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MUSINGS

        
{"author":"Sally Paton ","date_published":"23rd Jul 2021","show_read_more":false,"summary":"BIANCA SPENDER\r\n\r\n\tThoughtful, precise and imaginative, Bianca J Spender designs clothes that have a rhythm. They are timeless, yet Bianca believes it is her responsibility as a designer to seek out new ideas that are resolved enough in their beauty to last. The essence of her label, Bianca Spender, is poetic energy balanced by precise structure, and each season brings a directional collection of modern, sensual silhouettes.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe child of working parents, Bianca grew up in Woollahra, Sydney, side by side with her siblings, Alex and Allegra. Bianca recalls both her sister and her growing up fast to try to join in on the fun of their older brother. As the daughter of an Australian fashion matriarch, fashion was always a part of her universe. She has a historical perspective on design, holding reverence for those who came before her, and builds upon this to create a modern beauty that engages with the senses and spirit of the wearer. Bianca is a longtime collaborator of Showroom-x, joining us in our We Wear Australia campaign. We were delighted to be in conversation with Bianca on craft, longevity, and the Australian creative landscape.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n            \"Someone once said that I design for     \r\n\twomen with curly hair and I think that’s a great metaphor...\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\"that I design for women who   \r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\tdon’t need everything in control,\r\n\t\r\n\ta more organic sensuality.\"\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nDo you think there’s a common thread in Australian design and creativity? Something within the realm or design or dressing that feels innately regional? \r\n\t I believe we have a more relaxed approach driven by our proximity to the ocean and nature. But we have different light, it’s a harsh and strong light that creates our vivid colour palette.”\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\t“I dress for movement, how it feels on my body and how it dances with me. I’m often most comfortable in a full-length dress and no shoes, it’s about a freedom and self-expression.”\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\t“I also love the direct voice of designing coming through more with social media rather than the traditional wholesale channels, it’s so much closer to the customer. It also creates unique groups like Showroom X and the combined interests and discussions about creativity and design and that fashion is more than what you wear. It’s the storytelling of people dressing for themselves.”\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tHow would you best describe what you do professionally?\r\n\t \r\nI’m very fortunate that my work and craft allows me to explore and challenge all that inspires me creatively. My day-to-day is about pushing that craftsmanship, learning more, and leaning into where that takes me.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat drew you to fashion design?\r\n\t \r\nI love the way that fashion and what you wear can change the way you feel. That choice can improve your mood or make you feel strong and help see you through your day.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat do you enjoy about it?\r\n\t \r\nI love the journey I get to go on each season, the storytelling of each garment in their drape. I am a true math geek at heart, so I love nothing more than draping and pattern-making to solve a problem.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\t“I dress for movement, how it feels on my body and how it dances with me. I’m often most comfortable in a full-length dress and no shoes, it’s about a freedom and self-expression.” \r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat inspires you professionally?\r\n\t \r\nI’ve always had an affinity for the arts, dance and movement and, of course, nature. Working with other creatives who have a strong vision and are collaborative inspires me. It’s always been rewarding to meld creativity between different dialects. I especially loved working with Rafael at Sydney Dance Company for this reason.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tTell me about your day-to-day. Where do you live? What does a typical day look like for you?\r\n\t \r\nMost mornings, I am on the bus or train with my kids to go to school, or I bike in to work. My week always starts with meetings, and I leave Wednesday to Friday free for creativity. If you’re by the studio, you’ll likely see me, an extrovert, talking with a tea in my hand.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat is exciting for you about the current Australian creative landscape?\r\n\t \r\nWe are dynamic in the way we have ideas and let them grow. We’re always open to new concepts or views. Since Covid, we are honing into our own creative process and aren’t as outward-looking. It’s an interesting time for designers and creatives to be true to their vision with less noise from the outside world and really getting a chance to focus on the Australian customer.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tDo you think there’s a common thread in Australian design and creativity? Something within the realm of design or dressing that feels innately regional?\r\n\t \r\nI believe we have a more relaxed approach driven by our proximity to the ocean and nature. But we have different light. It’s a harsh and strong light that creates our vivid colour palette.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tHow would you describe your approach to dressing? And how does it make you feel?\r\n\t \r\nI dress for movement, how it feels on my body and how it dances with me. I’m often most comfortable in a full-length dress and no shoes. It’s about a freedom and self-expression.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWho are some of your favourite designers?\r\n\t \r\nRyan Storer, Dinosaur Designs and Sarah Sebastian all for very different reasons - they all have a beautiful craft.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tDesigners Phoebe Philo & Clare Waight Keller. The Creativity of Junya Watanabe for Comme des Garçons. Original Balenciaga for his incredible cut. Vintage Madame Grès and Madeleine Vionnet for their draping.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tIs there a piece from your wardrobe that you ‘can’t do without’? \r\n\t \r\nMy grandfather’s watch\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tTell me a little about your approach to beauty and wellness.\r\n\t \r\nI enjoy the simple things of walking or riding to work, swimming in the ocean and mediation. I drink lots of water and am never without a cup of herbal tea.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\nWhat does luxury mean to you?  \r\n\t \r\nTime.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tTell me a little about Bianca Spender. What motivated you to start the label?\r\n\t \r\nI truly love the craft, and I wanted to create a freedom for women. Someone once said that I design for women with curly hair, and I think that’s a great metaphor – that I design for women who don’t need everything in control, a more organic sensuality.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat are some changes you’ve noted in the fashion industry in recent times? For example, with Ethical or Sustainable fashion, or digitisation and technology?\r\n\t \r\nIt’s exciting to see the focus on sustainability. We have always been Australian made, and I had some people think I was a dinosaur for not moving to offshore production however many years ago, but it’s so great now to see this is something we can again have pride in. As a brand, we still have a long journey to go. I also love the direct voice of designing coming through more with social media rather than the traditional wholesale channels. It’s so much closer to the customer. It also creates unique groups like Showroom X and the combined interests and discussions about creativity and design, and that fashion is more than what you wear. It’s the storytelling of people dressing for themselves.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat is your approach towards maintaining responsible business?\r\n\t \r\nTo me, it’s about making choices that are right for me as a designer and a business, and not bending to industry pressures on sale timings or what fashion week should look like.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tHow do you envisage the future of fashion?\r\n\t \r\nI feel there will be a continued shift toward the need for transparency and improvement on the constant evolution to design creatively and understand the use of limited precious resources—moves like working with deadstock and designing within those limitations to reduce new fabric production.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tDo you have any idols - professional or personal?\r\n\t \r\nI don’t like to idolise people – we are all inspiring and flawed in many ways.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat or who is currently inspiring your world at the moment? \r\n\t \r\nAnne Hollander’s fashion and drape, Joan Didion’s book The Year of Magical Thinking, Story Work with Bridget Brandon, Veda Mediation and The Met’s About Time: Fashion and Duration Exhibition (you can watch it online).\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tDescribe your workspace – where is it located, and what do you need around you to feel creatively motivated?\r\n\t \r\nWe are currently in Darling Point, Sydney. I like to have a space that feels mine and energy in the office. We have the bay and harbour across the road, and having that nature and sense of openness nearby is wonderful for creating calm.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n# x-field x-format:yaml\r\nbodyTitle: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet\r\nteaserText: |\r\n        Thoughtful, precise and imaginative, Bianca J Spender designs clothes that have a rhythm. They are timeless, yet Bianca believes it is her responsibility as a designer to seek out new ideas that are resolved enough in their beauty to last. The essence of her label, Bianca Spencer, is poetic energy balanced by precise structure, and each season brings a directional collection of modern, sensual silhouettes. \r\npublication:\r\n    name: Sally Paton\r\n    image: https://store-s1mbbc7h64.mybigcommerce.com/product_images/import/Sally-headshot.JPG\r\n    note: |\r\nrelated:\r\n    title: More From The Journal\r\n    items: \r\n        - /musings/art-of-the-land/\r\n        - /musings/kitty-clark/\r\n        - /musings/what-you-need-to-know-about-fabric-dyeing/\r\n        - /musings/lets-talk-about-merino-wool/\r\nrelatedProduct:\r\n    title: Related Products\r\n    items: [1573, 1572, 1571, 1570, 1569]","tags":[{"name":"Portfolios","url":"https://showroom-x.com/musings/tag/Portfolios"}],"thumbnail":{"alt":"Bianca Spender ","data":"https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-s1mbbc7h64/images/stencil/{:size}/uploaded_images/bianca-spender-musing-tile-image-v2.jpg?t=1627020450"},"title":"Bianca Spender ","url":"https://showroom-x.com/musings/bianca-spender-/"}
Bianca Spender

