A London Fashion Week collaboration with Di Petsa 

The fashion label DI PETSA was established in London in 2019 by London-based designer Dimitra Petsa. She combines classic dressmaking (which she learned from her seamstress grandmother and then studied at Central Saint Martins) with fluid drapery and classical references (influenced by her Greek heritage and inspired by goddesses from ancient mythology) and sustainable textile development such as diaphanous materials. Fabrics are sourced from suppliers in Greece and Italy.

Di Petsa, who is passionate about ecology and feminism, is renowned for her signature “wetlook” dresses, as worn by supermodel sisters Bella and Gigi Hadid, Kylie Jenner, and singer songwriters Nicki Minaj, FKA Twigs, Doja Cat and SZA amongst others, bringing the Di Petsa brand international recognition.

Di Petsa’s approach to womenswear is to design for all sizes, ages and gender expressions -celebrating the many changes a woman’s body experiences in her life.

Positive Fashion
In line with the British Fashion Council’s Positive Fashion initiative, Di Petsa has adopted a range of sustainability measures that respect both people and planet. For the AW22 collection they created a new textile using up-cycled cotton off-cuts from cotton fabric making factories which were then used as padding and decoration for outerwear and corsetry. The Di Petsa Wet Script mesh collection is dyed with GOTS certified organic inks, and for the AW23 collection over 60% of the looks were made from recycled fabrics. All of Di Petsa’s Wetlook mesh fabrics are made from recycled mesh material, made from 97% recycled PS and 3% elastane.

Founded by Dimitra Petsa, a female founder and designer, the business is 95% female led, with a very inclusive policy. The company does not work with any unpaid interns and is committed to paying everyone that contributes to the team and atelier a fair wage. And also committed to an inclusive size range - for retailers this is XS - XL, and for Di Petsa’s own online store they can take any custom size order upon request. The result is a range of body inclusivity clothing for all stages of life - including pregnancy and maternity wear.

The runway opens with a long, knitted dress, made from cotton discards that are woven with golden thread in a new original textile development reminiscent of sea moss. The unravelling of straps and criss-cross ties is a prevalent theme of conceal and reveal of the bare skin. New prints appear in the collection featuring a collage of textures of sea foam.

What inspired your latest SS24 collection for this season’s London Fashion Week?
For this season's collection I was inspired by a re-imagining of the "Birth of Venus" and our relationship to love, and how this changes throughout our lives. As infants we experience what is closest to unconditional love, a baby is loved for simply existing, they are hugged and touched all over. As we grow, the love we receive becomes more and more conditional, and the untouchable areas of our body expand until the only touch that is acceptable is a handshake. I am exploring that sense of loss and growth through the mythology of Aphrodite, (also known as Venus), the erotic woman archetype. Through the collection we see different reflections of Aphrodite representing different phases of the journey to self love and the Nostos of unconditional love. A broken Venus is being healed.
What is your favourite piece in the collection?
If i had to pick a favourite it would be our Metallic Golden Wetlook Venus dress, that is hand crafted and draped to the body, to look like water ripples across the form, in the image of the goddess Venus rising and being born from the sea. The dress incorporates raw rose quartz crystal details on the front of the dress that are healing self-love crystals.
Who are you designing for when you are working? 
The DI PETSA muse and our approach to dressing includes all sizes, gender expressions and phases of the changing body of a woman.
Fashion is not a very sustainable industry overall. What measures are Di Petsa taking to be mindful of the impact on planet and people?
For our new SS24 collection we have mainly incorporated recycled fabrics into the collection, and we have been working with organic cotton within our blue 'denim' effect look. We also have new knitwear that is made from recycled cotton offcuts and yarn from cotton factories - which we have repurposed into beautiful mermaid fishnet inspired knitwear dresses.
What inspired the partnership with Weleda for London Fashion Week, and what appeals to you about the Weleda brand?
I really love working with Weleda for Fashion Week for our runway show, and think it's a beautiful coming together of our two worlds: both are deeply inspired by the natural world, finding beauty in nature and an organic and fluid approach. For this season's beauty looks we have worked with the amazing Crystabel Riley, using Weleda's skincare range to create a very beautiful and clean base for each model - that gives a very radiant and dewy glow to skin - the perfect base for our DI PETSA goddesses.
Are there any particular Weleda products you like for your own personal use?
I love the Weleda Skin Food moisturiser - I love applying this as an everyday base, that keeps my skin hydrated and with a really dewy glow – it’s perfect as a pre-fashion week ritual to keep me grounded. I love taking the time each morning, even when we are having busy days of castings and fittings, to look after my skin and keep hydrated and the Weleda Skin Food is the best!

LFW Beauty Heroes

This season Weleda is excited to collaborate with zero-waste makeup artist Crystabel Riley who has designed a natural yet theatrical look for the catwalk, worthy of the Greek mythological goddesses that inspired Dimitra’s new collection. Around 25 models will be prepped by a team of 11 makeup artists using Weleda skincare.

Crystabel, a member of the Advisory Board of the Sustainable Beauty Coalition, is passionate about improving sustainable practices backstage at London Fashion Week:

"As well as using the backstage beauty staple  to create glowy highlights on cheekbones, or counter dry cuticles, Crystabel will be using Weleda’s new Skin Food Face Care to prep models’ skin backstage ahead of the show to ensure a radiant glow on the runway.  Having cleansed and refreshed the models’ with Skin Food Cleansing Balm, Crystabel will be relying on the silky new skin saviour Skin Food Day Cream, to deliver immediate and long-lasting moisture, leaving skin looking instantly hydrated and renewed. Skin Food Lip Balm will banish dry lips ahead of bespoke colour tints or glosses being applied. Calendula Skin Protection Balm will add touches of high shine with its glossy gel consistency. And a spritz of Weleda’s Ultra-Light Dry Oil in the final line-up will tame flyaway hairs or add a subtle sheen to shoulders and shins for the cameras."

“I have been working backstage at London Fashion Week since 2018, operating with a 'low-waste' approach. I choose to abandon wet wipe and cotton bud culture, and favour reusable cloths and brush techniques to create the required detail for make-up looks. When creating looks, I try to use as many multi-use products as possible.
“As well as the all-round multi-tasker Skin Food which I love to create glowy highlights on cheekbones or to counter dry cuticles, a useful little product for this season has been the Calendula Skin Protection Balm - it works to create theatrical shine with its glossy gel consistency, or to mix pigments into for extra glow, but also works therapeutically on very chapped or sensitive areas of dry skin, perfect for the change of seasons”.

Backstage Beauty Swaps:

From: Disposable single use wipes to Washable cloth wipes
From: Bleached cotton wool pads to Washable cloth pads
From: Brushes made from untraceable bristle to Cruelty free makeup brushes
From: Plastic cotton buds to Bamboo cotton buds and fine brushes
From: Aerosol sprays to Pump action sprays
From: Mineral oil-based moisturisers to Plant oil-based moisturisers
From: Cleansers containing SLS/SLES to Cleansers with plant-based detergents
From: Products with synthetic fragrance to Products fragranced with essential oils
From: Silicone based hair products to Certified natural hair products
From: Petrochemical lip balms to Natural wax (plant or animal) lip balms
From: Silicone based BB/CC creams and lipsticks to Biodegradable alternatives free from fossil fuels
From: Cosmetics containing microplastics to Certified ‘zero plastic inside’ cosmetics
From: Single use plastic packaging to Easily recyclable packaging made with PCR
From: Synthetic hand sanitiser with propyl alcohol to Natural hand sanitiser with organic alcohol

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