What's been happening & Behind the Scenes of the Bestowed shoot•
Posted on March 01 2023
I can't believe it's now March, Autumn already!
My focus this year is to slow down, simplify things and almost go back to when RANT first started in 2003. Making accessories in house, hand patching detail as I love blending textures, and doing more zero waste projects. Over the past year we have reduced the quantity we produce and are now doing smaller runs of things, cutting 10-20 of some styles, topping up sizes as needed and making sure we only make what we need. This isn't the most efficient way to produce, because we spend more time cutting then sometime to only recut a month later, but slow fashion is about making the most of the resources and this way we use our precious fabrics in the styles and sizes needed rather than cutting all at once and being left with multiples in one size only.
My son Dakotah (who does all the in house cutting) has worked in the family business for the past 5 years. I was super excited when he asked to officially learn to sew. He has been checking and snipping all the RANT and Bestowed garments for a few years now as part of his job, so he has knowledge about garment construction and how all the different sewing machines work. At the end of last year when we did our big workroom tidy up, we put aside off cuts of fabrics and things I have saved for zero waste projects. What a perfect way to start the lessons.
Over the past couple of months I have been creating a new Bestowed collection, putting together the ideas I had for the rolls of fabric saved from previous orders. When we get our ‘made to order’ batches of locally knitted fabrics there are minimums needed to get our own colours and specifications. Very rarely do we make all of it up at once, often I save a roll to make a style in a different collection. So the garments in this 19th Bestowed collection are ones made from fabric I’ve saved for the right time, and the time is now. The Robin top is one of those styles I've been waiting to make again, shown in the pic below being prewashed in rainwater at our studio.
After getting the samples ready and doing the styling, we were ready to do the shoot. A friend of mine, Vanessa, had told me that I really needed to do a shoot in her design studio because our garments would match it perfectly, so we made it happen and it was the perfect shoot location.
I love everything about this place. The light and the architectural lines...
Above is Todd Hunter MacGaw our awesome photographer in action.
Todd said 'stop right there' to Dakotah, to check out possible framing. I loved these steps but the sun kept on coming out!
(Above Pics: the team at work)
Our model for the 19th Bestowed collection was the beautiful, inspirational Amanda Rootsey. It was the 8th collection that I have created to be modelled by her. One of the reasons she is the perfect person is because the label is fully vegan after my conversations with her back in 2012. All the garments are cotton, therefore vegan, and I style with vegan shoes and accessories. I was excited to find a new pair of vegan boots for this shoot made of Apple Leather also!
Our hair and makeup guru Gemma found it interesting sorting her 'kit' down to only vegan makeup and hair products. She learnt some new things while doing it, like pearls are crushed and added to some makeup for the luminosity (definitely not vegan). The make up Gemma created on Amanda was a perfect match for the setting and the garments. Lush green toned eyes with fresh looking skin because Amanda has the best skin, no need to cover it up.
Over the decade that we have done shoots with Amanda we have all changed a lot. One change I am super happy about is that Amanda is now the same size in our garments as me. That means when I do the styling for the range I can try them all on and check every outfit in every colourway. Also as size medium is our most popular size she represents the majority of our customers. She is the only model who personally wears our garments, most days, and her partner Davey wears our pants too. That is why she is in so many of the Bestowed collections and will continue to be.
The 19th Bestowed collection will launch on Thursday 9th March and is a perfect Autumn collection.