Bianca Spender

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{"author":"Sally Paton","date_published":"22nd Jul 2021","show_read_more":false,"summary":"CHARLEE FRASER\r\n\r\n\tCharlee Fraser is an Australian model who has garnered global success, walking for Prada, Stella McCartney, Dior, Chanel, and Givenchy. As a proud Awabakal woman, she has quickly become a significant voice for change in the fashion community. Charlee grew up in New South Wales in a family who loves the outdoors, and her connection to Awabakal country and love for the land remains. A self-professed overachiever, Charlee is a champion for diversity and sustainability in the industry and is making real, tangible choices in her career to advocate for this.\r\n\r\n\r\nCharlee has just launched \r\n\tNot Just Trending, a campaign she describes as a collision of her connection to culture, wild childhood, and her passion for the fashion industry. It includes a Sustainable Fashion Guide that highlights ethical and sustainable brands, programs, and practices. In it, she upholds some of our most beloved labels, including ESSE, Bassike and Victoria & Woods, for their commitment to transparency and earth-friendly practice. We also worked alongside her to share our Ethical Dictionary within the guide. Charlee is committed to learning, evolving and passing down her knowledge to younger generations, and we’re humbled by her journey so far.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n            \"I listen to my body    \r\n\ta lot. That’s the best piece of advice I can give to anyone.\"\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\"I fell into the industry   \r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\tand then fell in love,\r\n\t\r\n\tlike all great love stories.\"\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHow would you best describe what you do professionally? \r\n\t I wear clothes in a way that encourages you to buy them. But more than that, I create artistic and immersive images that tell stories and inspire.\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat drew you to modelling?\r\n\t \r\nI fell into the industry and then fell in love, like all great love stories.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat do you enjoy about it?\r\n\t \r\nEverything! Like any relationship, there’s ups and downs, but I’ve learnt and grown so much from this industry. I have taken so much with me from my experiences. I wouldn’t be who I am today without it.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat inspires you professionally?\r\n\t \r\nMy friends, other industry creatives, general interests. I tend to follow my intuition a lot.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\t“ I dress depending on how I feel and how I want to be perceived.” \r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tTell me about your day-to-day. Where do you live? What does a typical day look like for you?\r\n\t \r\nI’m never in one place for too long. A day off often includes a morning workout, brunch, time outdoors, visiting family and friends, cooking a kick-ass dinner and winding down with a movie.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tHow would you describe your approach to dressing? And how does it make you feel?\r\n\t \r\nIt massively depends on my location and the temperature. I dress depending on how I feel and how I want to be perceived.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWho are some of your favourite designers (local and international)?\r\n\t \r\nToni Maticevski, Dion Lee and Stella McCartney, to name a few. There are so many.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tIs there a piece from your wardrobe that you ‘can’t do without’?\r\n\t \r\nDenim. And oversized sweaters.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tTell me a little about your approach to beauty and wellness…\r\n\t \r\nI listen to my body a lot. That’s the best piece of advice I can give to anyone. I mostly eat very clean, exercise a lot, get plenty of rest and use natural and organic products.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat are some changes you’ve noted in the fashion and modelling industry in recent times?\r\n\t \r\nThere has definitely been a change in terms of diversity and inclusion in the realm of ethnicity, age, shape, size and gender.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tHow do you envisage the future of the fashion industry? \r\n\t \r\nHopefully more environmentally and culturally aware.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tDo you have any idols - professional or personal?\r\n\t \r\nI look up to my sister and my friends a lot! I have a number of different idols for all different reasons. Being inspired by others is so important to me and a big part of my success. One of my favourite quotes is, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.\"\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\nWhat or who is inspiring your world at the moment? \r\n\t \r\nDocumentaries.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat do you need around you to feel creatively motivated?\r\n\t \r\nMy creative ideas come from conversations and experiences. It’s about how I’m feeling more than what I have around me.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tImage Credits: Some images from Tom Paterson @tompaterson_nz, Eddie New @eddienew_photography, Getty\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n# x-field x-format:yaml\r\nbodyTitle: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet\r\nteaserText: |\r\n        Charlee Fraser is an Australian model who has garnered global success, walking for Prada, Stella McCartney, Dior, Chanel, and Givenchy. As a proud Awabakal woman, she has quickly become a significant voice for change in the fashion community. Charlee grew up in New South Wales in a family who loves the outdoors, and her connection to Awabakal country and love for the land remains. A self-professed overachiever, Charlee is a champion for diversity and sustainability in the industry and is making real, tangible choices in her career to advocate for this.\r\npublication:\r\n    name: Sally Paton\r\n    image: https://store-s1mbbc7h64.mybigcommerce.com/product_images/import/Sally-headshot.JPG\r\n    note: |\r\nrelated:\r\n    title: More From The Journal\r\n    items: \r\n        - /musings/art-of-the-land/\r\n        - /musings/kitty-clark/\r\n        - /musings/what-you-need-to-know-about-fabric-dyeing/\r\n        - /musings/lets-talk-about-merino-wool/\r\nrelatedProduct:\r\n    title: Related Products\r\n    items: [1521, 1302, 1006, 221]","tags":[{"name":"Musings","url":"https://showroom-x.com/musings/tag/Musings"}],"thumbnail":{"alt":"Muse: Charlee Fraser","data":"https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-s1mbbc7h64/images/stencil/{:size}/uploaded_images/photo-credit-eddie-new.jpeg?t=1626942289"},"title":"Muse: Charlee Fraser","url":"https://showroom-x.com/musings/muse-charlee-fraser/"}
Muse: Charlee Fraser

Muse: Charlee Fraser

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{"author":"Sally Paton","date_published":"22nd Jul 2021","show_read_more":false,"summary":"Brodie Neill\r\n\r\n\tBrodie Neill is a furniture designer, and the more time you spend with him, the more insufficient that label feels. After growing up in the wildness of Tasmania, Brodie ventured abroad to complete his masters at the Rhode Island School of Design, an experience he says opened him up to a world of creative possibilities. Since establishing his studio in London’s East End, Brodie has created progressive sculptural works with an impressive roster of clients, from McQueen to Microsoft. His limited edition works live in museums, galleries, and private collections across the globe.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tIn 2016, Brodie represented Australia at the inaugural London Design Biennale with a critically acclaimed installation, Plastic Effects. This “ocean terrazzo” collection saw Brodie create a nature-driven technology which transformed ocean waste into mesmerising and provocative works. The resulting material and designs, a hypnotic coalescence of colour, form and texture, reified his role as an eco-innovator and environmental spokesperson. Brodie has since participated at talks in the European Union parliament and a marine conference hosted by the United Nations.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tTell me a little about your upbringing. What is your family like? \r\n\t \r\n\t My family was very creative, so therefore I was very much introduced to the arts and taught to express myself as a creative person from a young age. I was also surrounded by the wilderness and the adventures that are literally on the doorstep of Hobart. You can’t help but be inspired by nature. It was an amazing upbringing.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n            The ocean pieces came from      \r\n\ta moment back in Tasmania and seeing the presence of plastic on the beach.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nI wanted them to be the\r\n\t\r\n\tbuilding blocks\r\n\tof something new\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHow would you best describe what you do professionally?  \r\n\t I call myself a furniture designer. It’s my default safe place, but I’ve been called everything from an environmentalist to an industrial designer, sculptor, architect. It is all-encompassing, but furniture design is my base, my foundations, so that’s where I come back to. It’s what I studied and is an epicentre for me to then explore other areas.\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat drew you to furniture design? \r\n\t \r\nI grew up as a creative child from a young age, and it just built. Then, around maybe 12-13, it went from 2D to 3D, and I just started building things. I inherited all these tools from my grandfather, who was an engineer. I built things with my hands and never did the same thing twice, always expressing, to see what I could do. I learned that Tassie was a hot spot for this kind of craftsmanship. Once I got to university, it opened my mind. It laid out a potential future that was exciting. It made me realise this is not just something you do in your shed, that this is something that could take you around the world, across cultures, transcend scale and all types of creative mediums.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat do you love most about it? What gives you the drive to do it every day?\r\n\t \r\nThe creative challenge. Constantly challenging myself to do new projects in new areas. I hate repeating myself. There’s something in the design process. There’s that realisation, the quest to achieve whatever it is you’re trying to create. Once that’s done, then it has lost that kind of love and energy. It’s the challenge, and that could be creating a chair for production or a one-off public sculpture.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat inspires your creative practice?\r\n\t \r\nI am conscious of feeding my thoughts and inspiration, putting myself in a position where those inspirational moments will happen. A lot of the ideas are quite instant, a moment of serendipity where it just happens. You get a ‘what if?’ moment. What if a chair looked like this? What happens if this material did that? It starts like that. It’s a curiosity that you explore. You have to put yourself in the position where you’re going to be inspired. I attend art exhibitions, get out to nature, engage with contemporary culture. I read a lot outside my field - fashion, sculpture, environmentalism.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t“Daydreaming didn’t do me so well in school, but now it gets me a long way.” \r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tTell me about your day-to-day. Where do you live?\r\n\t \r\nI live in London. I’ve been here for about 16 years. Day-to-day, at the moment, I’m still kind of working from home. We closed my studio in March 2020 at the start of the lockdown. I have a team of 6 people in total, and we all work collaboratively. I check in with them in the morning, and my first couple of hours are often calls back home in Australia, as I still do a lot of work out of there. And as the day goes on, I get more of my own creative time. We’ve been really busy through the lockdown.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tDo you think because people have been so much more focused on their homes because they were spending so much more time in them?\r\n\t \r\nYes. The similarity between my field and fashion is the shows. The trade shows, fashion shows, and you’re just bouncing between the two in a bit of a rat race. And then suddenly we had all this time on our hands, from a creative point of view.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tHave you noticed a change in your work since lockdown?\r\n\t \r\nYeah. Not within my style but in the type of work I do. Growing up in Tassie, there’s a big designer-maker thing where your work is created to show in a gallery. In Europe, it’s more big projects. I’ve now seen this reverse, back to basics, with these big commissions. It’s people putting more time and money into their homes.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tDo you think there’s a common thread in Australian design and creativity? Something within your realm that feels innately Australian?\r\n\t \r\nThere is a sense of expression and freedom. There’s no distinct style. Well, there can be. In Australian designers, there’s a push where some people will reference other styles, the Italian model, the Scandinavian model, the Japanese model. They’re very controlled markets, where Australia is a lot more open. And that’s what I mean when I say we have that freedom to express and be quite diverse.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat or who is currently inspiring your world at the moment?\r\n\t \r\nThere are two worlds which I take inspiration from. The first would be nature. I’m completely blown away by nature’s perfection and the evolution of form. But then, now, we have these digital capabilities where we can replicate these through structures, forms and industrial processes.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tCan you tell me a little about your ecological design? You do a talk called Waste to Wonder and have used ocean plastic waste to create new materials? \r\n\t \r\nThe ocean pieces came from a moment back in Tasmania and seeing the presence of plastic on the beach. I wanted them to be the building blocks of something new in a closed-loop cycle. It starts with a material and recontextualising it. To look at material and think what the potential in it is. Even if that is a perfectly new piece of wood, it’s a blank canvas, and it’s taken a long time to create itself. As a designer, you have a responsibility to that material, to turn it into something useful and with longevity. Recontextualising our relationship with the materials is very important. When you look at waste material, you think, “well, that had a life, it’s been discarded, and it has become waste”, but it still has potential. And I suppose there’s been an evolution through my work. I launched Remix in 2008, which is one of Kelly’s favourites. It’s a chaise lounge which has multicolour stripes.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tCan you take me through the creative and physical process of making Remix?\r\n\t \r\nIt came from a curiosity when I was in my Shoreditch studio looking out my window, thinking to myself, “how am I going to afford all the materials to make my design”. And the construction site across the street was throwing all these sheet materials into the skip. So, here was all this potential. This material is going to go into landfill. I’ve got to do something with it. So, I started collecting that material, going to workshops, and looking at what was surplus from production, and I started recycling and upcycling. Suddenly I had 44 layers of different materials, which could all be CNC cut, a robotic machine that cuts it out. This robot is programmed to cut through a material, to sculpt basically, now that could be marble, it could be marshmallow. The robot doesn’t know. It’s just programmed to do it. If you sandwich all these materials together, it’ll just cut it as one. That was probably the first big piece that really took waste and transformed it, and Remix ended up in museums around the world.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\nHow would you describe your personal style? \r\n\t \r\nMonochromatic, very white and very black. I’d describe it as Antwerpian.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\nDo you have any idols? \r\n\t \r\nI look at the masters. Furniture designers and real pioneers pushing form and experimentation through the 50s and 60s. From Eero Saarinen, Verner Panton, and sculptors like Henri Moore, Noguchi.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tIf you would like to purchase Brodie's Cowrie Chair please contact us by email on customercare@showroom-x.com or by phone on 0417 219 388. If you are Perth based we would love you to come and see the chair in person at our Claremont showroom. \r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n# x-field x-format:yaml\r\nbodyTitle: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet\r\nteaserText: |\r\n        Brodie Neill is a furniture designer, and the more time you spend with him, the more insufficient that label feels. After growing up in the wildness of Tasmania, Brodie ventured abroad to complete his masters at the Rhode Island School of Design, an experience he says opened him up to a world of creative possibilities. Since establishing his studio in London’s East End, Brodie has created progressive sculptural works with an impressive roster of clients, from McQueen to Microsoft. His limited edition works live in museums, galleries, and private collections across the globe. In 2016, Brodie represented Australia at the inaugural London Design Biennale with a critically acclaimed installation, Plastic Effects. This “ocean terrazzo” collection saw Brodie create a nature-driven technology which transformed ocean waste into mesmerising and provocative works. The resulting material and designs, a hypnotic coalescence of colour, form and texture, reified his role as an eco-innovator and environmental spokesperson. Brodie has since participated at talks in the European Union parliament and a marine conference hosted by the United Nations.\r\npublication:\r\n    name: Sally Paton\r\n    image: https://store-s1mbbc7h64.mybigcommerce.com/product_images/import/Sally-headshot.JPG\r\n    note: |\r\nrelated:\r\n    title: More From The Journal\r\n    items: \r\n        - /musings/art-of-the-land/\r\n        - /musings/kitty-clark/\r\n        - /musings/what-you-need-to-know-about-fabric-dyeing/\r\n        - /musings/lets-talk-about-merino-wool/\r\nrelatedProduct:\r\n    title: Related Products\r\n    items: [1568, 1415, 1413, 1412]","tags":[{"name":"Portfolios","url":"https://showroom-x.com/musings/tag/Portfolios"}],"thumbnail":{"alt":"Brodie Neill ","data":"https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-s1mbbc7h64/images/stencil/{:size}/uploaded_images/brodie-neill-chair.jpeg?t=1626929099"},"title":"Brodie Neill ","url":"https://showroom-x.com/musings/brodie-neill-/"}
Brodie Neill

