Posted on July 15 2023
Trove (noun) a collection of valuable items discovered or found; a treasure trove.
This perfectly describes this RANT collection as most of these garments were created by searching in our fabric storage and deciding to use the special small rolls of fabric. Small rolls of fabric can be hard to use when you’re doing regular production because you need to be able to lay up and cut a few of each size to make it worth while. But our new reduced production this year allows me to take the time to hand cut these smaller pieces of fabric and cut very limited edition runs of some styles or colours.
Many of the fabrics I’ve held on to are ones I can’t buy anymore, purchased back when we had a bigger selection offered to us here in Australia because the industry was busier locally. I am slowly working through my 'precious stash' and have used some beautiful colours in this Treasure Trove collection.
I've given a run down of the new styles in this post, and some background of the materials used, and what collection they originally came from. At the end there are some 'behind the scenes' snaps from the photo shoot, so make sure you scroll down to the end.
The new Archive top (pictured above) comes in two lengths and in some rich jewelled colours like Teal, Ruby, Aubergine and Mustard which were leftover from the ‘Impressionist’ collection from 2012. I’ve had a few people ask if our Archive top comes slightly longer, so when I laid up these fabrics I found I could cut one short and one longer together, so there’s now two length options in this style. They are both one size, which is handy when cutting very limited quantities, only 4 of each in Teal, 6 of each in Ruby, 9 of each in Aubergine and 7 of each in Mustard were able to be cut.
The Trove skirt (pictured above) is made using an Italian woven wool fabric I grabbed back in 2018 as one of my favourite fabric suppliers closed down after 50 years. It’s a stunning fabric with a nice surface texture and subtle colouring as the yarn used has soft variants of grey tones. I wanted to make a skirt that had our fold over stretch band in bamboo because I have a bag of waistbands that a maker double cut when making the Levitate skirt back in 2018. So they needed to be utilised and this skirt was perfect for it. I half lined the Trove skirt in black cotton voile, so the wool doesn’t actually touch your skin, the bamboo joins the cotton lining and the wool is on the outside. This skirt can be totally configured to suit your height, with multiple ties on the inside and side seam rouching options.
While pulling out the waistbands for the Trove skirt I found a little bonus, some pre cut layers for Enigma skirts. The original skirts were double or triple layered and there were some extra layers that didn’t match up. I wear my original Enigma skirt often, usually when I want to have the feeling of a floaty skirt! I wear it over leggings and with hi tops boots and either a simple sleeved top or singlet. These new single layered Enigma skirts offer a sheer option perfect to add a little extra to an outfit. For some colour options we only could make a couple, but there were a few more in the plain black textured silk. These full circle skirts have a simple drawcord silk waistband and can be worn however you want, moving the gathers to certain positions or evenly around the body.
I love vests, I find them handy to wear all year round as they finish off an outfit. The Carrie vest is a fitted style with a drawcord detail at the back so you can pull it in tighter or looser as required. Many people loved the last incarnation of the Carrie vest, however it was quite fitted around the bust for some of our customers. I decided to make a few in this super stretchy Japanese cotton modal fabric that I had purchased as sampling a few years back. It’s a really deep green toned black, and contrasts subtly with the stitched & textured fabric I used as the back yoke, pockets and drawcord detail. It’s finished off with a black YKK zipper. I hand cut these to ensure I used every scrap of fabric and we ended up with a total of 14 but I only could cut one size XS and one size XL, and four in the other sizes. I have some other beautiful pieces of Japanese made fabrics that are suitable to make Carrie vests from, so I may keep these vests going as a little custom side project.
We also now have some bold striped Sigrid pants that look so awesome on, they are pictured above with different tops. Again a fabric from storage. This Japanese made yarn dyed bold stripe was used as the contrast pockets on a version of the Helen pants for the Rant winter 2019 collection. The Sigrid pants are a slimmer cut than the Helen pants, and they have plain black front and back pockets with contrast silver topstitching, a great detail on this bold stripe. These pants are designed to fold the hems up to shorten. As the fabric is yarn dyed then woven into the stripes, it appears the same front and back of the fabric.
