The artist’s approach

“I like cutting because I like assembling” (1)

In her teenage years Nadine Labedade took over from her mother, who used to sew her clothes as well as her three sisters’, by making her own clothing – a tribute she has ever since been paying to her mother and her grandmother.

In her current practice the artist designs and makes each piece of clothing from the pattern (flat pattern cutting) to the final sewing up (2 and 3). Nadine Labedade designs clothes which are always unique, resulting from multiple influences, with extreme attention for the quality of cutting (4), for noble materials (mainly wool, silk and cotton) and for details (5, 6, 7 and 8). As a matter of fact, the materials and patterns combined with numerous shape cuttings essentially give rise to her inspiration (9).

« By cutting it into a number of pieces, I design the fabric while assembling a piece of clothing. Structuring and designing are closely linked throughout my work.» (10)

The cuttings are either clearly visible and made on purpose (breaking contrast of materials, patterns and colours) (11 and 12) or purposefully lost in the complexity of the patterns (13). They allow her to design clothes and set the colours and patterns the same way a painter would do it on a canvas. Each piece, after being cut, is laid on the floor for her to have a global view (14 and 15) of the item of clothing which will be progressively assembled. Nadine Labedade argues that she first designs images which eventually become clothes to be worn.

« The more pieces there are the more involved I am. I love the instant when I cut. Cutting begets patterns or counteracts with those on the fabric, it gives birth to the mixing and the pleasure to bring pieces together. »

When she starts assembling the pieces, through the volume obtained by sewing them, she creates a new “object” that she had not totally imagined as it happens to come out, hence the nice or unpleasant surprise she may have and the necessity to redesign the whole item twice or three times using very different fabrics and colours (16,17 and 18).

Whereas Nadine Labedade designs women’s clothes, she has also designed costumes for theatre actors and musicians (19, 20 and 21).