Brodie Neill

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{"author":"Sally Paton","date_published":"16th Jul 2021","show_read_more":false,"summary":"Let’s talk about Cashmere\r\n\tThroughout history, cashmere has been a luxury. Cashmere is aspirational, timeless, and an investment. In the last decade, the mass production and the democratisation of the fashion industry have caught up with cashmere. Once a highly expensive commodity reserved for an exclusive minority and wealthy fashionistas, casual cashmere has permeated the high street, with cheaper garments flooding the market. While we believe no one should be priced out of having comfortable clothes in their wardrobe, this shift has spelled problems for producers, their herds, and the natural world.\r\n\t\r\n\tCashmere is made of the fine winter undercoat produced by certain breeds of goats, such as the Zalaa Ginst white goat and Tibetan Plateau goat. Cashmere has been in use since well before the 13th century when Marco Polo allegedly encountered wild goats that had been domesticated by people inside caves in Mongolia. Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife, Empress Josephine, helped popularise the fabric as she began to wear pashmina-style shoulder shawls brought home from her husband’s travels. This sealed cashmere’s reputation as the height of fashion amongst the French upper class.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n            It takes a \r\n\tfull year of growth from four goats to produce enough fibre for one sweater.\r\n\"Soft cashmere\r\n\t\r\n\t  is hard on the\r\n\t\r\n\t environment\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\tBy the 19th century, the fabric had made its way across Europe and became known as “kashmir” after the Kashmir Valley. This region of the Indian subcontinent has temperatures hitting as low as -40 degrees Celsius, and the region’s goats have developed downy undercoats that allow them to survive bitter winters. Cashmere began being processed, treated and produced in other corners of the world from the 1800s. Mongolia has long been prized for its craftsmanship of high-quality cashmere but only began global exports in the post-Soviet era.\r\n\t\r\n\t\tThis century, a spike in demand paired with changes in World Trade Organization rules brought mass-production of cashmere to China, where The Nature Conservancy estimates there are over 100 million goats. This has caused a severe strain in the industry, as less experienced herders are trying to meet large orders from fashion conglomerates, calling into question the quality of the cashmere being produced, the welfare of the goats, and the effect of increased goat populations on the natural world.\r\n\t“Fashion labels must consider the herding communities in their supply chains and make it worth their while to farm less but smarter.”\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\tUbiquity can spell trouble for a product as it loses its perceived value, especially one historically marketed as a luxury item. Cashmere has always been a luxury industry because it is light, retains heat and is a low yield crop. The global cashmere industry produces between 15,000 and 20,000 metric tonnes, but this only results in 6,500 tonnes of pure cashmere after it is cleaned. And according to the National Resources Defense Council, it takes a full year of growth from four goats to produce enough fibre for one sweater.\r\n\t\r\n\tSignificant increases in cashmere production in China has put pressure on all herders to keep many more goats and focus on quantity instead of quality. Designer Loro Piana remarks that it has created a problem. “Some growers, tempted by higher volumes, have gone for volume rather than quality.” The quality of the fleece is evaluated according to the hair’s length, thickness and degree of crimping, all of which are direct reflections of the animal’s overall health. High-quality cashmere is renowned for its very fine, long fibres, which create its incredibly warm and soft finish. Lengthier cashmere fibres also maintain their integrity for a longer time, allowing garments to retain their structure, and will typically only pill once.\r\n\t\r\n\tBut we’re now seeing a vast increase in low-priced, mass-market cashmere due to the rise in global supply, and you can now shop a simple cashmere sweater for under $100. This has led to a significant drop in quality, with coarser, short fibre becoming commonly used, resulting in garments that persistently pill. Low-quality cashmere also becomes a part of ‘cashmere blends’, which bulked out with synthetic materials, and often contain as little as 5% cashmere. These blends don’t have the warmth or resilience of pure cashmere, are not biodegradable, can no longer be recycled and often don’t last more than a season of wear. But this isn’t the only sustainability issue with the new era of cashmere. Soft cashmere is also hard on the environment.\r\n\t\r\n\tCashmere supply cannot keep up with demand in a sustainable way. While cotton, silk, or leather can be produced in modified farming systems, cashmere production relies on natural grasslands in limited areas of the world. As a result, it is especially vulnerable to environmental change. And the spike in production has led to larger herd sizes being raised than the alpine grazeland can handle. Cashmere goats are tough on fragile land. They consume 10 percent of their body weight daily, destroy plants by eating very close to root systems, and damage topsoil with their stiletto-like hoofs. They may be cute, but they’re causing extreme environmental stress!\r\n\t\r\n\tFor centuries, nomadic families have driven their goats across Mongolia’s steppe, preserving a way of life that goes back generations.  With no agriculture to speak of and little vegetation, the goats are a life source for the nomadic herders. This is a way of life that has existed for thousands of years. And despite the global popularity of cashmere, its commercial success has not financially benefited the Mongolian herders.\r\n\t\r\n\tThe increased grazing pressure has led to the degradation of the native grasslands across the country which has only been exacerbated by climate change. This has led to desertification in the region, a phenomenon media have labelled the “Cashmere Crisis”. In 2010, the combined impact of a summer drought, which reduced available forage in the grasslands, and an extremely severe winter (or ‘dzud’ in the Mongolian language), saw more than nine million domesticated animals perish in Mongolia, most of which were cashmere goats. This has caused severe dust storms and exacerbated herders’ economic hardship, with many being driven into poverty and displaced into urban slums.\r\n\t\r\n\tCompanies must recognise that their business depends on natural capital and impacts the welfare of the animal and the livelihoods of the producers at the base of their supply chain. Because it is derived from an animal source, the animal’s welfare is an essential factor to bear in mind when purchasing cashmere. It is unlikely that the animals have been treated with respect and care if the brand cannot disclose or does not know where the fabric was sourced.\r\n\t\r\n\tLuxury brands, including our beloved ESSE Studios, are more selective in their sourcing, centring on Mongolia and Inner Mongolia and using only the finer, longer and whiter fibres. Sustainably sourced cashmere from Mongolia ensures that the cashmere is almost always organic and sourced from well looked after animals whose flock has been hand combed, as shearing can be very stressful. Even though it takes more time & effort to hand comb, herders have over 2,000 years of nomadic herding tradition to uphold. This approach is still the best thing for their goats and for the resulting garments. Many Mongolian herders are also trying to adapt by forming communities. This allows them to manage their pastures, pool their labour, and slow down the degradation of their land.\r\n\t\r\n\tWe only see a future for cashmere where labels are actively working with their suppliers to create resilient production systems such as sustainable herding practices and holistic management of pasturelands. Fashion labels must consider the herding communities in their supply chains and make it worth their while to farm less but smarter. We believe collaborative efforts could provide an opportunity to create a cashmere industry that helps regenerate natural systems and supports the livelihoods of millions of people who may otherwise face poverty. Supporting suppliers means protecting the price to ensure they are able to value quality over quantity.\r\n\t\r\n\tThere is a reason why cashmere should remain in the luxury market. It ensures that the highly skilled communities who have historically relied upon the industry for their livelihood can continue to do so. They know how to care for the goats and create the best cashmere with the smallest impact on the natural environment. We want cashmere to be able to fit right into that classic, elegant closet of your dreams. But for that to continue, we have to be sure that our choices are both ethical and sustainable. Otherwise, the industry may not outlive the industry’s democratisation of cashmere.\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\tSources:\r\n\tNRDC\r\n\tBusiness of Fashion\r\n\tBusiness Standard\r\n\tNapoleon\r\n\tNaadam\r\n\tEsse Studios\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n# x-field x-format:yaml\r\nbodyTitle: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet\r\nteaserText: |\r\n        Throughout history, cashmere has been a luxury. Cashmere is aspirational, timeless, and an investment. In the last decade, the mass production and the democratisation of the fashion industry have caught up with cashmere. Once a highly expensive commodity reserved for an exclusive minority and wealthy fashionistas, casual cashmere has permeated the high street, with cheaper garments flooding the market. While we believe no one should be priced out of having comfortable clothes in their wardrobe, this shift has spelled problems for producers, their herds, and the natural world.\r\npublication:\r\n    name: Sally Paton\r\n    image: https://store-s1mbbc7h64.mybigcommerce.com/product_images/import/Sally-headshot.JPG\r\n    note: |\r\nrelated:\r\n    title: More From The Journal\r\n    items: \r\n        - /musings/art-of-the-land/\r\n        - /musings/lets-talk-about-viscose/\r\n        - /musings/lets-talk-about-linen/\r\n        - /musings/regenerative-fashion-with-kitx/\r\nrelatedProduct:\r\n    title: Related Products\r\n    items: [1423,1427,1530,1543,1544,1528,1529]","tags":[{"name":"Learnings","url":"https://showroom-x.com/musings/tag/Learnings"}],"thumbnail":{"alt":"Let's talk about Cashmere","data":"https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-s1mbbc7h64/images/stencil/{:size}/uploaded_images/ignant-photography-daniel-dorsa-selection-001-1440x1800.jpeg?t=1626426324"},"title":"Let's talk about Cashmere","url":"https://showroom-x.com/musings/lets-talk-about-cashmere/"}
Let's talk about Cashmere

