Richard Weston, Visiting Professor in the School of Art and Design at Cardiff Metropolitan University and formerly Professor of Architecture at Cardiff University, is an unexpected fashion designer. In fact, it was Vogue themselves who named him “the most unexpected new talent in British fashion” back in 2011. Known for his striking scarf designs, he takes style inspiration from the most unexpected places – rocks, distant stars and, new for this season, some of the earth’s most striking natural landscapes.
Professor Weston says that ‘nature is the Earth’s greatest living artist.’ He subscribes to the theory of biophilia, which hypothesises that there is a deep, instinctive bond between human beings and other life forms.
He believes that, after building our lives around the cycles and forces of nature for thousands of years, its influence has become embedded within us. We are conditioned to respond emotionally to the colours and patterns of the natural world – this is why, he says, these images can have such a powerful impact.
Inspired by these theories, and by the way that artists and designers of the past have mimicked natural shapes (often subconsciously), Weston spent years collecting and producing images of precious stones, minerals and rocks – which he then transformed into his early collections, creating an entirely new way to view and appreciate the hidden beauty of these natural materials.
Then, for Autumn/Winter 2017 the brand switched its focus. Moving from the microscopic to the celestial, Weston partnered with astrophotographer Adam Block to create their Nebulae collection, pure satin silk scarves featuring stunning, digitally printed images of nebulae.
Nebulae are cosmic clouds light years from earth that, when captured using the very latest technology, glow in myriad colours, showing the birth and growth of stars and the formation of galaxies.
Now, for their most recent collection, the brand has once more dramatically changed their sartorial gaze. Switching perspectives from the earth looking up, this season’s Seven Continents collection features earth’s most breath-taking landscapes as captures by a Landsat satellite.
The Landsat Programme is a series of earth-observing satellites that provide the longest continuous, space-based record of Earth. These stunningly detailed, high-res images bear an uncanny resemblance to Professor Weston’s original precious stone prints. A distinctive and stylish testament to the unexpected patterns found in nature both on a microscopic and macroscopic scale.