Friday, May 23, 2014


Now you can follow my work and get notified of new products on this Facebook page.

kohl & cochineal

In January I took the leap to self employment through the opportunity to do some contract sewing for a local business Kohl & Cochineal.

The designer Louise Leggat creates sublime packages for life's tools, using high quality NZ leathers in clean cuts, complex wraps and folds.

I've relished the opportunity to broaden my horizons, while working on dressmaking commissions and developing new designs at my own workshop.

Monday, January 6, 2014

the clothes on your back

You know that lovely addition to your capsule wardrobe that flatters you in all the right places in a  colour that pulls everything together... but in the back of your mind there's a niggling shadow of awareness, momentarily pushed aside. There's a strong suspicion that cheap fashion does come with a human and environmental cost. I feel powerless not knowing when the story behind low prices tell the story of exploited workers and unsafe practices and when it could be explained by the global differences in the cost of labour and materials. I am not immune to bargain buys that boggle the mind: how did they produce the material, sew into clothes and ship across oceans for $20-30 dollars, including the retail markup?

Even if my purchase would be a second hand one, the act of using a product until it's useless doesn't erase the history of how it was made.

I have no idea where the products in this film are heading to, but I'd like to send these kids to school, so they learn to read and write, explore and wonder, express their feelings and ideas and still have time to play and be kids in order to grow into empowered adults. And it's not just a question of underage workers as I'd like to believe there's less and less chance to get away with it these days. How are adults who are tied into lack of education, low wages and long hours able to offer any hope for their children?

It's a sad world where it's accepted to take advantage of the social and economical differences.
Is the price of locally produced goods really out of the average earner's reach or do we just want too much stuff?

Oh to be a conscious consumer.

Here's my remedy: when I create clothes I feel more comfortable as I can make informed choices about every detail, starting from the raw material. Knowledge is power.

Friday, December 27, 2013

hemp dress

It's been a quiet year with the blog as family has taken centre stage. We also bought a house half way through the year and started renovations, which would be a wonderful creative topic to blog on. However I felt a strong urge to keep my home private, so I'll just say that choosing paint colours is a real treat!

Revisiting 100% hemp cloth I've worked with before, I savoured tailoring this simple dress that I recently included in a photo shoot with dear Ishna Jacobs. What you see is version 1, not a perfect fit on me personally, but special enough to always get comments from strangers when I wear it. I call that a success as the form and material are very understated, just in the way I intended. And the photos are simply otherwordly, conveying a strong mood, magic seen by Ishna's eyes. I've been very inspired by Anton Corbijn's photography and that was our only starting point. We were looking for a location that would strike a balance between natural and man made, we needed complex light on a brightly lit summer's day. The goal was more portrait than fashion photography and I must say it was a thrill to relax and trust being in front of the camera, as it's something I'm quite scared of.

Monday, July 1, 2013

winter warmth - Arctic Spell

I brought some old stock with me from my recent trip to Finland. I made these tops and vests when I still lived in Finland as part of a collection called Arctic Spell.

The material is 100% wool, short furry pile with a knit base. The textile was made by a Finnish company and I've never seen it anywhere else. The buttons are thin disks of oxidised silver coloured metal.

Ville Suomaki worked his camera magic on the wintery Ruissalo beach just outside Turku. Kaisa was the perfect model, getting changed outdoors while it kept snowing... cool in every sense of the word. At least these garments are warm!
I'm setting up a shop at Felt to sell these and other garments, so you can soon click your way there to get your own!