Let's talk about Cashmere

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{"author":"Sally Paton","date_published":"9th Jul 2021","show_read_more":false,"summary":"Tatsiana Shevarenkova\r\n\r\n\tTatsiana Shevarenkova is a Sydney based artist who creates dramatic yet utilitarian objects through a range of throwing and hand-building techniques. Tatsiana grew up in a little town called Pinsk in Belarus and holds loving memories of running through beautiful wheat fields, playing with neighbours till dark, harvesting ripe cucumbers and berries from her grandma’s yard, and secretly rescuing stray cats. After building a career as a fashion stylist in Moscow, Tatsiana moved to Australia and explored her curiosity of more tactile mediums.\r\n\r\n\r\nAs a self-taught artist, Tatsiana founded Cosset Ceramics and, moved by the biomorphic sculptors of the mid 20th Century, she began to explore sculptural forms. She is inspired by the motherly figures of Noguchi and Jean Arp. Her continuous series of planters, titled The Muses, reveres the beauty of Renaissance art, where the female body is presented as natural and charming.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n            \"I think Australian   \r\n\tcreativity is often intertwined with social change or coming to terms with itself\"\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\"With clay, I feel    \r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\tfreedom\"\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nTell me a little about your upbringing - where were you born and raised? What is your family like? \r\n\t I was raised by strong women, not dissimilar to many children in post-Soviet countries, with very little presence of fatherly figures. Nonetheless, I am very lucky to have a loving older brother who looked after me. When I was 13, my family and I moved to Moscow, a city of more opportunity, to eventually study economics at a more reputable university.\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tHow would you best describe what you do professionally?\r\n\t \r\nUltimately, what I do professionally is experiment with clay to make sculptures and lighting. There are many possible ways to theorise this, but it can be boiled down to both play and experimentation with forms.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat drew you to the practice of sculpture? \r\n\t \r\nFreedom. I previously worked in fashion, and fashion imagery, which is often constrained by variables that are out of your immediate control. Realising creative ideas is contingent on resources available at the time. On the contrary, with clay, I feel freedom. What I desire to make is entirely dependent on my skill and patience.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat do you enjoy about it?\r\n\t \r\nHours fly by. It’s an entertaining and inspiring process. The physical sensation of touching clay is both grounding and calming. Also, it feels satisfying to finish a new object and recognise its character.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\t“On the first day, I prepare the base using mould pressing techniques. On the following days, I improvise with curves. It takes four to five days to refine and finish the shape.” \r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat inspires your creative practice?\r\n\t \r\nThe contours of bodies and abstract biomorphic shapes. Shapes that look warm and welcoming. I draw inspiration from Henry Moore, Louise Bourgeois and Noguchi. However, I believe context is perhaps more important than reference. Being around and working with kind people is a motor for productivity. The company I share often inspires my practice.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tTell me about your day-to-day. Where do you live?\r\n\t \r\nI live in Elizabeth Bay in a cute apartment with a garden and a lovely view of the harbour. When I don’t have any meetings scheduled in the morning, I usually take it slow. I’ll do some admin for an hour or so, then head to my Marrickville studio. I usually have 3-5 pieces going at any given time. This is followed by emails and material research which often extends well into the night. That said, I’m privileged to be able to drop everything to visit friends or go for a swim, which I often do.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat is exciting for you about the current Australian creative landscape?\r\n\t \r\nAlthough I’m still relatively new to Australia, I’ve had the luxury of being exposed to many creative practices. In Sydney, for me, what’s exciting is a community that feels youthful irrespective of age. At a much broader level, it would be remiss of me not to appreciate the social and political conditions in which Australian artists practice. There is no pressure to make compromises, as is often the case in Russia. By this, I mean anyone can make art to any end. This prospect is inherently exciting.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tDo you think there’s a common thread in Australian design and creativity? Something within the realm of design or dressing that feels innately Australian?\r\n\t \r\nThis is a difficult question, and I’m probably misplaced to qualify anything that feels innately Australian. In any case, I’ve visited galleries and spaces in many places around the world, but nowhere seems as politically attuned. Australian artists confront their history and reckon with political issues. In this sense, I think Australian creativity is often intertwined with social change or coming to terms with itself. A process of unravelling, maybe.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tHow would you describe your personal style?\r\n\t \r\nI rarely consider it, but I’d say it’s quite relaxed and minimal. I mostly care about comfort and materials that feel nice on my skin.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWho are some of your favourite designers (local and international)?\r\n\t \r\nLocally, I like Deiji Studios, Albus Lumen and Matteau. I like Margiela, Bottega under Daniel Lee, Totême with Elin Kling and Karl Lindman, and Simone Rocha. Also, the dreamy Albina Zueva in Saint Petersbourg - founder of MY812.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tIs there a piece from your wardrobe that you ‘can’t do without?\r\n\t \r\nWhite pants. It sounds like a ridiculous choice for such a messy occupation, but the truth is, white pants make me look half decent. When clay dries on the clothes, it turns white, unless it’s red, then I’m in trouble.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\nWho are your idols?\r\n\t \r\nCats. For their gentleness and grace.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\nWhat or who is currently inspiring your world?\r\n\t \r\nI admire sculptors who dedicated their entire lives to craftsmanship, like Schlegel, Noguchi or Brancusi. I want to know what urged them to spend their days in dusty studios and what drew them to particular materials. In the studio, I’ve been listening to David Bowie, Boy Harsher, and Martin Dupont.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\nDescribe your workspace - where is it located, and what do you need around you to feel creatively motivated?\r\n\t \r\nI’ve recently changed studios and am still settling in. My new space is in Marrickville, shared with four other talented ceramicists. To help myself concentrate and begin working with clay, I burn incense. Lots of incense. I hope it doesn’t annoy my new neighbours. But I won’t be able to create a thing if I have even a tiny amount of mess around me. Cleanliness and music is all the motivation I need.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\nCan you describe the process of creating one of your artworks?\r\n\t \r\nFor my sculptures, I use grogged clays and coil-building techniques. I allow the clay to guide me rather than forcing anything on it. I challenge myself with ideas and shapes while observing and learning from the forms of which the clay wants to take. Once I’m pleased with the form, I work on the contours and the texture. Although I research and experiment with glaze recipes, most of the time, I keep my work unglazed for its natural look. Lastly, I prefer earthenware firing as it places less stress on my shapes.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tImage Credits:Photography by Jacqui Turk \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n# x-field x-format:yaml\r\nbodyTitle: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet\r\nteaserText: |\r\n        Tatsiana Shevarenkova is a Sydney based artist who creates dramatic yet utilitarian objects through a range of throwing and hand-building techniques. Tatsiana grew up in a little town called Pinsk in Belarus and holds loving memories of running through beautiful wheat fields, playing with neighbours till dark, harvesting ripe cucumbers and berries from her grandma’s yard, and secretly rescuing stray cats. After building a career as a fashion stylist in Moscow, Tatsiana moved to Australia and explored her curiosity of more tactile mediums. As a self-taught artist, Tatiana founded Cosset Ceramics and, moved by the biomorphic sculptors of the mid 20th Century, she began to explore sculptural forms. She is inspired by the motherly figures of Noguchi and Jean Arp. Her continuous series of planters, titled The Muses, reveres the beauty of Renaissance art, where the female body is presented as natural and charming.\r\npublication:\r\n    name: Sally Paton\r\n    image: https://store-s1mbbc7h64.mybigcommerce.com/product_images/import/Sally-headshot.JPG\r\n    note: |\r\nrelated:\r\n    title: More From The Journal\r\n    items: \r\n        - /musings/art-of-the-land/\r\n        - /musings/kitty-clark/\r\n        - /musings/what-you-need-to-know-about-fabric-dyeing/\r\n        - /musings/lets-talk-about-merino-wool/\r\nrelatedProduct:\r\n    title: Related Products\r\n    items: [1535, 1536, 1537, 1538, 1539, 1534, 1267, 1271, 1303, 1506]","tags":[{"name":"Portfolios","url":"https://showroom-x.com/musings/tag/Portfolios"}],"thumbnail":{"alt":"Introducing Tatsiana Shevarenkova","data":"https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-s1mbbc7h64/images/stencil/{:size}/uploaded_images/tatsiana-banner.jpg?t=1625723902"},"title":"Introducing Tatsiana Shevarenkova","url":"https://showroom-x.com/musings/introducing-tatsiana-shevarenkova/"}
Introducing Tatsiana Shevarenkova

