Do you have a nightmare inducing memory of an item of clothing? I do!
Rewind to the 80s, East Germany. They were white-ish, horrendous, scratchy like a wood-plane, clingy, always always statically charged, uncomfortable, horrible, yukee, and ikee—and worst of all they had cable stitching! Rings a bell? I am talking about tights. The most horrendous piece of clothing ever invented—okay, I know you have search engines and are keen to prove me wrong—well knock yourself out. I am not budging on that one. The tears when I had to put them on are still burning in my eyes and so do the scratch-marks on my legs. The two-pronged monster usually had to be worn when we visited great-grand-father—I don’t even know his name! A patriarch copy-pasted from the Budenbrooks; a scraggy, tall, procurator, with ice-blue eyes, and a sharp cut face and nose. Everything about these visits was cold, including the scratchy leg-wear.
So somehow, my childhood brain created an association between scratchy clingy garments to emotional coldness. This is the opposite of what clothes should do. I should have worn pink unicorn shirts, with the unicorns pooing rainbows, and purple leggins from soft cotton. This would have countered the feeling of entering Hans Christian Anderson’s tale about the Snow Queen, a creature that could not be further away from Frozen’s Elsa.
This blog is about the power and joy of the right clothes.
My clothes are my armor. When I feel happy and relaxed I am wearing flowers, and pinks, and very feminine cuts. If I need oomph—for the lack of a better word—I wear red and black. If I need to feel safe, and distance myself from people encroaching on my personal space, I wear cheery black from head to toe.
I want to wear that feeling
This is how I usually begin the design process.
I want to recreate a feeling:
A summer day filled with the scent of flowers, and turquoise ocean. My blood still humming with the swell and salt laden air.
A calm spring morning, my bare feet touching grey pebbles in the icy waters of a mountain stream.
A time I fought fiercely for my soul.
An autumn day. Petrichor, and thick slow raindrops in adagio descend until the cold water hits my forehead. I want to wear that feeling.
But there is a little bit more: This is not quite a normal sewing blog. Each outfit I create has a story. Very often the designs are inspired by nature, the colours, shapes, even smells. I translate impressions of daily life, our garden, or hikes up the Scottish mountains into wearing that feeling.
And then there is a pinch of magic
If you are interested in things folklore, spiritual, or witchy you might be aware of various meanings and traditions of colours. You might be aware of pouches that some cultures refer to as medicine bags, or protective jewellery, or headdress. You might know that an item of clothing gifted by a friend or sister can have protective properties. So there is a bit of storytelling with the clothes as well.