In the midst of the frenetic, inner-city chaos of London Fashion Week, Sturla decided to unveil its Spring 2024 collection with its debut installation, “Momentary Detachment’. A far cry from LFW’s supercharged sartorial showcases, “Momentary Detachment’ offered an oasis of calm, with a water feature, surrounded by a selection of garments from the collection, suspended from the ceiling.
Founded by Beatrice King and her partner, David Farrell, Sturla is a London-based brand fusing functionality and form, creating clothing steeped in nature using handcrafted textile practices.
Sturla undertook a period of reflection before it launched its A Way of Be(i)ng’ collection. The “Momentary Detachment’ showcase followed a brief hiatus from the brand – which rediscovered its purpose in a time of extensive experimentation and development during lockdown.1 of 4
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Sturla made sure to return to action equipped with plenty of fresh ideas. Collaborating with Timothy Han, Sturla formulated a custom scent for the space, crafted from a range of ingredients including Mitti Attar – an Indian essential oil distilled from sun-dried clay using traditional methods. Its aroma is reminiscent of baked earth after the first rain – evoking a sense of momentary detachment from the day-to-day of urban life.
Sturla’s new collection features everyday, unisex pieces manufactured in the UK and draws inspiration from freshwater landscapes, seen through the muted colours and soft, distorted fabrics.
Highlights include one-tone garments with deliberate ruched detailing, abstract zip cuts, reversible bonded mesh pieces and graphic tees by Sturla logo creator Simon Mellor. Sturla also reintroduced linen fabrics throughout the collection, collaborating with accessories designer Joel Wilson for the first time to craft a neoprene messenger bag featuring exposed seams.
“I love the idea of being able to create a textile with your hands and even though it can be laborious, I find it a very therapeutic process.”
Sturla’s signature felting is prominent throughout the collection, with Nike Rifts and Cocoon Tops implementing a traditional, family technique which features hand-spinning and dyeing wool with natural materials collected from the woods of Devon, South West England.
We caught up with Sturla founders Beatrice and David to learn more about their fledging brand, their deep connection to nature and where they’re planning to take the brand going forward.
Sturla’s ‘A Way of Be(i)ng’ collection collection will be available to buy in Spring ‘24 from www.sturlalondon.com and selected retailers.1 of 3
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Hypebeast: Could you introduce Sturla to those who may not be familiar with the brand?
Beatrice: Sturla is a London-based brand run by myself, Beatrice King and my partner, David Farrell. We create products that fuse forward-thinking and functional design with handcrafted textile practices. For us, this pairing and the balance of these two elements is so important and something that goes much deeper than just the clothing itself – we create items in a conscious and considered way.
How did the brand come to life?
Beatrice: When I started Sturla, I built the brand slowly over the first years, working on a made-to-order basis, and teaching myself new skills along the way.
When COVID-19 hit, I moved back to Devon which was where I grew up. I was able to use this time to immerse myself and take inspiration from my natural surroundings. This was a time for me to really remember where I came from. Being back with my family, I was reminded of the creative household that I was brought up in, with my Mum spinning her own wool, natural dying from lichen collected from the woods and making her own clothes.
This naturally seeped into the DNA of the brand and then led to an extensive time of self-teaching and revisiting the crafts that had played such an important part in my childhood. Following this, the brand went through a soft relaunch earlier this year with David joining the brand and propelling it to where it is now.
“Influences come from all sorts of places and these vary from one collection to the next. Starting points can be something quite obscure or much wider and general that might develop into something more specific.”
What is Sturla’s purpose as a brand?
David: To create a world around the brand that feels welcoming and approachable.
As we grow, we want to continue to maintain the same values as when Sturla was born. This means continuing to make considered products in a conscious way through the production partners we work with and the fabric sourcing – continuing to work with deadstock, upcycled and repurposed options wherever possible. We also want to constantly evolve our textile practices developing innovative approaches and techniques.
What are your central inspirations and influences as a brand?
David: Influences come from all sorts of places and these vary from one collection to the next. Starting points can be something quite obscure or much wider and general that might develop into something more specific.
For the “Momentary Detachment” collection, inspiration came from the feelings associated with being around fresh water. We then went on to pull colour references from the soft tones found in photos of a recent trip together to the coast. When we were sourcing fabrics, translucency played a big part in the process. When it came to showcasing the collection, we wanted to recreate the same feeling as our starting point.
We built an immersive sensory space that was achieved through the combination of scent, sound and visual elements – with a central water feature. We wanted each and every individual visiting the space to feel like they were stepping into a bubble – somewhere that they don’t want to leave. We also wanted this space to be a glimpse into the Sturla world and something that people want to be a part of.
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Felt is one of the primary materials used throughout your collection. What first drew you to working with felt?
Beatrice: I went to a school with a heavy arts and handcraft-based curriculum – often working outdoors and being submerged in nature. There were lots of old traditional techniques taught using natural materials, felting being one of them and that’s where I was first introduced to the practice. I love the idea of being able to create a textile with your hands and even though it can be laborious, I find it a very therapeutic process.
There’s a lot of emphasis on hand-crafting techniques throughout the collection, based on ancient methods used throughout history. Are these techniques used to translate a deeper connection to nature with your clothing?
Beatrice: Not in such an obvious way but the connection between what we do and nature is definitely part of our thought process and something that we want to keep alive through our textile development.
You’ve used that technique to rework classic Nike silhouettes such as Rifts and Air Kukinis – what appealed to you about those models in particular?
David: Kukinis and Rifts are shoes that we love and wear ourselves. Both models capture the essence of the brand perfectly.
“As we grow, we want to continue to maintain the same values as when Sturla was born.”
There’s a huge emphasis on nature throughout Sturla’s Spring 2024 collection. Who – or what specifically – would you say the latest collection is created for?
Beatrice: This collection draws inspiration from freshwater landscapes but not in a literal way, instead focusing on the feelings that it evokes and the calming effect it has on the mind.
The collection was created with someone in mind who cares about the product, and how it’s made and understands the values that have gone into it in the same way that we do.
“I was reminded of the creative household that I was brought up in, with my Mum spinning her own wool, natural dying from lichen collected from the woods and making her own clothes.”
What’s the journey been like so far?
David: One of learning and taking careful steps to make sure that brand grows in the right way and so that nothing feels forced. We are now at an exciting point with Momentary Detachment being the first full men’s and women’s collection launching in Spring 2024.
What’s next on the horizon for Sturla?
David: We had an incredible reaction to the Momentary Detachment collection and want to maintain and grow that same energy and excitement.
We’re about to move into a new studio which will give us the capability to bring aspects of the development process in-house. This also allows us to really progress our textile development and take it to the next level.
We’re already in the process of lining up some really exciting projects for next year and look forward to being able to tell you more.
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