For the past few weeks as I have been working on revamping the blog and figuring out the best way to keep my business sustainable, while keeping my sanity intact. We are in the midst of a really exciting time in the fashion world, where 2 collections a year no longer cuts it, and the speed with which we digest information, trends and designers is exponential. With that in mind I decided to create some sort of structure for me to release more regular products without having an entire new collection every month. So I introduce you to the 'Project' post - a fortnightly insight into my thought processes and creative journey to final designs. Some will be more elaborate than others, but they will always end with a product for purchase in the store. I will still do the big collections for wholesale, but will try and down-size them a little bit, and only do them twice a year. Without further ado - here is the first of what I hope to be many.
On my recent trip to Indonesia I couldn't resist buying a few metres of this stunning leopard print chiffon. I don't usually start with fabric when designing, so this was a bit of a backwards journey, with many joys and challenges.
Above is an image I've had saved on my desktop for months. How I wish I had the space and money for printer ink to do this reguarly. But I don't, so I thought I would just do it digitally. This was really the inspiration for this blog feature - I wish I had a credit for it but I can't for the life of me remember where it came from.
For as long as I can remember I have loved that part of the 1970s and 1980s that reference the 1940s and 1950s. Jerry Hall popped it into my had as the perfect icon for this mood - so modern back then but so old school at the same time. I knew she was the perfect starting point for my leopard print journey.
From here I started thinking about shapes and something abstract, something a little less obvious that just looking at pictures of leopards.
Taking a step sideways I thought of the leopard moth, and found these stunning pictures over at National Geographic. A whole collection right here. The colours, the lines, the texture. There is so much beauty and inspiration in nature sometimes it overwhelms me. Macrocosms and microcosms is something I love thinking about, and my mind started wandering to landscapes and arial photography, and how the earth from a distance can look like so many patterns repeated in nature close up.
Photos by Edward Burtynsky. I see leopard print in the trees and the desert. But maybe that's just because I'm looking. These pictures also remind me of some abstract styles of painting in the random lines, almost expressionist.
Works by Ken Cro-ken. I was so thrilled to come across this artist during my leopard print adventure. His website is incredible and full of inspiration. I could stare at these for hours and see something new every time.
Paintings by Max Ernst. One of my favourite artists. Again I just kept seeing the pattern I was looking for in abstract works and landscapes, like my mind was playing tricks on me.
At last I remembered Poison Ivy of The Cramps, and knew that no leopard print journey would be complete without some pictures of her.
So after immersing myself in all of the above I sketched and sketched pages of ideas, some literal, some not so much. The final pieces I settled on might be very far removed from the references above, but I might not have gotten there without those ingredients and the path I did take. I made three pieces that I am really excited about, again with the time/money I would show them on a Jerry Hall-esque girl in a seedy hotel room, styled like Poison Ivy, but instead I took some shots around the house this afternoon.
Hope you enjoyed this post, it was so much fun making it!