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From pillow case dresses for adults to clothes for avatars

model wearing the pillow dress standing in nature

Cunnington & Sanderson have proudly been featured in the Yorkshire Post and so we wanted to share some of the highlights with you.

From Pillow case dresses for adults to clothes for avatars, the magical world of world renowned Yorkshire designers Cunnington & Sanderson. The artistic and arresting designs of Cunnington & Sanderson tackle mental health and sustainability issues in style. Now they are stepping into the digital world with clothes designed for avatars.

As the creative duo behind the eponymous luxury brand Cunnington & Sanderson, their work is instantly recognisable to those with a yearning for challenging , individual, avant-garde fashion, for clothes with meaning. Their garments new sculptural yet fluid, always unexpected, sometimes haunting, questioning, inviting, as if asking to be stepped into, to live as one with the wearer.

What Once Was collection by Cunnington & Sanderson model Josie Roberts photography Watson Smith

Every garment is inspired by a narrative and holds within it its own emotional symbolism. Many will recognise the pillow top and dress that featured in the Future Fashion Exhibition 2019 at Lotherton Hall, Museums and Galleries, sparking a mini social media trend of turning a padded pillow into a mini dress (it has also featured in Vogue Italia, Dansk Magazine, Kinfolk China, and featured at Milan Fashion Week). There is a serious message behind the concept, highlighting and raising awareness of mental health issues and issues and associated feelings of solitude.

Dansk Magazine, Lotherton Hall exhibition, and exhibition imagery photography Rafael Kroetz model Zoe Hervava hair sabine mania

John says: "The bed becomes wearable clothes, so your surroundings are worn. The pillow is to highlight that you are not hiding from your anxieties or worries, but wearing them. We want to encourage people to talk about how they feel.

This design concept has been developed into the organic pillow T-shirt which is a unisex wearable option made as one size for all.

Hope sweater, chandelier skirt, and organic pillow t-shirt available at

The pair have collected an extensive and impressive list of awards, nominations and accolades since 2008 when Mattew won the Grand Prize at the International Festival de Mode at the Villa Noailles, Hyeres. Their unique designs have been photographed by Rankin and worn by style icons including model Lily Gatins, singer/songwriter Zola Jesus, Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst and Ru Paul's Drag Race star Le Fil, sat on panels,, been judges, and teach fashion students across the UK as visiting lecturers, with the focus on their key driver, sustainability.

"The more people talk about sustainability the better, we are trying to use it as education."

Now, in what might be the most sustainable fashion initiative ever, Cunnington & Sanderson is working with Seamm, a digital wardrobe and marketplace for virtual worlds. Customers will be able buy a digital asset, such as the pillow case dresses for adults worn by avatars, and these can be traded and worn in games and metaverses, a way of expressing personal style. See more on our instagram account @cunningtonandsanderson

In the real world, new designs include the Heart Sweatshirt in bright yellow organic cotton, and the Vision T-Shirt, another genderless and one size fits all garment.

The zero dress from the collection 'What Once Was" is a current piece with the word 'ZERO' boldly printed down the front. 'We hope that people will ask the wearer ' what does the ZERO' mean?, "John says. 'Hopefully, our customers will have a good understanding of our brands sustainable approaches and they will be able to educate other people.

The creators work with organic fabrics, material from past collections, and locally sourced heritage wool and textiles form Yorkshire mills, including Hainsworth and Abraham Moon. Last October they presented the knotted dress at Salts Mill with the Future Fashion Factory, made in collaboration with textile artist Rebecca Ought from Salts Weave Studio, and they hope to showcase their work at another exhibition later in the year.

Cunnington & Sanderson sustainable wool knotted dress displayed at Salts Mill.

Cunnington & Sanderson knotted wool dress displayed at Salts Mill worn by model Ellie Sutcliffe Photographed by Alex Beldea

Many Thanks to Stephanie Smith and The Yorkshire Post.

Please see the article below for further reading - Printed version 25.02.23

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