The creation and photo shoot for the 1st RANT collection for 2021- Branching Out•
Posted on March 08 2021
At the end of last year we had to start to plan our next collection so we could order the fabrics. As getting freight around is a little harder at the moment, we wanted to have all our fabrics here, ready to go when we were. Also I get to double check the fabric and plan the patterns to suit. So I thought I would tell you about it, what I found and what to expect from our 1st collection for 2021.
I was super excited when the deliveries came in, beautiful fabrics that are the best I could find. I lashed out on a couple of extra special ones that I knew were more expensive but the quality and feel was so amazing that I just had to have them! And after all, I need to be inspired by a fabric to come up with a collection.
The Japanese made Pima cotton denim was one of those fabrics, I wanted to wear that fabric, I wanted a beautiful loose pant in it, to make the most of the drape and feel. And guess what? I love them!! Below is the pocket linings cut and ready to go, and the little digital print patches I made in house to go on the Twig pants.
Another special fabric is a luxurious Supima cotton knit. For those who don't know what Supima or Pima cotton is, it's the most premium cotton you can get and it's only grown in North America (Supima cotton) and South America (Pima cotton). It's a long staple fibre which means it's smoother naturally than most other cottons. It has a sheen and when you feel it, you can't believe it's cotton. It has a silk type of handle and makes the best tops. I wanted a simple long sleeved top in this fabric, something that matched everything in my wardrobe. So look out for the Lori top in black and lichen green.
We made some black denim pants last year from a great stretchy denim fabric that's made in South Korea. I knew I wanted to use this denim again, so this year we have the Hilda pants back in an Indigo coloured denim (with green stitching) and the black denim in a revisited style from 2009. I was looking at past styles in a storage box and came across my Magpie pants from 12 years ago. I pulled them out and put them on. Well 4 days later, I was still wearing them. I felt that meant they had to become part of the new collection. This was confirmed when my friend and hairdresser Ed was telling me that she really wanted a new pair of these great pants she has had for years. They're denim, wrap over waistband.... yes, the Magpie pants. Already in the planning Ed. (see the pic above with Alarna adjusting the hair)
I designed a new one size throw over top (see above pics) because we bought some Japanese made cotton Tulle. So it's like a semi sheer mesh type of stretchy fabric but it's cotton. Most other fabrics like this are Nylon or Polyester and as you know, we do not use any synthetics. So this is an awesome addition to my wardrobe as I wanted that look but it had to be cotton.
This year I decided to start using a Modal knit. Modal is a regenerated cellulose fabric (made from sustainably harvested trees) and it is processed in a closed loop system. This ensures that any water or chemicals used are then extracted and reused. This is why Modal is such an Eco fibre. This Modal is the genuine Lenzing fibre and the yarn is then knitted and dyed in Melbourne. I made myself a couple of test garments in it, to wear test the fabric. It's like a very lightweight version of our bamboo fabric, soft and stretchy and really nice to wear. I've made 3 tops in it to start with, ones that are great to layer with. The Modal knit comes in black, white and Ink. (modal Lela tee in above pic)
All of these fabrics are now part of the new RANT collection which is called Branching Out. Branching out because it features a digitally printed patch that has a stunning image of trees on it. The moment I saw this image I loved it. It reminds me of my childhood in NZ, walking through the forest, a NZ forest of twisted Beech trees covered in soft moss and lichens. I saw this image on Instagram @photographic_stills, this awesome Kiwi guy David Tressler. He travels around NZ in his Van and goes to stunning places to take amazing pics. After having a chat on Instagram with David and telling him how I felt about this image and how I would love to see it on fabric and possibly a garment, he gave it to me to play with and see how it looked. So that is how this collection was conceived, an image that inspired me, a generous gift from a total stranger in another country and a collection of sumptuous fabrics.
Below is the original image by David Tressler, taken in the Tararua ranges.
I don't want to give away too much before the launch in a couple of weeks, but here's a few behind the scenes pics from the shoot this week. Hair and Make up was done by the awesome Kiwi girl Alarna Taylor. We went for a simple make up look to start with, strong eyeliner but neutral lips. But the last couple of looks we went for a red lip look! Her hair was straightened and Alarna created crimped ribbons to look textured, which we gradually braided, and tied some bits together.
Our model is one my customers love and it's the third shoot we have done together, Rachel Waller. She was perfect for this collection, every garment looked like it was made for her, because I did have her in mind as I created this collection.
We had lots of great sticks and twigs to play with along with our collection of Relik hand pressed concrete stools, vases and an urn. We also had some Banksia blooms and Gum leaves from Flowers of the World.
Todd Hunter McGaw had come up with a great lighting set up. We changed the set up a few times and it became more and more dramatic as the shoot progressed. Wait till you see the final shots! Todd's lighting was awesome and Rachel totally understood the feel, strong and powerful.
All will be revealed soon.......
Launching Thursday 18th March,