Greinasafni: Afþreying einnig undir: Icelandic TimesList
Fashion design goes all-natural
Fashion design goes all-natural
Arfleifð - Icelandic Heritage Economuseum               
With so much emphasis placed on using only local ingredients these days, it should come as no surprise that one fashion designer has come up with the brilliant idea of putting to good use the by-products created by the food industry.
Ágústa Margrét Arnardóttir, who has been developing her techniques over the last 8 years, was one of the first few designers in Iceland, if not the world, to see the tremendous potential in working with fish leather, which is ideally suited for clothing and accessories. “Each type of skin has its own character and personality which I try to bring out in my designs. The materials are so changeable that I am always learning something new and I get the inspiration to create based on this experience, much in the same way that an artist is inspired by various mediums”, explains Ágústa.
The list of materials used in Ágústa’s creations reads like a dinner menu: cod, perch, spotted wolfish, salmon, catfish and lamb. Using skins that would have normally been discarded and which have then been tanned at Atlantic Leather in north Iceland, the fish leather is strong yet soft and can be dyed to the designer’s specifications. Ágústa takes things one step further with the inclusion of reindeer skin, seal skin and fur and even using strands of horse tail, bones and horns for decorative elements in her creations.
To celebrate Arfleifð’s first anniversary in March of 2011, a new collection was premiered at Reykjavik’s Grand Hotel, with a fashion show entitled ‘Fashion with Flavour’. The dinner menu, featuring dishes of fish, lamb and reindeer was served by models dressed in Arfleifð designed clothes and it has been non-stop for Ágústa ever since.
The Arfleifð Artisan Workshop, Ágústa’s home and atelier in Djúpivogur, is open to the public seven days a week. Visitors can learn about the craft, its history and development, chat directly with Ágústa and watch the making of the items available in Arfleifð’s boutique.
Arfleifð is a member of the Economuseum Artisan Network of Northern Europe, and the first Icelandic artisan to gain this distinction.

Definition: Ecomuseum
An Economuseum is a new concept dedicated to the preservation of authentic techniques or know-how used in the production of traditional craft or foods and is an important part of cultural tourism.

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