Off-cuts are off charts | Hustle & Scout

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Just in time for the next market lets see what Hustle & Scout has to say about SZN!

I continue to be in absolute AWE of our local designers. One which caught my eye early on was Suzan Dlouhy and her label, SZN, which showcased at FashFest in May. Suzan graduated from a Bachelor of Design (Fashion) from CIT in 2012 and, similarly to many of her CIT comrades, has developed a distinct look for her brand.
SZN garments are all one-offs, and it blows my mind. Suzan creates ALL her garments (for gals and guys) from post consumer waste. This is just one of the ways in which Suzan transforms perceptions of conventional fashion design. To be more specific, Suzan constructs her garments from negative space. This is achieved by collecting high-quality off-cuts from other designers and using the shapes of these pieces to inspire her design. Typically you would imagine the design process to be the reverse (ie. starting with conventional pattern-making), but this approach allows Suzan to make the best use of a piece of scrap material and thus follow-through with zero-waste design.

Some of Suzan's garments are also constructed from positive space. This means they have been upcycled from an existing garment. Today I wore one of the SZN's jackets in a Canberra Times shoot which had been reappropriated from a woolen skirt and over coat that Suzan found at Vinnie's. I also wore a dress made from negative space which consisted of lycra and polyester scraps from local designer, 4 Minutes 33 - innovation and sustainable fashion at it's BEST. 
The result of this skilled and somewhat 'go-with-the-flow' approach to design is edgy pieces mixing structural elements, fluid lines and a range of beautiful textures. 
Suzan not only shares my love of reggae music, but also shares my passion for creating a fashion-conscious culture within Canberra. Whether this involves buying garments off local designers, such as herself, or visiting vintage and second-hand stores who recycle fashion - the choices we make as consumers will inevitably have an impact in some way on the environment. Luckily, sustainable design is becoming more integrated within institutions' training courses and we are seeing more designers, like Suzan, finish school equipped with the skills and motivation to continue producing eco-driven collections. 
When I visited Suzan's studio recently, I got a sneak-peek at some of her current projects. Ever seen a dress repurposed from car seat covers? Neither had I, until this week. I won't give too much away, but Suzan has created some ridiculously innovative pieces from the spare parts of an old beetle car she found at the wreckers.  These incredible pieces will be worn by a burlesque performer for this upcoming Centenary event:

http://www.canberra100.com.au/calendar/view/1114/spin-saturday/ 

I daresay we have only seen the beginning of what promises to be a bright future for Suzan Dlouhy. She was recently awarded Young Designer of the Year from the Celebration of African Australians Inc. ('Celebrate'), which comes as no surprise when you take a good look at Suzan's inventive collection. This Saturday will be your chance to feel, try and buy SZN attire - don't miss out, it won't disappoint!

Original story here.