I’ve recently begun searching for fabrics that reflect the colors, textures and movement of the island. I have found a number of fabrics that are soft and have drape, mimicking the movement of the sand and grasses. Materials with more structure have enabled me to contrast that fluidity with the firmness of the Victorian era, and elements of the island.
The highlight of this search was perhaps finding a fabric that looks perfectly like the sand I remember. I have also really enjoyed creating my own fabrics by digitally printing my photos of Sable Island onto the material. This has helped me bring literal representations of the island into the collection.
I have bought the majority of my fabrics from Lida Baday’s The Fabric Room in Toronto. I love the quality and beauty of the fabrics she brings in from Europe. I also took an amazing trip to New York where I picked up additional fabrics from Mood, and trims from M&J Trimming.
As I pick out fabrics, the collection is taking on an even stronger form…
The first outfit will be made of a blue, black and white printed linen that looks like woven tweed. It reminds me of the movement of the water on a foggy day on the island. The black reflects both Victorian and modern women, both of whom traditionally wear the colour.
The top for the second outfit will be made of that fantastic sand-like material. For the skirt, I altered and printed an image of Sable Island grass onto a fabric.
In the third outfit, I introduce a tan and green woven mixed linen coat, that reflects the texture of the grass and holds a slightly stiffer shape. This coat will sit over a horse printed microfiber dress that has quite a lot of drape. The combination of the structured coat and flowing dress illustrates the juxtaposition of the textures and movement that come from the wind, the dunes, the grasses, the waves and the manes.
In the fourth outfit, I return to the combination of grass and sand. The grass fabric is transformed into a blouse, while the sand fabric is used for a long skirt.
In the fifth and final outfit, I am going to use a black and white horse photo on a grey shirt that will be paired with navy linen pants. I am going to return to darker colours in this outfit to represent that the woman is returning to the city, but bringing the freedom and spirit of the island with her.