Clara Pinto ‘WOOL COUTURE’: An exclusive insight into the London Fashion Week showcase

The experimentation with wool, colour palettes, branding and Mcqueens’ influence



Photo Credits: Vicky Polak.

Amid the bustling energy of London Fashion Week June, the Clara Pinto capsule collection ‘WOOL COUTURE’ took centre stage at the Sarabande Foundation. Despite fashion often labelled as superficiality, Clara’s fashion attendees spiritually transformed through the immersive textile installation of felted fabrics and the soulful melodies of a live Tango orchestra. From flowing garments that danced with the music to more structured forms that accentuated the models’ natural curves. It was a celebration of the organic connection between fabric and form. Clara left the room with passionate commentary on the beauty of wool properties and reminiscence of the Met Gala. Greeting the community in a vibrant yellow dress, screen-printed with water-based inks to share more about her collections, adding a personal touch to the magical evening.


What are your inspirations and the overall mission statement of Clara Pinto?

Clara Pinto: The main aim is to work with wool from Patagonia in Argentina. I devote my time to developing new ways to use wool on the surface of textiles without falling into knitwear. Wool is a beautiful and noble material that can be experimented with!

Sheep need to be sheared once a year, so it is the most sustainable material because it needs to happen for them to survive. I find that beautiful! I love working with farms, understanding how they use their wool, how they feed their animals and what type of wool there is. At the moment, it is to continue to experiment with wool.


Do the material qualities of wool enable you to express your creative vision?

Yeah, absolutely! From the beginning, my identity and visuals were clear to the consumer. It is so easy to say that it is Clara Pinto. Visually, the wool is very stimulating. 

Are there strengths and weaknesses you are facing with wool?

It is easy to work with wool. A long process for sure. There are different types of felting. What people understand by felting is the typical wet felting, where you lay down the hairs and with heat, you make a fabric. It is industrialised. You can find it everywhere. Every big brand has a felt coat!

I transform that versatility and use it for Nuno felting, which is when I incorporate other materials into the felts. Or 3D wet felting, where I start doing shapes while I am felting. At the moment, it is still very stimulating. I do not see any setbacks with wool. Maybe the only one would be that people relate it to winter. But I like that because I am trying to show how wool can be used for summer dresses. 


Photo Credits: Vicky Polak.

We observed that your collection leaves the tradition of following set colour combinations. The array of colour palettes used creates a different personality for each garment and appeals to various people. 

What does colour exploration mean to you as a designer? 

I am not a very formal designer. I generally go through what I feel instinctively works. I’m just trying to appeal to women who will feel interested in the story behind each textile. Through colour, it is as diverse as you could get. The same way as I cast models, I remember the hair and makeup team said, “Oh my god, Clara! They are all so different.” That is what I wanted.  

It was about putting on a show and giving seven personalities a go!


Which dress from the AW24 collection is the best representation of your craftsmanship?

I very much enjoyed making the The Ombú dress. It’s made with 12 modules of  hand-made 3D wet felt ruffles draped into its shape.  The thing I enjoy the most about doing a show in a short period of time is that you push yourself to create. If you let yourself go under pressure, you can find new techniques and ways of working that you might not have in your daily work routine.

Photo credits: Fil Mazzarino.

Post-show attendees discussed the vision for the dress to be part of the Met Gala. Is this the type of environment you see your work in?

If I close my eyes and think about where I would like to be in the future, my mind is divided between designing exciting, big creative pieces and the commercial aspect of it. I really enjoy both sides of my job. I would love to be part of the Met Gala, of course! I did this collection to show bigger gowns than what I usually show, which are more relatable and wearable pieces. That makes my business a business. I am very aware that I need to do both and at this stage I’m very interested in learning and expanding the business. 


Do you have any fashion icons you are influenced by? 

I think Alexander McQueen is unbeatable. His work is actually what made me go into fashion school. Before fashion I was studying Fine Arts and one day my mum gifted me McQueen’s Savage Beauty because she went to the exhibition in NY. That book touched my insides, it spoke to me. Those dresses were one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen; the impressive jewellery, the  chaotic shows, the impeccable tailoring, even the distressed human-like mannequins where the pieces were exhibited mesmerised me.

His work reshaped my view on fashion and right after that I started fashion school.

When I moved to London and got into the residency programme at Sarabande (established by Lee Alexander McQueen to support emerging creatives) it was a very important step for me, like an emotional full circle. The show taking place at the foundation reflects how supporting they are of their artists and designers.   


Clara Pinto’s devotion to wool from Patagonia shines through her innovative designs, celebrating the versatility and beauty of the material. Her fearless exploration of colour and form reflects a commitment to storytelling and the individuality of consumers. As discussions turn towards prestigious platforms like the Met Gala, Clara’s vision of blending art with fashion continues to resonate, inspired by icons like Alexander McQueen. We excitedly await the fruitful years ahead for Clara Pinto, the rising Schiaparelli of our time.


Thank you to the London Fashion Week Discovery Lab for sharing Clara Pinto with London. Deepest gratitude to Clara Pinto for speaking with us. The interview was conducted on 14 June 2024. 

Follow Clara Pinto: