Giorgi

Somewhere between a cocoon and a butterfly, or a cloud and an angel, Selene Giorgi’s exquisite one off creations flutter and float around the body, simultaneously covering and revealing through sheer layers of crushed pure silk organza.

Mimi New York

Mimi New York creates one-of-a-kind, hand made dresses and gowns from recovered antique textiles and lace. Each one meticulously constructed from shredded, torn and damaged vintage lace, patiently and artistically paired and draped directly on the mannequin.


The streamlined silhouettes, and geometric lines of InAisce's collection, invoke a Zen like minimalism, while the minimal use of tone on tone color, and strictly limited color palette invoke a tribal, nomadic quality, compounded through depth and variation of texture.

Celine Cannon

Celine Cannon's weaving is raw, refined, and deeply textural, wraps and throws incorporate a wide variety of yarn gauges from super fine, delicate, airy and even gauzy, to oversized wooly inserts of raw fleece.

Amabelle Aquiluz

Aquiluz’s series of work has complex and deeply personal themes, combining diverse sources of inspiration ranging from technology, art and ideas about existence.


Viennese label km/a embodies the concept of the fusion of fashion, art and performance, while producing a beautiful, functional, wearable collection. As a label, they consistently utilize non traditional, discarded and end of life materials, to hand craft their unique one of a kind pieces.

Beatrice Oettinger

Beatrice Oettinger constructs dreams and fabricates magic.

Anita Hirlekar

Icelandic designer Anita Hirlekar creates a poetic but modern collection through hand crafted fabrics and traditional nuno felting.