Early in 2020 we decided to print on some of our Australian made bamboo jersey and the inspiration was our favourite Gum Tree.
We have a spot in our kitchen where we get great views of the sunset and it looks out to the west, over our suburb and the many trees. There is one large Gum Tree in our neighbour's yard that survived the terrible 2008 Gap storm that flattened most of the large trees. This tree is always full of activity, birds land there to survey the area and it's always filled with action.
The Cockatoo's love it, flying around squawking just for fun.
Also the Pied Currawongs each year spend a few days there calling out to each other. That is why we love this particular tree. Lots of action and shimmering leaves in the sun.
We have taken many pics and videos from our kitchen window as we watch the sunset, with a craft beer or crisp gin. The pic below is the original pic from which our new Gum Tree screen print originated. It features a cute little Kookaburra sitting on the branch, yes a Kookaburra sitting in the old Gum Tree!
The pic below shows the section Jay isolated to create the screen print.
This was all organised pre-pandemic as part of our RANT winter collection along with the merino wool fabric that was being finished in Melbourne at the same time. When the lock down was imminent and the mill had to close, they sent us all the rolls of fabric that we were going to use over the next few months. As we didn't know what was happening and if we were going to even function as a business, we had a few weeks pondering what to do. As we sell our bamboo jersey fabric all year round and merino only in winter, we decided to divide the fabrics and create two collections from them. The merino wool became the 'HOME' collection and we saved the Gum Tree fabric to be it's own story for later in the year.
So Gum Tree was created out of resourcefulness, using mostly fabrics that we already owned as fabric supply is scarce. Lucky we have beautiful fabrics in our storeroom that simply needed some thought about how to use them. Many are ends of rolls and not enough to do a full run and that is why they have remained unused.
I thought about the collection while on my walks at the reservoir, took pics of my favourite trees there. The textures of the open Eucalyptus forest, the peeling bark revealing the smooth underneath, all very beautiful and familiar to me. I know that the idea of walking in nature is to free your mind, relax and not think about 'work', but when you do something creative as your job, it doesn't work out that way. Walking in nature is always when I dream up collections!
Adapting to things as they happen has been the theme for this year and some changes are an advantage. They have just finished doing fuel reduction burn-offs up at the reservoir and as we planned to do our shoot up there it ended up creating an even more beautiful colour palate. Adding some black to the tones of greens and greys, simply everything I could have asked for.
While all this has been happening we have been busy at the studio with the new garments coming back. Dakotah has been doing the usual snipping and checking while I have been pattern making and sampling the last few styles. In fact yesterday I made the final two needed ready for my weekend of styling the outfits for next week's shoot.
Looking at the rack of Obsidian tops and Lanky legs makes me smile. So much texture and pattern. All the tones of the Eucalyptus forest.
We plan to launch the Gum Tree collection on September 10th.
I hope you enjoy reading about the origins of the upcoming collection.