100% Silk’s New Pieces Champion Global Craft Techniques
Designer Lee Dekel's collection has roots in Ghana and Uzbekistan.
“Folk textiles are a repository of local history, developed from a social need, and I like to keep that in mind when I’m developing a textile,” says Lee Dekel, designer of 100% Silk and proprietor of a Toronto multi-brand boutique by the same name.
Describing her new collection as “sensual, easy and talismanic,” Dekel recalls the trips that played a part in its creation. “It came together over numerous visits to Ghana and Uzbekistan,” she says. “I do so much design work in the sampling process because the artisans have a very deep knowledge and they often introduce ideas to me that I would never have thought of. A lot of the magic also happens by accident. For instance, while hunting for cotton in a market in Accra, I stumbled upon a group of tie-dyers from Mali. I ended up enlisting them to make a shibori-dyed background fabric for the Saltpond print.” The cheerful motif features a charming mix of elements, including sea horses, coral and shells— all things that evoke warmer climes.
100% Silk’s new designs aren’t the first time Dekel has worked with craftspeople internationally, but Spring 2020 presents the brand’s most abundant offering of garments to date. “All of the textile processes I work with are slow and exacting, so I had to make sure the artisans had the capacity to produce a full collection before introducing it to the world. It has taken about three years to come to that stage, but it was well worth the work.”
With pieces ranging from a soothing white silk-cotton blend to those done in eye-catching patterns like ikat, the collection appeals to eccentrics and minimalists alike. Drape-y dresses, sculptural blouses and roomy trousers are imbued with a sense of luxury that comes from not only the fact that they’re thoughtfully made but also the way they seem to urge one to take pause and enjoy the act of getting dressed.
The globe-trotting provenance of Dekel’s latest collection speaks to the international flair she has cultivated in her one-year-old boutique, which has become a hub for shoppers on the hunt for unique items that have a story.
“I opened the shop as a way to showcase my line among a group of artisans and designers from around the world who share my ethos for idiosyncratic beauty and craftsmanship,” says Dekel. “And through the store, I’ve met countless people [who are] looking to invest in statement pieces that they can feel good about and have an emotional connection to.”