Coming in late June 2010 will be the Summer collection. This collection is big and bright and full of life, just like my grandmothers. This collection is inspired by my Grandma Kathi (my mom's mom) and Grandma Rosina (my dad's mom). Both of them have inspired me so much throughout the years, its hard to explain.
(Grandma Kathi, my sister, Monika, Grandma Rosina, and myself at the 2008 Trachtenfest Competition in Cleveland)
Ever since I can remember, Grandma Kathi, has been working along side Grandpa Jacob in their garden. Their garden has won them multiple awards and has supplied me with more than enough eggplant! (my personal fav). There are colors everywhere and it just bring me so much joy to walk around their garden and remember playing in it when I was little. Recently, since both my grandparents have gotten much older, they need a little help.
(Image from their garden)
My boyfriend, Christian, and I both go over there about once a week to help in the garden. Grandma mostly uses Christian for his strength to move cactuses and potted plants, but that gives me time to talk to Grandpa about the greenhouse, what to plant and when etc. The bright colors of their garden and their desire to keep it going is what inspired the color story for this collection.
(Grandma Kathi and I after she taught me how to starch underskirts in the garden.)
Grandma Rosina is a woman unlike any other. She is a travel junky and a fashion addict. I get all my fashion magazines from her and she reminds me everyday why i do what i do. But her travels around the world with her husband, Grandpa Joe, are what inspired the other part of the collection... batik. When I was young she talked about batik and I never really understood what it meant, but if she liked it then I liked it. During my time at Dominican University, I studied abroad in 2007 to Ghana, Africa. That was a trip of a lifetime and that is were my love for batik really exploded. I brought a beautiful batik fabric there and I have yet to use it because I'm scared to cut into it.
(Monika, Grandma Rosina, Grandpa Joe and I)
So what is batik? Batik is a resist dying technique used throughout the world using wax as the resist. The fabric is stamped or painted with wax and then dyed. Wherever the wax is, the dye will not penetrate, however the wax cracks and lets some of the dye into the areas which gives wonderful character. Also at Dominican, I took a class where I was given the opportunity to make my own Batik fabric. It was wonderful and my love for the dying technique was official. Once the fabric is dyed, you must boil the fabric and the wax melts off and coagulates on the top of the pot. It is time consuming, but the results are worth it.
(The batik fabric I made, I used for the top of this outfit)
How does this tie into the collection? With the bright color story from Grandma Kathi and the batik and world inspiration from Grandma Rosina, the collection is full of life. I'm using beautiful batik fabrics as lining in the dirndl. I'm also going to batik my own fabric with big bold edelweisses stamped on it to create the pattern. I'm so excited about batiking again, I can't wait to share it with everyone!