April 28th my new Birka collection will be presented at the Uma Obscura festival in Umeå, Sweden. I am so excited, my very first fashion show! I have been collecting items for this line for over three years, now I see my vision take shape.
Today I scored a vintage hand woven locally made table cloth, made by a lady called Nanny Falkman-Johansson from Källö-Knippla, one of the islands of the Gothenburg archipelago. Isn’t that amazing? Talk about knowing who made your clothes. It turns out that one of my closest friend’s grand mother lives at that very island. I asked her about Nanny to see if I could find out some more information, and I sure did. Nanny lived to be over 90 years old and was well known on the island as a very talented crafter who worked with textiles.
The Birka Collection will be made of 95 % upcycled material, all hand woven wool, vintage handcrafted copper and silver jewelry and natural material which resonance with my Scandinavian heart.
Pretty things are easily found, but for me, beauty possesses another dimension. A depth. I tend to fall in love with what is not obvious. In the tinest of things, in what is hidden. It resonances in most things I do, and especially in my design.
Working on my new collection, this is my main approach. Transforming items, hiding elements which are like buried treasures to be discovered, or maybe to remain unrevealed. I know what they are, the care and love put into creating my vision. It brings a smile to my face. That is enough.
This is a centerpiece I made for one of the Birka costumes which will be featured at the Fashion show at the Uma Obscura festival April 28th 2018 – will the crowd notice the dark amber stone I put in the centerpiece? Certainly not. I don’t even think my model will notice it to be honest. If I didn’t know it was there, I’d probably miss it, too. Still, even if not searched for, it is there. Not waiting to be discovered, unlike people, a piece of stone hardly know the meaning of waiting. Still, there it is. Now isn’t that a thing of beauty?
This seem to be somewhat of a theme, every time I ask my kids to clean out their toys or clothes, they give me something to transform as a challenge. They absolutely love it. This is the second time, and apart from Halloween times, orange seem to be another theme of theirs. The last challenge I got, the orange baby T-Rex toy, became the Jurassic Hide n’ Seek hair ornament. Could I possible top that?
Well…this is what I have to work with. My son’s worn out orange manchester pants. And the challenge? Make it into a belt, mum, he said. Pumpkin shaped belt.
It will be interesting to see where we’ll go from here.
Tidy up your room, I said, handing my son a large paper bag for him to put all toys he did no longer wanted to keep in. Two hours later, he come to me, smiling and saying that he is done. We go to his room and he shows me the bag. There is one broken toy car in the bag. That’s it. By the look on his face, I can tell that he is very well aware that I am not very please with the result, but there is something else there, too. I can sense that he has something up his sleeve. Whit the most adorable smile, he looks at me and says:
“Mum, this is for you. He only got one leg, but he is too pretty to throw away! Put him on one of your bras!”
How could I ever resist such an adorable challenge? I gave my son an ice cream, and looked at the little fellow in my hand. A bra? I really didn’t feel it. This creature needs a habitat.
A few days later, I cut my son’s worn out jeans to create the base for the fascinator. Adding a multitude of mainly duck and pheasant feathers, I wanted to create the right back ground for baby T-rex.
That done, it was time to create the habitat. Where did dinos live? I needed rocks, sky, vegetation.
It took me quite some time to search through my treasury of vintage buttons and beads to find pieces that made me think of a pre historic nature. I placed them, rearranged them, removed and added until I had the basic shape the way I wanted it. Since baby T-rex was missing a leg, I wanted to make it look like he was standing on a rock.
I glued the main pieces in place, and then started sewing. I wanted it to be more rocky and earthy in the bottom, with flowers and a tree growing up along one side and over the dino, with the blue sky behind him.
To make the whole piece sparkle, coz we do want sparkles, I created the impression of sky, leaves and some branches with Swarovski crystals. To make it even more eye catching, I decided to turn the tree into a weeping willow like type, so the dangling branches would follow the movement of the person wearing this piece, turning it into a piece of fun, wearable art.
To finish it, I glued and fastened baby T-rex with thread, then lined the fascinator with another layer of my son’s jeans and added alligator clips.
I named this fascinator the Jurassic Hide n’ Seek hair ornament.
Only one thing missing, to present to you the finished FireBirdFusion Creative Challenge of July 2017: The Jurassic Hid n’ Seek hair ornament