India Flint

Another important early innovator in the contemporary movement of sustainable and ethical fashion is India Flint.

India is an Adelaide artist, living on a property in the Adelaide hills.  While a friend and I were sharing a studio at the JamFactory in the mid 2000’s, India held an exhibition in the main gallery space.  The fragrance of her scattered lemon-scented gum leaves greeted us each day as we entered the building.

Songs from the Wastelands, an installation from Earth Matters

Although dyeing with eucalyptus leaves had been done before, India discovered and innovated a technique to transfer the dye and shape of leaves onto silk and wool fabric.  Her experimentation with every type of eucalypt available during her Masters Degree at the University of South Australia, expanded to include wild flowers and found objects such as rusty nails for mark making.

India is respectful of hand made techniques such as hand stitching with the thread in a colour and thickness of yarn that contrasted with the finished fabric.  She used up-cycled clothing and fabrics as a base to decorate and make new clothing.  She ignored minimalist approaches to fashion popular at the time, instead embracing layering and allowing the fabric to dictate the silhouettes.

Jo Roads, Deon Hastie Petroglyphs, clothing by India Flint

Her unorthodox approach to the fabric itself, allowing the material to keep the wrinkles and creases from the dye process, created a three dimensional effect.  This added extra texture to the fabric, which was already  uneven in colour and pattern due to the natural dye process.

India has spent subsequent years to date touring the world teaching workshops and showing her beautiful work in galleries.  Many textile artists and designers have been influenced by her work, including myself, and I don’t think it’s possible to overestimate her influence on the future of fashion and textiles.

India Flint website, including images, workshops, exhibitions, books and contact details.


Future Fashion Fall 2012 RTW LOOKBOOK

Here’s my top picks from fall ready to wear 2012 Fashion Week.  Took a while to get together, but the most interesting designs come from diverse sources.

The graduate runway from Central St Martins was fantastic including draped clothing from Anne Thorbjørnsen; a new twist on Poiret by Malene List Thomsen; intricate sculptured pleats mixed with textured draped fabrics from Yong Kyun Shin; clever bold graphics from Hiroko Nakajima, stunning sculptured clothing by Hellen van Ree; and innovative pieced denim coloured and metallic fabrics from Timur Kim.

Other exceptional looks came from indie labels threeASFOUR with futuristic shaped cut-outs; cute stripes and checks from Creatures of the Wind, great mixed patterns from Duro Olowu, and my favourite denim designers Marques´Almeida.

From the established designers, clever prints incorporated into the overall design by Mary Katrantzou; visionary Comme des Garçons oversized vacuum packed shapes in bold colours and patterns to match; and beautiful designs by Vivienne Westwood, Yohji Yamamoto and more…

Future Fashion Fall 2012 RTW LOOKBOOK