Introducing Tatsiana Shevarenkova

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{"author":"Sally Paton","date_published":"17th Jun 2021","show_read_more":false,"summary":"Henryk Lobaczewski\r\n\r\n\tHenryk Lobaczewski is a Sydney based artist and photographer. We have been familiar with his thoughtful fashion imagery for many years, and when he began his painted works, we greedily wanted more than one to live in our homes. Henryk approaches his contemporary abstract works intuitively, finding much of his inspiration in tones and colours from the pages of fashion magazines. Every piece is a study of balance, weight of texture and exploration of colour. Henryk grew up on a 10-acre parcel of bushland an hour out of Brisbane and learnt to drive sitting on his dad's knee with his twin sisters screaming from the back seat. He has spent his life surrounded by women, now sharing a home with his wife and two girls, and has an ever-creative mother who nurtured his desire to draw from a young age. The wonder of his father’s silver box filled with cameras and lenses still burns in his memory. It catalyzed his interest in photography, and he still remembers his first camera, a red Kodak point and shoot. Henryk has always been drawn to aesthetic delights and says that he creates works to share beauty with this world.\r\n\r\n\r\n\tTell me a little about yourself as a young man.  \r\n\t At age 11, I started work at an orchid nursery, and I fell deeply in love with orchids. At age 14, I had saved the money to pay to build a large greenhouse to house my orchid collection. My dad just told me to tell the bulldozer operator where I wanted it. I had amazing parents. I spent all my pay on orchids. I was always an all or nothing kind of guy. My dad passed away when I turned 15 and that loss defined who I am today.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n            When I'm painting, I'm in   \r\n\ta constant state of play. It's definitely a meditative practice.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nI'm lucky to now be on my\r\n\t\r\n\tthird\r\n\tbig passion project in life\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWhat drew you to the practice of painting?  \r\n\t I have pined for it for a good ten years or so. I knew it was an expensive form of expression, and I never had the space, funds or time to create the forms of works I wanted to see out there. When I moved from an apartment into a house with a garden, it all changed. I set aside a budget and went into it deep. I'm now painting 2-3 times a week, as much as my other businesses will allow. I'm drawn to the child-like, carefree allure. And I always play on that. My paintings are simple yet intense, bold.\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat do you enjoy about it? \r\n\t \r\nI love that there are no rules, just material limitations, and I'm always trying to stretch them. When I'm painting, I'm in a constant state of play. It's definitely a meditative practice. I also love that when I'm painting, I'm not trying to 'sell something' like my other work as a fashion advertising photographer. There is no dress or pair of shoes I'm subconsciously selling that I have to keep in the back of mind while trying to be creative. No. With painting, the 'sell' is always an afterthought.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat inspires your creative practice?\r\n\t \r\nStrong colour & texture, and simplicity. I love seeing confidence & boldness in art.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t“It's a ritual. I paint canvases inside at night when everyone is asleep, and I paint my concrete works during the afternoon in the garden.” \r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tTell me about your day-to-day. Where do you live?\r\n\t \r\nI currently live in Vaucluse in Sydney, but we just bought a Spanish mission-style home we are renovating in the Upper North Shore. I normally do emails, paint in the day if I can, and work on images & editing until 1:00-3:00 AM. So, I am definitely not a morning person! I now find I reward myself with painting time after I achieve an editing goal. Sometimes I edit, then paint, or paint, then edit, but I try to do some of both each day. Some days have become full paint days recently as I currently have a lot of commissions. And there's always a lot of playtime in between with my two girls.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat is exciting for you about the current Australian creative landscape?\r\n\t \r\nDue to Covid, I feel like people have found their passion projects and are now pursuing them relentlessly. We only have so much time in this world, and it's not to be wasted on doing what you don't want to be doing. I'm lucky to now be on my third big passion project in life, painting, while still keeping all three in play. This also helps to fund the huge amounts of paint I use!\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tHow would you describe your personal style?\r\n\t \r\nEuropean minimalism, or over the top loud and proud, depending on the day. I don't like to have brands showing, ever.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tDo you have any favourite designers (Australian and international)?\r\n\t \r\nGucci, Fear of God, Givenchy, Acne.  Joseph Dirand for interiors.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWho are your idols?\r\n\t \r\nPicasso & Steven Miesel.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat or who is currently inspiring your world at the moment? \r\n\t \r\nWhen I paint, music is a big part of the inspiration, and I only listen to one artist, DJ Rhee, located in Bali. He gives away his one-hour sets for free on his website, and it keeps me in my flow state. You can donate too if you love it. Bali needs it!\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tDescribe your workspace - where is it located, and what do you need around you to feel creatively motivated?\r\n\t \r\nI like to create solo, with loud music playing, connected to my flow state. I don't drink & paint, as I want the connection to be all-encompassing with a clear mind. It's a ritual. I paint canvases inside at night when everyone is asleep, and I paint my concrete works during the afternoon in the garden. They are super messy. We are hoping to make a studio space in the build of the new house. I'm really looking forward to that!\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\nCan you briefly describe the creative process of creating one of your artworks? \r\n\t \r\nIt always starts with colour. I might see a colourway in a fashion editorial shoot that I like. An image of a beautiful black model in an orange dress with light shining on the dress bringing out the tones of yellow and orange, inspired a whole orange piece I recently sold. I have recently played best with a solid colour or a maximum of two tones within the same colour to show depth. I feel like this will evolve into mixing some of these tones together, but I'm still obsessed with a solid colour. I then decide on canvas (acrylic) or board (acrylic or cement mix), and then once the tone is mixed, the music starts, and the painting doesn't stop until it looks right. Sometimes it's 17 minutes. Sometimes it's 2-3 hours. I'm very much an in-the-moment do-what-feels-right kind of painter. There's a child-like approach to getting that paint on the surface. It's quick & reactive. Then it dries.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tListen to Henryk’s painting soundtrack\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tIf you would like to request a commissioned piece by Henryk please contact customercare@showroom-x.com. Henryk can customise the colour and size of his painted works to complement your space.\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n# x-field x-format:yaml\r\nbodyTitle: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet\r\nteaserText: |\r\n        Henryk Lobaczewski is a Sydney based artist and photographer. We have been familiar with his thoughtful fashion imagery for many years, and when he began his painted works, we greedily wanted more than one to live in our homes. Henryk approaches his contemporary abstract works intuitively, finding much of his inspiration in tones and colours from the pages of fashion magazines. Every piece is a study of balance, weight of texture and exploration of colour. Henryk grew up on a 10-acre parcel of bushland an hour out of Brisbane and learnt to drive sitting on his dad's knee with his twin sisters screaming from the back seat. He has spent his life surrounded by women, now sharing a home with his wife and two girls, and has an ever-creative mother who nurtured his desire to draw from a young age. The wonder of his father’s silver box filled with cameras and lenses still burns in his memory. It catalyzed his interest in photography, and he still remembers his first camera, a red Kodak point and shoot. Henryk has always been drawn to aesthetic delights and says that he creates works to share beauty with this world.\r\npublication:\r\n    name: Sally Paton\r\n    image: https://store-s1mbbc7h64.mybigcommerce.com/product_images/import/Sally-headshot.JPG\r\n    note: |\r\nrelated:\r\n    title: More From The Journal\r\n    items: \r\n        - /musings/art-of-the-land/\r\n        - /musings/kitty-clark/\r\n        - /musings/what-you-need-to-know-about-fabric-dyeing/\r\n        - /musings/lets-talk-about-merino-wool/\r\nrelatedProduct:\r\n    title: Related Products\r\n    items: [1488, 1027, 1079, 1108]","tags":[{"name":"Portfolios","url":"https://showroom-x.com/musings/tag/Portfolios"}],"thumbnail":{"alt":"Artist in Residence - Henryk Lobaczewski","data":"https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-s1mbbc7h64/images/stencil/{:size}/uploaded_images/1725ae20-2497-4926-8380-84997b5b79dd.jpg?t=1623918466"},"title":"Artist in Residence - Henryk Lobaczewski","url":"https://showroom-x.com/musings/artist-in-residence-henryk-lobaczewski/"}
Artist in Residence - Henryk Lobaczewski

Artist in Residence - Henryk Lobaczewski

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{"author":"Sally Paton","date_published":"8th Jun 2021","show_read_more":false,"summary":"MASCULINITY\r\n\r\n\tThere is no natural link between a garment and a specific gender, but dressing against gender norms is relatively rare. While the wearing of trousers by women in the West has been done since the early twentieth century, they often faced ridicule and resistant legislators. After all, it took until 1993 for women to be allowed to wear trousers on the U.S. Senate floor. Women have had an easier time adopting these and other masculine coded garments than men have had embracing feminine clothes. The donning of trousers by women may have represented a critical adjustment in the definition of femininity and gifted the freedom of movement in daily life and work, but it hasn’t necessarily led to a revolution in the way we dress.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tCritics of gender-fluid clothing may be humbled when looking to the past. Throughout history, men’s clothing typically included some variant of a dress. Roman men wore togas, Kimonos in Japan often included a skirt as the lower garment and were extremely valuable in society as often meaningful family heirlooms. Irish men wore kilts, Chinese men, Hanfu. Skirts were a key piece of almost every ancient outfit for men because they were easy to create and comfortable to wear.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n            Critics of gender-fluid clothing may be    \r\n\thumbled when looking to the past.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tIt wasn’t until the nineteenth century that men began to incorporate longer and tighter trousers into their everyday wardrobes. This is where most people believe the gender divide became evident in fashion, as men stuck with pants and women continued to mostly wear skirts. Certain articles of clothing quickly became attached to specific genders.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tIn his Symposium, Plato wrote that we were all hermaphrodites (now termed intersex) until the gods decided to split us in two. The notion of men having feminine and women masculine traits has entered the mainstream by now, but even so, we continue to favor convention when it comes to our appearance.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tThere are many ways we express masculinity through our appearance; short hair, baggy clothes, loafers, and relaxed suiting. When worn by a woman, a classic suit is labelled a ‘power suit’, as if simply wearing something masculine allows the female wearer to adopt the elevated status and power of a man. These changes in fashion have been influenced by a perception of gender constantly in flux. We have all questioned why blue is for boys, why ‘men will be men’ is used to normalise violence and aggression, and what we mean when we say ‘the clothes make the man’.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhile men still hold more power in modern society, men in skirts should be prepared to field questions about their masculinity. A man in a skirt is not only perceived as looking feminine but being feminine. Men failing to dress to fit with hegemonic masculinity may be put at risk, personally and professionally, which acts to preserve the gender order. We only need to look at the cyclone of discourse and news covered when Harry Styles graced the cover of Vogue in a lace dress to see how underdeveloped our bandwidth to accept feminised fashion on men can be. For fashion-forward men, this has led to hybrid masculinity. They will attend Thom Browne shows in skirts and dresses, but it's rare to see gender-fluid sartorial choices extend beyond the front rows of Fashion Week.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tFor now, women can relish the fact that borrowing from our boyfriends, brothers, or fathers’ wardrobes is not only socially acceptable but a fashionable choice. Women have widely claimed male cut jeans as boyfriend jeans, and an oversized blazer is the uniform of the chic and cool fashion-forward woman. The social nature of masculinity is a pattern of practice and one rife with complexity and contradiction. Today, it seems more apt to talk about ‘masculinities’ in the plural, to underscore the many ways in which one can be a man, become one, or choose to dress like one.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tIn recent times, one of the more interesting questions is what do we have to learn from the way men shop and dress? \r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWe’ve noted that many of the men we live and work beside will wear their clothes to death, don the same outfit as a form of uniform, and would sooner go without pants than wearing something which made them uncomfortable. Their choices began to transform in our minds from cavalier to a more conscious form of consumption, something we had been rallying behind since we awoke to the environmental impact of our lust for an ever-updated wardrobe.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tIn light of the freedom we believe one deserves to choose their mode of dress, we introduce NONPLUS, a collaboration by Gareth Moody and Maurice Terzini. Inspired by a surf-punk aesthetic with a focus on luxury tailoring and relaxed fits, NONPLUS transforms classic menswear into elevated and androgenous essentials. Co-creator Gareth Moody describes, “The search for the perfect everyday uniform is something that challenges me... this collaboration, years in the making, has brought me one step closer.\" The capsule collection stays true to the designers’ heritage in menswear, presenting traditionally masculine shapes, from contemporary tailoring and everyday staples, for a unisex modern capsule wardrobe.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tAs our co-founder, Kelly Atkinson, describes it, “We strive to be an innovative platform that isn’t restricted by the “business as usual’ restraints of the fashion industry at present. So when creative genius Maurice Terzini, of Ten Pieces, Icebergs dining room & bar and CicciaBella, and his friend Gareth Moody, of Chronicles of Never, approached us to launch, we knew this was a great chance to do something different.” It introduces 'masculine wear' as a category to Showroom-X, designed to be worn by women and men alike.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tBinding genders so closely to clothing ultimately limits how people can live comfortably and candidly express themselves. It instills a fear of judgment that no one should feel. Our sartorial choices are one of the first ways we learn to show who we are to the world. It should be personal, and we will do whatever we can to give you the freedom of choice.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tCredits: \r\n\tVictoria and Albert Museum / World Clothing and Fashion: An Encyclopedia of History, Culture, and Social Influence / Symposium\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n# x-field x-format:yaml\r\nbodyTitle: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet\r\nteaserText: |\r\n        There is no natural link between a garment and a specific gender, but dressing against gender norms is relatively rare. While the wearing of trousers by women in the West has been done since the early twentieth century, they often faced ridicule and resistant legislators. After all, it took until 1993 for women to be allowed to wear trousers on the U.S. Senate floor. Women have had an easier time adopting these and other masculine coded garments than men have had embracing feminine clothes. The donning of trousers by women may have represented a critical adjustment in the definition of femininity and gifted the freedom of movement in daily life and work, but it hasn’t necessarily led to a revolution in the way we dress.\r\npublication:\r\n    name: Sally Paton\r\n    image: https://store-s1mbbc7h64.mybigcommerce.com/product_images/import/Sally-headshot.JPG\r\n    note: |\r\nrelated:\r\n    title: More From The Journal\r\n    items: \r\n        - /musings/art-of-the-land/\r\n        - /musings/kitty-clark/\r\n        - /musings/what-you-need-to-know-about-fabric-dyeing/\r\n        - /musings/lets-talk-about-merino-wool/\r\nrelatedProduct:\r\n    title: Related Products\r\n    items: [1416, 1415, 1414, 1413, 1412, 1411, 852, 1073, 613, 368]","tags":[{"name":"Learnings","url":"https://showroom-x.com/musings/tag/Learnings"}],"thumbnail":{"alt":"Masculinity","data":"https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-s1mbbc7h64/images/stencil/{:size}/uploaded_images/masculinity-parallax-1-asset-2.jpg?t=1623144988"},"title":"Masculinity","url":"https://showroom-x.com/musings/masculinity/"}
Masculinity

