Threads of Peru Blog

Eliane expanding Threads with a capsule collection

Hola – Hoi – Hey – Salut

My time with Threads of Peru has exceeded my expectations. Visiting the communities and learning how to weave with a back strap loom myself has greatly inspired me. I was able to closely watch the weaver’s habits, their styling as well as the way they transport and wrap their belongings and purchases.

I immersed myself in the Andean culture trying to translate their textile tradition into the modern world. I was searching for a design language that both cultures – the Andean, and my own culture (which I would like to call European) will understand. 

Eliane out and about near the community of Chaullacocha during an entrega

Eliane out and about near the community of Chaullacocha during an entrega.

I am a fashion designer from Zurich, Switzerland, however for the past two years I have been living in Paris, France. I moved to Paris to work for the fashion designer LUTZ HUELLE. After two years of assisting the creative director, I decided that I was ready to take the next step and built up my own company and brand. 

Elaine learning to weave on a backstrap loom

 Elaine learning to weave on a backstrap loom.

However before embarking on this new chapter in my life, I wanted to widen my horizon further by seeing a corner of the world that is still unknown to me. Being passionate about textiles, design, pattern making and fashion, I applied to Threads of Peru proposing to design a little capsule collection for them. 

Eliane and Armando working on creating the prototypes for her capsule collection

Eliane and Armando working on creating the prototypes for her capsule collection.

As a result I used traditional pallays (textile designs) and known combinations, such as their black skirts with the colourful Golòn (a work-intensive and difficult ribbon), combined them with leather and gave them a modern, clean shape. I paid a lot of attention to finishings and details, which I believe are the essence of a clean, luxurious product. 

Sewing the prototypes with new shapes and sizes has been a fun adventure for the team in Chinchero

Sewing the prototypes with new shapes and sizes has been a fun adventure for the team in Chinchero.

I fell in love with Cusco and the surrounding communities and even though I don’t know what the future will bring and if I ever come back to this area, it has greatly impacted my life. It has also inspired me to travel and explore all traditional and unique textile techniques in the world. I would love to continue collaborating with other similar organizations around the world.

Eliane piled up in the back of a truck to make her way to the community of Parobamba

Eliane piled up in the back of a truck to make her way to the community of Parobamba.

I am very grateful to the team of Threads of Peru, Sarah So (volunteer coordinator) who made me feel at home and helped me wherever she could from the minute I landed in Cusco and Dana Blair (project coordinator) who took along to all her community visits and faithfully trusted in my design decisions, and all the other volunteers, Stephanie Pardi, Alexa Jones, Giulia Grassi and Harrison Ackerman who enriched my work but also private time in Cusco.