The only new purchased fabric in this collection is the bamboo with the new ‘Lacey leaves’ screen print that Jay created based on Amaranth leaves (pictured above). We have assorted greens planted in our garden that we can harvest daily for meals. Green Amaranth is one we really enjoy because the green variety produces more leaves than seeds like the burgundy variety. The leaves have a nice shape & pattern which was perfect for this print. They are suspended in a Lacey pattern which uses tree images to make a 'tree lace'.
When making new screen prints we always look at past versions to reflect on how they look in garments. In 2015 RANT we did a Lacey print which used knitted elements to make the ‘lace’ pattern which looked really good in leggings as well as tops. Also in a 2016 Bestowed collection we did ‘Fern printed’ leggings which everyone loved and we have been asked if we are doing anymore like these. The ‘Fern print’ garments were black based fabric printed with the thicker inks to ensure the print stands out on the dark base. This makes them feel stiffer when first purchased but they then softened with wear. The black with silver print version of the new ‘Lacey Leaf’ is like this, the silver inks are thicker making the fabric firmer, therefore the garments feel a firmer fit at first but do soften and loosen with wearing and washing. The black printing on the Ruby and Storm coloured bamboo is not as thick, so while firmer than the unprinted black option the black print only makes them fit slightly firmer.
(above, Lynne tunics layered over an Obsidian top & Nellie pants, all Bamboo jersey, knitted, dyed and screen printed in Melbourne)
We used this latest print in the new Lynne tunic shape, a long line tunic that gently flares over the body offering a loose shape without too much fullness. The Lynne tunic has a slim line long sleeve that’s perfect to wear under a jacket as it’s not bulky. The neckline is a boat neck and I have shown it on it's own below, and with a singlet top underneath above.
And the newest version of the Lanky legs are totally awesome. They’re made from the heavier ‘pant weight’ bamboo and have the thicker silver print too. The waistband is plain unprinted bamboo so only the soft plain black is against your skin. They look great with the matching Lynne tunic, like some ‘leafy camo’ and perfect to add texture when worn under plain dresses or tunics.
The final style in Treasure Trove is the Tarantula belt. The only new accessory in this collection and it just had to be included. As I went through the old archive promo material while writing the previous journal story on 20 years since RANT started, I saw the Tarantula belt, a style that was made when we included the word ‘rant’ in every style name. It had assorted hanging pieces (8 to match the number of legs) made from press stud tape, eyelet tape and other assorted bits and pieces. The eyelet tape had some rubber cording threaded through part of it, creating a concertina look. I got out the rubber cord and saw the date on the package, 2003! Yes, I have held onto some bits and pieces for 2 decades! The Treasure Trove collection created from collected and found again items needed to have a TaRANTula belt. I have just 5 belt bases I can use to make them which have D rings (made in France) as the closure.
The location for this photo shoot was my good friend’s mid century home. Lou modelling in her own home wearing our clothes was something I had planned all year, a perfect combination. Lou and her husband Marty both love mid century architecture and their gem of a house was designed by architect Gabrielle Poole and built in 1962. It was his first house and was built for himself and his family. A classic U-shaped structure with a central courtyard. Each room opening up to the private courtyard garden. It’s been lovingly restored and any changes were done with care to keep it authentic. They furnished and decorated it with a myriad of goodies, creating a beautiful yet relaxing space to be in.
I’m super grateful that Lou and Marty for let us do this shoot in their home. xx
Below are some behind the scenes pics from the day.
Photographer - Todd Hunter McGaw
H&MU - Gemma Elaine
Model - Louise Hood
Location - The Poole House, Sherwood.
Thanks for taking the time to read all the way to the end,
And I had to finish with a pic of the cool David Bowie cushion.