Masculinity

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{"author":"Sally Paton","date_published":"24th May 2021","show_read_more":false,"summary":"EVI-O\r\n\r\n\tEvi O is a self-taught artist and book designer with a curious eye and mind. Evi is constantly exploring and observing her surroundings, moving to Sydney at age 17 from her home in Surabaya, Indonesia. She is a painter, and Evi’s practice fulfills a desire to express her creativity and stories without boundaries and limitations.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe creatures and scenes Evi O paints are symbolic of people, places, and scenes that have left their mark on her – and this affords an intimacy with her subjects that infuses the images with emotional resonance. Growing up in a family of creatives and entrepreneurs, she is strong-minded, motivated, and constantly seeking new and creative ways to work, live in, and paint the world. Colour is a cornerstone of her practice, but her personal style is based in black.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n            \"I feel lucky that the world we live in is filled with  \r\n\tinteresting people and that’s what it’s all about.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\"I think it’s    \r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\trather perfect\r\n\t\r\n\tin its imperfection.\"\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nTell me a little about your upbringing - where were you born and raised? What is your family like? \r\n\t My family is a mix of working middle-class people, entrepreneurs, academics, and a few creatives, so my family gatherings are always interesting. My grandmother from Dad’s side – Oma Betty – grew up in part during the colonial era. She didn’t go to school, yet she spent all her life absorbed in a variety of entrepreneurial pursuits. My uncle Dede was already fighting for the LGBTQI community internationally during the 70s. These are just a little sampler of the environment I grew up in. I think all of them combined make a lot of sense when I try to explain how I see this small, big world.\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tHow would you best describe what you do professionally?\r\n\t \r\nA ‘creative’ is the term I use loosely to describe what I do, but I understand it’s very broad. I’m a creative director and an artist, and an author. I started with graphic design, worked in a publishing house for a decade before starting my own design studio of 6, working on brand and publishing projects. I am a practicing artist represented by Saint Cloche, and I just wrote a book called Day Trip Sydney, the first of many.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat drew you to the practice of painting? What do you enjoy about it?\r\n\t \r\nI like how ‘no tricks’ it is. It’s almost that painting is perhaps one of the most traditional forms of art, yet it doesn’t limit you from telling a story or an idea and having a lively communication with your audience. In its simplicity, you can play with scale and textures to create a more spatial experience. I am just scratching the surface when I talk about my art practice, though.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat inspires your creative practice?\r\n\t \r\nReal life. Real things I see, observe, and ponder upon. A lot of them are human-related. I’m obsessed with the idea of being, what it means, and those existential thoughts we all have. The idea I ruminate on for each art piece is always personal, and all of them stem from a personal experience or those of my peers. I feel lucky that the world we live in is filled with interesting people and that’s what it’s all about. I think it’s rather perfect in its imperfection.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t“Think artistic cuts, a good mix of materials, and not shy of expression.” \r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tTell me about your day-to-day. Where do you live?\r\n\t \r\nI live in Redfern, my design and art studio is in Marrickville.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat does a typical day look like for you?\r\n\t \r\nI’d get up and tend to my sweet whippet, Henri, have a sliver of morning niceties with my partner Andrew if time allows before entering the hustle and bustle of the Marrickville studio. Arriving, we would do shouty greetings between office dwellers Daniel Shipp, the wizard photographer, and Paulina DeLaveaux, Thames & Hudson publisher extraordinaire. Then I enter the design and art studio where Susan, Nicole, Kait, Wilson, Zoe, Zac, and I create some magic. A day is a wedge of painting, designing, and meetings, always with music. Before you know it, it’ll be home time. Some days we do longer hours to communicate with clients from the opposite hemisphere, but I am a big promoter of work-life balance, so I stress that you take the evenings as seriously as the mornings. This means dinners and seeing people I love.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat is exciting for you about the current Australian creative landscape?\r\n\t \r\nI think our remote location within this world can be both good or bad. Good in that it is a unique place that will come with its own kind of inspiration, and it is a less ‘noisy’ space if you would like to focus and cook an idea. You can easily witness this when you see the unique works of some Australian artists and designers that are forging their path internationally. But I think it can also be bad if you get comfortable and forget about the many other worlds that exist out there.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tHow would you describe your personal style?\r\n\t \r\nI’d say crafted. I wear very little colour these days – I wear a lot of black – but I appreciate detailing. Think artistic cuts, a good mix of materials, and not shy of expression.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tDo you have any favourite designers (Australian and international)?\r\n\t \r\nMy wardrobe is dominated by pieces from Commes Des Garcons, Junya Watanabe, Margiela, Acne, and Henrik Vibskov, a sprinkle of Song for the Mute, Lee Mathews, and Issey Miyake here and there. I’d love to wear a wider variety of brands, but I also know it takes lots of trial and error to find brands with cuts that fit your body - just like a good relationship!\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWho are your idols?\r\n\t \r\nMy Oma Betty is a living, life idol. She is 93 this year, and to grow to her age and be as positive as the sun every single second of her life is an inspiration.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat or who is currently inspiring your world? \r\n\t \r\nI always find Henrik Vibskov inspiring in that he runs his art, music, and fashion practice rather holistically. M/M Paris for their smooth way of marrying art and design.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tDescribe your workspace - where is it located and what do you need around you to feel creatively motivated?\r\n\t \r\nThe design studio is deemed ‘The Yellow Office’ by my 3-year-old friend Lulu, I guess because of the wood panelling on the wall and our oak furniture. It is not the neatest nor most glamorous, but it’s filled with creativity. I liken it to a Japanese architect’s tasteful but messy desk. The art studio is an art studio - panels, paints, and tubs - it’s a working space. Both have a different energy. The design office is very fast-paced, but the art studio feels like time stops there. Both always have music on. And both are located at the end of a Marrickville building which used to be Ansett Airlines’ BlackBox investigation office. While the art studio is fine with me alone, the design office needs its inhabitants to feel the way it’s supposed to feel.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\nCan you take me through the creative and physical process in making one of your works, from inception to the final piece.\r\n\t \r\nIt always starts with an idea, then an idea of the execution, before a deep dive into creating the work. The first part is what takes the longest, but once you’re deep in the world… sometimes I don’t want to ever leave!\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tImage Credits: Some images from Lee Mathews Journal @leemathewsau / Photography by Martyn Thompson @martynthompsonstudio\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n# x-field x-format:yaml\r\nbodyTitle: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet\r\nteaserText: |\r\n        Evi O is a self-taught artist and book designer with a curious eye and mind. Evi is constantly exploring and observing her surroundings, moving to Sydney at age 17 from her home in Surabaya, Indonesia. She is a painter, and Evi’s practice fulfills a desire to express her creativity and stories without boundaries and limitations.\r\npublication:\r\n    name: Sally Paton\r\n    image: https://store-s1mbbc7h64.mybigcommerce.com/product_images/import/Sally-headshot.JPG\r\n    note: |\r\nrelated:\r\n    title: More From The Journal\r\n    items: \r\n        - /musings/art-of-the-land/\r\n        - /musings/kitty-clark/\r\n        - /musings/what-you-need-to-know-about-fabric-dyeing/\r\n        - /musings/lets-talk-about-merino-wool/\r\nrelatedProduct:\r\n    title: Related Products\r\n    items: [1416, 1415, 1414, 1413, 1412, 1411, 852, 1073, 613, 368]","tags":[{"name":"Portfolios","url":"https://showroom-x.com/musings/tag/Portfolios"}],"thumbnail":{"alt":"Introducing - EVI-O","data":"https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-s1mbbc7h64/images/stencil/{:size}/uploaded_images/evi-o-parallax-1-asset-2.jpg?t=1621857605"},"title":"Introducing - EVI-O","url":"https://showroom-x.com/musings/introducing-evio/"}
Introducing - EVI-O

