Thursday, July 30, 2009

Take Two - Nine Takes, The Fashion Fusion Project

“Everything I design has handwork on it. I just love craft. My mother used to make all my clothes. I dream a lot of the past and draw inspiration from it. The crafts, handed down from mothers and grandmothers, are old ways of doing things. They are dying out, and so it’s beautiful to re-interpret them. It really is inspiring to bring the past into the present and craft in a new way. A lot of our work is draped and can only be done on dolls. It’s better for crafters to come to the studio and be part of the process from concept to ramp. It is so different to sending a collar or cuff out. Everybody has a different technique, so what may seem like a short cut may be a new way of doing things. A crafter may put colour together differently than I would. It is amazing and makes you think. Often, I look at a detail and think it is interesting, and that I would never have thought of it. And then I go with it. It can be a different stitch or knot. A lot of love, time, care and thought go into the crafters’ work, and there is always an element of surprise, too.” – designer Abigail Betz

“In 2004 I learnt to embroider. Estelle Rose set up the Bompodi Arts and Crafts Group and brought in the Labour Department to teach us. I like working on the Fashion Fusion Project and can’t find words to explain why. At the seminar they teach us more skills, which I take back to my community and pass them on to others. Abigail usually tells me exactly what she wants, but sometimes she says do it the way I want, and if I have another idea, try it. And if it’s not right or won’t attract people, she says so. That’s how I gain experience, which I like. I work in her studio, leaving my family behind. We also have embroidery machines, but most people want hand-embroidered work, which is what I prefer. Embroidery is my home, my place, my effort and everything. I really enjoy it, especially working white on white.” – crafter Violet Schonyela

Extract taken from nineTAKES – The Fashion Fusion Project, published by Channel F Publishing, R200. Available: or on 011 442 7812

No comments:

Post a Comment