linhardt’s submission for diy with iou
The IOU Project supports artisans in India who hand-loom beautiful madras fabric. Source4Style connects independent fashion designers with sustainable fabrics. Together they joined forces to create the worldwide DIY with IOU Sustainable Design Competition. So… here is my submission for the competition of which I am a finalist!
You can view my video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHnkgIeK1pE
In this design I let the material speak to me, as it is the key element in the IOU Project’s line. Madras is reversible – so taking it to the next level I wanted a garment with multiple uses that would inherently be sustainable without saying a word. Madras is lightweight and summery so thought a perfect beach accessory would work. The result is a reusable bag, a sun dress, a beach blanket, and a long vest all on one, with each design transforming itself completely. To save from making multiple patterns in multiple sizes (2,4,6, 8 etc…) for manufacturing, I wanted two patterns: S/M and L/XL. The bag, blanket and vest were void of size so my concern was the sun dress, as I had to make the garment fit almost any body type. I chose a cowl neck because of both its drape-like and expansive qualities, and an A-line skirt that ties in the back to fit and flatter almost any waist size. The mix of cutting the fabric on a bias (also for allowance of stretch in the bodice), and the addition of layers / pockets in contrasting horizontal / vertical shapes allow the manufacturer / craftsman some artistic license when working with the pattern. This allows each piece to vary and be unique, which is an important part of the IOU brand. Overall, I wanted to be careful about “over-designing” the garment and instead create a simple clever pattern that gets the most out of just a few meters. For me, this was about celebrating the beauty of the madras fabric and its versatility – in addition to making a garment that really reflected the IOU brand not only in aesthetics but in concept. Whatever happens, I am looking forward to making one for my next beach vacation, which would make my luggage even lighter! Thanks for the opportunity to showcase my work!
The reason for my application was to get my work in front of 10 judges who I consider pioneers in the realm of sustainability in fashion, and help grow my business with the opportunities offered. I wish we had these type of contests in the realm of “sustainable jewelry.” I also wish we had “Save the Diamond District” as fashion has “Save the Garment Center” – but fact is that us jewelers do not have these competitions regarding sustainability, especially this level with this type of opportunity to grow your own your line. The jewelry world lags far behind the garment word when it comes to sustainability. However, the IOU Project, Source 4 Style, and Linhardt Jewelry all have the same goals in mind: Support for Artisan Craftsmanship, Local Manufacturing, Supply Chain Transparency, and utilizing Sustainable Materials. Whether your medium is fabric or metal, it is possible to use Design as a means of communication, which ultimately was my goal.
If you like the design, please comment and/or vote for it here on Ecouterre.