Introducing - EVI-O

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{"author":"Sasha Whiddon and Sally Paton ","date_published":"3rd May 2021","show_read_more":false,"summary":"What you need to know about fabric dyeing\r\n\r\n\tThe practice of fabric dyeing has existed since our earliest cultures. In Mexico, the Aztecs created their deep blood-red dye from annatto or “achiotl”, the dried seeds of an evergreen shrub. Ancient Egyptian blue has always been called indigo, of “Isatis tinctoria”, the dyestuff extracted from its plant leaves. The Mayans used various organic sources to create dyes; plants, minerals, insects, and mollusks, each colour used for visual storytelling in dress and tapestry. Black was indicative of creation and death, green for the ancestors and the abundance of cacao and tobacco crops, and purple was considered the first colour associated with Mama Oclla, the founding mother of the Inca people.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tToday, we’re still drawn to colour. We pay consultants to instruct us what colours to wear according to our ‘seasonal colour palette’. We have our auras read, in the ancient Chinese tradition, to be assigned ‘our’ colour. We have the right and the wrong colours for ourselves, but what are the wrong colours from an ecological standpoint?\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n            “Colour!  \r\n\tWhat a deep and mysterious language, the language of dreams.” - Paul Gaugin\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\t“Colour is a power,  \r\n\t\r\n\t it directly influences the soul.”\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\tFabric dying, for the most part, is incredibly unsustainable and an issue that the fashion industry needs to address urgently. Today, the large majority of clothing is dyed synthetically, with detrimental effects on our natural environment. As seen below, the Yangtze River which runs all through China, is one of hundreds of water sources heavily polluted by the fashion industry. Orsola de Castro, the founder of fashionrevolution.org, states, \"There is a joke in China that you can tell the 'it' color of the season by looking at the color of the rivers.\"\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\t\tThe majority of the water used during the production of garments is for the dyeing process. Following this, billions of tonnes of wastewater are then flushed into water sources completely untreated, containing residual dyes, chemicals, and mordants (a substance used to set dyes on fabrics). The result is water oxygen dissolving to levels that are unable to sustain life. These hazardous and highly toxic chemicals do not break down as they enter water streams, making their way around the world. While retailers and customers worldwide relish in the kaleidoscope of prints and tones from which to select, the ramifications are felt by local communities surrounding production sites. Often, the water is flushed through untraceable pipes meaning no individual brand or retailer can be held accountable for their contribution. Over 70% of water sources in China are heavily contaminated, which results in an estimated 1.4 billion people being unable to access uncontaminated water.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\t\tWater waste and contamination are indicative of a broader issue in the fashion industry. Many brands, retailers, and companies do not own their manufacturing facilities and instead outsource to less economically developed countries to cut costs, creating a greater profit margin. This lack of accountability and transparency through the manufacturing process puts lives and the future of our planet at risk. Optimistically, more and more labels are increasing supply chain transparency as consumers and investors are holding labels accountable for their sustainability practices.\r\n\r\n\r\n\tAt Showroom-X, one of our central ethe is human craft, a step away from the industrial and appreciation of local artistry and the beauty of imperfection.\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\tIn celebration of human craft and local artistry, Showroom-X has collaborated with Rukaji Designs in curating a collection of 100% Australian silk sarongs and scarves. Looking back to historical techniques of fabric dyeing, each scarf is dyed by hand with naturally occurring Australian earth elements; bark, rust, red dirt, and botanicals such as tea tree.  These elemental pigments capture the diversity and geographical drama of the West Australian landscape. Led by matriarch Eva Nargoodah and her eldest daughter Ivy, the Nargoodah family are passionate creators and cultural keepers, having developed their textile designs over many years. Rukaji are proud to keep the cultural practices that surround bush medicines and dyes alive, teaching their children and broader community about these essential practices. The profits from each purchase are reinvested back into the Rukaji family business to support the creation of new artworks. This acts to support local economies by facilitating income streams for the artists.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tWolfgang Scout is another label who’s fabric dyeing techniques reflect their overall commitment to tread lightly. Leading the way for a more sustainable future, Wolfgang Scout is synonymous with super-soft knitwear, handwoven from Australian Merino wool and designed with purpose to minimise waste and water usage. Their entire hand-dyeing process is done within Australia with organic, certified non-hazardous, non-chrome dyes, with a low impact on the environment and minimal water wasted. Further, their linens are dyed with natural eucalyptus.  This artisanal approach harkens back to a different, earlier time and produces investment pieces to be cherished. Founders Natalie Wood, Carla Woidt, and Marianne Horton have built a brand around the philosophy of interwoven connections; to people, places, and the natural environment.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\tAt Showroom-X, one of our central ethe is human craft, a step away from the industrial and appreciation of local artistry and the beauty of imperfection. We love the words of artist David Hockey, “I prefer living in color (sic)”, but it’s integral to take pause to consider how the shades,  tones, and patterns of the clothes we wear each day have come to pass.  We can actively choose which brands and what processes we want to support. So, choose wisely, choose your future.\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\tSources:\r\n\r\n\r\n\tCultural Heritage.com\r\n\r\n\r\n\tLupine Publishers.com\r\n\r\n\r\n\tAncient.edu\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n# x-field x-format:yaml\r\nbodyTitle: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet\r\nteaserText: |\r\n        The practice of fabric dyeing has existed since our earliest cultures. In Mexico, the Aztecs created their deep blood-red dye from annatto or “achiotl”, the dried seeds of an evergreen shrub.\r\npublication:\r\n    name: Sasha Whiddon and Sally Paton\r\n    image: /product_images/import/Sally-Sasha.jpg\r\n    note: |\r\nrelated:\r\n    title: More From The Journal\r\n    items: \r\n        - /musings/art-of-the-land/\r\n        - /musings/lets-talk-about-viscose/\r\n        - /musings/lets-talk-about-linen/\r\n        - /musings/regenerative-fashion-with-kitx/\r\nrelatedProduct:\r\n    title: Related Products\r\n    items: [1369,1368,1006,1007,1003,899]","tags":[{"name":"learnings","url":"https://showroom-x.com/musings/tag/learnings"}],"thumbnail":{"alt":"What you need to know about fabric dyeing","data":"https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-s1mbbc7h64/images/stencil/{:size}/uploaded_images/untitled-1.png?t=1620005968"},"title":"What you need to know about fabric dyeing","url":"https://showroom-x.com/musings/what-you-need-to-know-about-fabric-dyeing/"}
What you need to know about fabric dyeing

What you need to know about fabric dyeing

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{"author":"Sasha Whiddon and Sally Paton","date_published":"29th Apr 2021","show_read_more":false,"summary":"Danielle on FibreTrace\r\n\tBefore hanging in our wardrobe, the clothes we wear pass through countless hands. Take a cotton t-shirt: The cotton is picked, ginned, spun, woven, sewn into garments, and shipped to warehouse and retail stores. It will be sold, worn, washed, repaired, donated, and most often ends its life as untraceable waste.”\r\nDanielle Statham wants to change this.  Since the earliest age she can remember, Danielle knew that she wanted to be in fashion, “I was one of those lucky girls who always knew what I wanted to do… The love of textiles and design has been taken through the rest of my life.” Having now worked within the full supply chain, Danielle is passionate about closing the loop in fashion, so we can know exactly where our clothes start their lifecycle. Alongside like-minded leaders in the global textile industry, in 2018, Danielle founded FibreTrace. This technology allows the life cycle of a garment to be traced, from farm to shelf, with full transparency.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n            \"I’m very tactile,  \r\n\tand I loved that old-school, hand-stitched couture.\"\r\n\"My love of the raw fibre \r\n\t\r\n\t was grown from being \r\n\t\r\n\ton \r\n\tthe cotton farm so early”\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\t“Australia is seen as a golden child for many reasons, especially at the moment with the pandemic, for being able to get on with things, make great decisions, and stand on our own two feet.”\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\tTell me a little about your personal and professional background? \r\n\t I grew up in the racing industry in NSW, and I’m sure seeing beautifully dressed people developed my early love of fashion. I got married very young and had my first baby when I was 24. Before that, I studied fashion and textiles, but I also majored in millinery. It was a big passion of mine, I’m very tactile, and I loved that old-school, hand-stitched couture. For over thirty years, I’ve been a milliner. I studied under the Royal milliner in London, which was a lovely experience. He was the Queen’s milliner, and had a very close relationship with Princess Diana. It was really lovely to have those stories told to me. I also owned a wholesale and distribution agency and started a denim label. I saw that an interesting marketing exercise would be to have my own cotton in my own denim. I thought that it would be a really nice experience for the consumer. But I found it very difficult to have that cotton back in my own product.\r\n\t\r\n\tAnd your husband’s family is involved in farming cotton? \r\nI met my husband David when I was 20. He was a cotton grower, and his family are first-generation farmers. He didn’t grow up on a farm, and it wasn’t until the late 80s that his family saw the opportunity in agriculture and purchased Keytah, our cotton farm. David was straight out of school, no university, straight to the school of the land.  We are certified carbon-positive cotton.\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat was the genesis of FibreTrace? \r\nMy love of the raw fibre was grown from being on the cotton farm so early, and the textiles it can create, and so that’s where FibreTrace came into play, and the Good Earth Cotton brand as well. FibreTrace is a technology that provides the irrefutable and truthful information of a product. A luminescent pigment is put into the raw material and once that pigment has blown through that fibre, it’s there for life.\r\nThis physical tracer within that raw fibre is connected to a digital blockchain platform. Essentially, the aim is to give a 20/20 vision of the supply chain, providing full transparency of the farm and beyond. This includes the emissions of the product, which is really important.\r\n\t\r\n\tIs there anything unique about Australia which made you believe it would be a great fit for the FibreTrace model? \r\nI think we’re seen as clean, ethical, and forward-thinking. If we can tell that story from an Australian brand perspective, from farm to shelf, with full transparency, it creates a compelling narrative for the overseas customer.\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat excites you about the current Australian creative landscape? \r\nWe’re so good at what we do creatively here in Australia. We’re very methodical, detail-oriented, and I think we’re naturally brought up with great morals and ethics. Because we’re such a small country in terms of population, Australians have had to think laterally to succeed in business. I wish we had more manufacturing and I really hope we can onshore more in the future. I think that would be so well-received in this current climate, not just for our local market, but particularly for an international market. Australia is seen as a golden child for many reasons, especially at the moment with the pandemic, for being able to get on with things, make great decisions, and stand on our own two feet. I think our small population allows us to be more nimble.\r\n\t\r\n\tWho are some of your favourite designers,  local and international? \r\nWe’ve got so many amazing labels in Australia. We’ve had two great launches with FibreTrace, one being the Australian brand Nobody Denim, and in recent times the LA label, Reformation. When you’re on the front, you can love what you see visually, but when you start to get into the nitty-gritty working with some of these brands, you grow such enormous respect not only from an aesthetic viewpoint but from an honest marketing and business standpoint. I think digging deeper into Nobody and Reformation and meeting the people who operate them, they’re doing such a great job.\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat does the term luxury fashion mean to you? \r\nA state of great comfort. Whether that be something that’s expensive or inexpensive, it’s luxurious to you and how you perceive it, your state of  mind. It’s something that makes you feel good.\r\n\t\r\n\tWhat do you look for in your personal style? \r\nComfort. Denim and a soft jacket, a gorgeous t-shirt. Anything that goes with flat shoes because I have four kids and I have to move fast. I’ve really grown out of high heels. I refuse to wear anything higher than an inch. I live in Queensland, so I love a lovely pair of sandals.\r\n\t\r\n\tWhy do you believe that transparency is so important in the fashion industry? \r\nAcross the industry, globally, I think that supply chains have become so multi-tiered.  So that’s made traceability and transparency so problematic for brands. Particularly for cotton, which is one of the most used fibers in the supply chain. It passes through so many hands before it becomes fabric. When a brand is serious about the claims that they’re prepared to make public, it needs to be conclusive with transparent information.  They need to be able to satisfy those savvy customers, like my kids, who want an honest conversation around where their garments came from, the supply chain that it travelled, the emissions it created, and also the ethical standards, which we’re seeing a greater focus on at the moment.\r\n\t\r\n\tHow will this technology impact the industry moving forward? \r\nWe believe FibreTrace will bring those in the industry who champion best practices forward to the front of the line. I think it will enable unique and true storytelling for brands.\r\n\t\r\n\tTell me about the Nobody Denim collection you have been working on. \r\nJohn Condilis is so passionate about his Aussie-made product. He was so excited about keeping that industry in Australia and creating ethical garments with low-impact fibers. Unfortunately, we don’t have any spinning left in Australia, so we did have to go offshore, but once the fabric was back in the country, everything else was completely Australian. That is something we should definitely support and be proud of. It was more about providence for John because we know in our country that we’re doing everything ethically correct. He chose a great partner in Orta Anadolu in Turkey who has great ethical standards and fantastic environmental impacts in their fabric production. That was such a great starting point for a soft launch for FibreTrace. I was so proud that we could do that with an Australian brand. Nobody has just launched their second collection with FibreTrace, and I know that John wants to take this through the whole collection. We’re working on that.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n# x-field x-format:yaml\r\nbodyTitle: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet\r\nteaserText: |\r\n         Danielle is passionate about closing the loop in fashion, so we can know exactly where our clothes start their lifecycle. Alongside like-minded leaders in the global textile industry, in 2018, Danielle founded FibreTrace.\r\npublication:\r\n    name: Sally Paton & Sasha Whiddon\r\n    image: https://store-s1mbbc7h64.mybigcommerce.com/product_images/import/Sally-Sasha.jpg\r\n    note: |\r\nrelated:\r\n    title: More From The Journal\r\n    items: \r\n        - /musings/art-of-the-land/\r\n        - /musings/lets-talk-about-viscose/\r\n        - /musings/lets-talk-about-linen/\r\n        - /musings/regenerative-fashion-with-kitx/\r\nrelatedProduct:\r\n    title: Related Products\r\n    items: [1005, 884, 1269,653]","tags":[{"name":"Learnings","url":"https://showroom-x.com/musings/tag/Learnings"}],"thumbnail":{"alt":"Danielle on FibreTrace","data":"https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-s1mbbc7h64/images/stencil/{:size}/uploaded_images/danielle-parralax-1-asset-2.jpeg?t=1622093854"},"title":"Danielle on FibreTrace","url":"https://showroom-x.com/musings/danielle-on-fibretrace/"}
Danielle on FibreTrace

