When I received the responses for the interview questions from Jennifer & Sandra I knew I would have to edit quite drastically for the column. There was way to much interesting material here to consign to the recycle bin so I decided to post the interview in full and unedited here. 1. Sandra, how did you come to start creating fabric designs?
I wanted a vehicle to take my art work from beyond the traditional 2D presentation to fashion and interiors. This was mainly an intuitive desire, fuelled by visions I had when reflecting on certain pieces of my art. They just cried out to me. When I discussed my ideas with some of my friends & peers, they too thought that some of my art work would be perfect for textiles. From here, I set about researching different methods and manufacturers to enable my dream! I needed to find a place that I could print on demand in an exclusive way with high quality fibres. I was thrilled with my results.
The process of making art wearable, akin to wearing your he[art] on your sleeve, blurring the lines between art, design and fashion was the motivating force. To see how art changes from being beautiful images to adorn walls to fluid moving organic wearable art has been a beautiful and wonderful experience, and one which we are keen to share with an appreciative audience!
2. Jenny, what about Sandra’s Fabric made you want to use it in your garments?
Sandra’s images are very captivating and evocative. I love her use of colour and composition. Once I saw them transferred onto different fabrics I knew I wanted to be involved in this collaboration. As I predominantly work in Bridal Couture I am always excited to get to work with vibrant and edgy fabrics and designs, Sandra has found a niche with these beautiful fabrics.
3. What lead to the collaboration between the 2 of you? How did you meet? Was it shared style? Personality match?
Sandra: Jennifer and I met through a group that we are both members of called BrisStyle. BrisStyle is a cooperative group of talented Australian artists, crafters and artisans who call the Brisbane area home. BrisStyle formed through a shared love of creating beautiful things, which members also sell on Etsy.com
Jennifer released a ‘ready to wear collection’ at the same time I was developing my fabric designs, and I thought that our combined skills and taste would be a great match! I contacted Jenny to speak to her about my fabrics and designs!
Jenny: When Sandra contacted me I was already a fan of her work and was very excited to hear of her plans to include fabrics in addition to her prints and cards.
Once I knew I would have the time spare to get involved in this collaboration it was a no-brainer and things have sped along from there.
Jenny: Sandra and I have worked really well together having only met as this project kicked off.
We seem to have a shared vision of where we wanted to take the designs and things have progressed beautifully. We can’t wait for everyone to see the final product.
4. Did you find that collaborating changed your Style, preferred colour palette, work ethic, etc. 5. Was it a seamless transition? 6. How has each of your work/designs changed as a result of the collaboration?
Sandra: The collaboration really has been a meeting of minds for me. Everyone works in different ways, but the important thing is planning and communication, also recognising each others attributes and skills that we both bring to the table. We bounced ideas and thoughts off each other, learning new things along the way, and both contributing in the areas we could. There is a lot of planning and co-ordination behind a project or event, more then you realise so we really pulled together to make sure we had a plan and schedule that was both achievable, challenging and most of all exciting! The collaboration has given us both the opportunity to really showcase our skills and offer people something individual, unique, inspired, creative and feminine.
Jenny: Having worked in the Bridal industry for the last ten years or so I have learnt a lot about the way fabrics fall and what styles they work best in. So with that knowledge I was able to really direct Sandra’s vision in the right direction. Some of Sandra’s designs looked much better printed on a certain fabric, Silk over Polished Cotton for example, which then in turn changed the Style or Design we decided to create. Ultimately the images on the fabrics were the inspiration and we think the final products are amazing!
5. Where to from here?
Sandra: I will continue on with my art practice of course! I have been very pleased with the response I have been getting from galleries, by way of selected shows – positive reinforcement goes a long way! I guess I thrive on divergence and this inspires me to try new things that will inform my practice. There are many ideas buzzing around my head that I would love to turn my hand too that are on the back burner as well!
Jenny and I have also been liaising with selected boutiques to make available our creations to the public which will serve as a wonderful feedback mechanism to find out how people respond to what we are doing.
Who knows, maybe one day a retail outlet we can call our own?
We are both interested in ‘talking shop’ especially in bridging art, design, fashion and interiors! All enquires welcome!
After the exhibition and fashion parade, we will have film footage and photographic images, so if anyone misses the event – we can share what we have achieved to date with a potential world wide audience.
Jenny: After an incredibly busy 2009/2010 with lots of Brides, Bridesmaids and Formal Gowns created, being only four weeks away from having my second child and busy renovating my house in Greenslopes, my thoughts for the immediate future are wholly
focused on having some down time with my family. I am really looking forward to taking a few months off for maternity leave.
With regards to the garments I have created for this collaboration I am keen to see them in a local boutique, for, if nothing more, but to get some feedback and then I guess we will see where that may lead in the future. Anything is possible.
6. Favourite pieces?
Sandra: Each garment, as they have been created, became our new favourite. From the initial conception to the finished garments, I can honestly say we love each creation equally. When designing the pieces for the Haute Couture collection, Jenny and I really looked at the art work and fabric design for our inspiration and lead. We really listened to what the fabric was telling us and used this as our inspiration for designing! Jenny’s professional skills and experience were paramount in advising on the design process and of course the actual construction.
Jenny: It’s is hard for me to say which outfit is my favourite “look” as I love them all. But as a Designer/Dressmaker I definitely had favourites to work on. These were probably the most challenging and time consuming gowns, The Winter Still Life and The Marbled Rose, I had a clear vision of what I felt would showcase these fabrics in the best way possible. I am very proud of the final product of all of the pieces and hope that people can feel the love and hard work that went into creating them.