Danielle on FibreTrace

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{"author":"Sasha Whiddon","date_published":"9th Apr 2021","show_read_more":false,"summary":"Let’s talk about Merino Wool\r\n\tAfter what felt like an endless summer, the colder months are finally catching up to us. The sun is setting that little bit earlier and we’re now rising before daylight. There’s a chill in the air. Our woolly knits are being pulled to the front of our wardrobes, and sandals are swapped for boots.\r\n\t\r\n\tThough synonymous with crisp, winter weather, Merino wool is a more versatile fabric than you may appreciate. Beyond your crew-neck knit, oversized scarf, and the classic Australian Ugg boot, Merino wool is often the base of many cross-seasonal designs, from activewear to light-weight suiting.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n            \"“Wool is most beautiful, most kind to our  \r\n\tskin and best for the earth in its natural form.” - Wolfgang Scout\r\n\"“We believe in treading lightly\r\n\t\r\n\t on this earth and creating\r\n\t\r\n\tlong-lasting products...” - W.S\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\tWhat is Merino Wool?\r\n\tWe have a long history with wool. Around 1950 the saying that Australia ‘rode on the sheep’s back’ entered our lexicon, alluding to wool as the source of our nation’s prosperity. Wool is one of our heirloom exports. Those who bred sheep and sheared their fleece came to symbolise and epitomise what it was to be Australian.\r\n\t\r\n\t\tMerino wool is a natural fibre grown by Merino sheep, a breed that produces the finest wool for high-quality, luxury apparel. It’s a softer and thinner wool, making it more versatile and easier to work with. Consequently, Merino has a softer hand feel in comparison to other wool, so the garments it produces can be worn comfortably against the skin. The vast majority of Australia’s sheep flock is Merino, and Australia produces 81% of the world’s ‘superfine’ wool.\r\n\t\r\n\t\tThough our near 4000 dedicated sheep shearers work amongst the harsh Australian elements, the lanolin, or wool yolk, gifts shearers with the softest of hands.\r\n\t“We believe in treading lightly on this earth and creating long-lasting products to be worn well and passed down to future generations.” - Wolfgang Scout \r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\tWhy we love Merino Wool.\r\n\tA wholly natural fibre, Merino wool offers its wearer a multitude of benefits. The natural fibre allows for thermoregulation. This means that, during those warmer days, Merino will transport sweat away from the skin, to keep the wearer cool and dry. In contrast, when it’s colder the natural ‘crimps and bends’ in the fibres trap air, which mimics insulation to retain heat. Thus, it’s not uncommon to see merino wool used for high-quality sportswear. The wool also contains odour resisting properties, as it has a larger capacity than other fibres to absorb liquid.\r\n\t\r\n\tThe benefits of Merino wool extend to the environment. As the shorn fleece of a sheep, it is an entirely renewable and regenerative resource. If left untreated or dyed naturally, the fibres are completely biodegradable, preventing the garments from adding to landfill. After about 12 months in the ground, it will have decomposed, returning to nature.\r\n\t\r\n\tImpact of producing Merino wool on the animals.\r\n\tWhen reviewing fabrications borne from a living creature, it’s crucial that we consider the welfare of the animal. Merino sheep's most common breed is the Peppin sheep, originally bred by the Peppin family in the 1860s. In order to produce more wool, the sheep are bred to have wrinkly skin. This breeding resulted in sheep producing roughly twice as much fine, high-quality wool. Proper care and maintenance are essential for the well-being of flocks. When not shorn on a timely schedule, these sheep can suffer from life-threatening heat exhaustion during Australia’s warmer months.\r\n\t\r\n\tDue to breeding, Peppin sheep are also vulnerable to flystrike, a parasitic infection with a significant mortality rate if left untreated. As a preventative measure, a controversial procedure called mulesing is performed. This is when skin near the buttocks of a sheep is removed.  While it’s effective at preventing flystrike, it can be incredibly traumatic for the sheep and puts their welfare at risk. Until recent years mulesing was performed without the use of painkillers or anesthetic. However, there has been improvement in Australia, with an estimate of 80% of sheep now receiving pain treatment.\r\n\t\r\n\tNew Zealand has taken a stronger stance against this issue, and since 2018, mulesing has been banned nationwide. Following suit, many retailers who produce Merino goods will now clearly state if their products come from non-mulesed sheep. Bales of wool can be certified either non-mulesed or pain relief used. Many European buyers are moving away from Australian wool as fashion companies turning to a more transparent supply structure.\r\n\t\r\n\tBrands who focus on the ethical production of Merino.\r\n\tAt Showroom-X, we are proud to work alongside Australian brands who are responsibly sourcing Merino wool. Among the brands privileging the welfare of sheep and the planet over profit are Wolfgang Scout and Bassike.\r\n\t\r\n\tWolfgang Scout, brought to life by Carla Woidt and Marianne Horton, is renowned for their high-quality merino garments. The two women at the helm of the brand make sure that their yarn is fully traceable back to the grower. This ensures non-mulesed sheep and RWS (responsible wool standard) certified wool, meaning the animals and the land are treated with care and respect. \r\n“We believe in treading lightly on this earth and creating long-lasting products to be worn well and passed down to future generations.” - Wolfgang Scout\r\n\t\r\n\tTheir wool is also 100% Australian Superfine Merino, a measurement used to describe the diameter of wool fibre, which is a quality micron rarely found in hand-knit garments. Wolfgang Scout has also eliminated the use of chemicals through the scouring, carding and combing process.\r\n “Wool is most beautiful, most kind to our skin and best for the earth in its natural form.” - Wolfgang Scout\r\n\t\r\n\tBassike was founded back in 2006 with the aim of creating sustainable wardrobe staples.  They’ve made a conscious effort to manufacture and source with the environment in mind from inception. This is reflected in the production of their woolen garments, with materials being sourced from Italian suppliers utilising non-mulesed sheep.\r\n\t\r\n\tWe are grateful that there are Australian brands who cherish the importance of sheep and their woolen fleece to our nation’s past and present. With a little research, there are sustainable options available to us all to ensure the wellness of not only the sheep but our planet. Next time you pull on your favourite woolen sweater or Merino blazer, we hope you consider the process your garment went through from the sheep’s back, to yours. It’s up to us to make the conscious decision.\r\n\t\r\n\tSources:\r\n\tWoolmark\r\n\tWolfgang Scout\r\n\tBassike\r\n\tABC\r\n\tFarm Online\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n# x-field x-format:yaml\r\nbodyTitle: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet\r\nteaserText: |\r\n        Though synonymous with crisp, winter weather, Merino wool is a more versatile fabric than you may appreciate. Beyond your crew-neck knit, oversized scarf, and the classic Australian Ugg boot, Merino wool is often the base of many cross-seasonal designs, from activewear to light-weight suiting.\r\npublication:\r\n    name: Sasha Whiddon and Sally Paton\r\n    image: /product_images/import/Sasha-Whiddon.jpg\r\n    note: |\r\nrelated:\r\n    title: More From The Journal\r\n    items: \r\n        - /musings/art-of-the-land/\r\n        - /musings/lets-talk-about-viscose/\r\n        - /musings/lets-talk-about-linen/\r\n        - /musings/regenerative-fashion-with-kitx/\r\nrelatedProduct:\r\n    title: Related Products\r\n    items: [1281,900,1008,1141,1007,901]","tags":[{"name":"Learnings","url":"https://showroom-x.com/musings/tag/Learnings"}],"thumbnail":{"alt":"Let’s talk about Merino Wool","data":"https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-s1mbbc7h64/images/stencil/{:size}/uploaded_images/mw-parralax-1-image-3.jpg?t=1617964163"},"title":"Let’s talk about Merino Wool","url":"https://showroom-x.com/musings/lets-talk-about-merino-wool/"}
Let’s talk about Merino Wool

Let’s talk about Merino Wool

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{"author":"Showroom-X","date_published":"9th Apr 2021","show_read_more":false,"summary":"NOW OPEN\r\n\tWhere digital meets experiential. Immerse yourself in Showroom-X’s new luxury concept space.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n            \"Each facet of the boutique was \r\n\tmindfully selected or repurposed.\"\r\n\"to have the least amount  \r\n\t\r\n\t impact on the environment...\"\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\tDesigned with as much consideration for the planet and our products as our online platform, our mission is to bring customers a retail experience like no other. Open by appointment for one-on-one wardrobe consultations and exclusive preview access to forthcoming collections, Showroom-X’s in-store experience is an innovative alternative to the current brick-and-mortar retail market.\r\n\tOr if you are passing by and feel the need to just pop on in for a cuddle (or covid friendly version of) please do so.\r\n\t“Our curtains are repurposed from remnant fabrications, and all furniture is either for sale or upcycled. We have removed parts of the original roof and are using the raw materials to design new feature walls. The flooring has been stripped back to its original form, with interior lighting elements salvaged or crafted by artists for sale and wall treatments crafted from natural fibres.\"\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\t\r\nOur intention through Showroom-X and our new space is to be a leader in the sustainability space, not a follower, which is why each facet of the boutique was mindfully selected or repurposed to have the least amount of impact on the environment or people, while still remaining true to our premium luxury aesthetic.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n# x-field x-format:yaml\r\nbodyTitle: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet\r\nteaserText: |\r\n        Immerse yourself in Showroom-X’s new luxury concept space in Claremont. Now open. Unit 5, 22 St Quentin Ave, Claremont. \r\npublication:\r\n    name: Showroom-X\r\n    image: /product_images/import/L-parallax-3-image-9.jpg\r\n    note: |\r\nrelated:\r\n    title: More From The Journal\r\n    items: \r\n        - /musings/art-of-the-land/\r\n        - /musings/lets-talk-about-viscose/\r\n        - /musings/lets-talk-about-linen/\r\n        - /musings/regenerative-fashion-with-kitx/\r\nrelatedProduct:\r\n    title: Related Products\r\n    items: [1033, 1038, 706,725]","tags":[{"name":"Mood Board","url":"https://showroom-x.com/musings/tag/Mood+Board"}],"thumbnail":{"alt":"Come and Visit us at our Showroom","data":"https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-s1mbbc7h64/images/stencil/{:size}/uploaded_images/parallax-1-asset-2.jpg?t=1622093718"},"title":"Come and Visit us at our Showroom","url":"https://showroom-x.com/musings/come-and-visit-us-at-our-showroom/"}
Come and Visit us at our Showroom

Come and Visit us at our Showroom

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