Midst this beautiful but busy life I set myself on a pause and reflect on why I’m doing the things I’m doing. This mostly happens in the moment before “the next amazing thing”. This time it’s the moment before naming my first collection. What usually happens during the pause is me coming back to the same conclusion – everything I do, create or experience comes from or starts with Love. I believe that, at large, there is no other drive why people do the things they do. I’m speaking here about the things that do work out and have a future in the long run, in other words – sustainable things.
Therefore I continue with the message that was born out of love for my best friend – that inspiring badass vegan trailblazer who met the love of her life and got married last year, and my love for nature and belief that life is a sparkling party, despite the gloomy and doomy! With this new biodegradable and hypoallergenic comfort wear (due to my allergy to synthetic) collection I want to pay homage to all the badass ladies – “Women who are the real architects of society” /Harriet Beecher Stowe/. I love the topic of badass – feeling and being a strong creator of my reality, determing my own story and direction in life. A badass never bends, but looks the world straight in the eyes. Between fun or rules she choses fun. She has a strong sense of self and her personal power. She deals with her fears with quiet strength. This lady is not afraid to screw up royally, taking that as a stepping stone. She is aware of and uses her gifts! A badass has a voice so those without a voice can be heard. I could go on and on, and I will 🙂
“Grace” is the English translation of the Greek χάρις (charis) meaning “that which brings delight, joy, happiness, or good fortune.” To me it feels like Grace is not only the smoothness and elegance of one’s movement and being. It’s also one’s courtesy to the environment an fellow beings. Yes, that’s also her – a graceful and silky, sensitive skin badass.
La Défense neighborhood in Paris is rapidly expanding and lots of new buildings will be built in the near future to accommodate new residents and workers, and in this context organisation Vive les Groues takes an initiative to invest in a 9,000 m² wasteland near La Défense neighborhood (Les Groues), with the belief that what is taking place there today is contributing to the future of the neighborhood. Thus, planting trees, offering a green space, sharing workshops, revealing local stories, debating, organizing meetings, workshops and festive moments.
It was exciting and special to be part of the expansive and cross-disciplinary 2 weeks event Yes We Camp, where hundred participants from all over Europe shared reflection and knowledge around the issue of transient urbanism, and also brought practical and fun activities along to share and learn from each other. Together with Oscar Landais who I met during the camp we organized a little workshop in flower pounding on textile. Results as well as the plants from the area were gorgeous, and attracted interest and exchange from the participants of the camp as well as inhabitants of the neighborhood.
“Tout va vite à l’heure du Grand Paris, mais la ville ne saurait se faire en un claquement de doigts”
“Everything is going fast at the time of the Grand Paris, but the city can not be done in a snap of fingers”.
It took me quite some time to develop a biodegradable lingerie prototype and I don’t want to disintegrate the design by using chemical textile dyes. However, since the wedding season is over and surrounding nature is full of beautiful colors in autumn, a desire for more color is building up in me. I decided to follow the calling for colors in a responsible, yet experimental way.
After investigating possibilities to collaborate with nature on this mission, I chose to try out dying with avocado pits and with Dutch seaweed that grows in the artificially created lake next to my home, in the green suburbs of Amsterdam.
There is always a moment of surprise when one is busy with alchemy and that’s why I love it. The color that avocado pits offer is elegant beige/ skin color – a perfect match for a lingerie design. Second surprise – when combining the subtle green from the seaweed with the avocado pink, a bright, more intense and sensual salmon-like color appeared. Beautiful color. I’m happy that this process turned out to be a success, even though as more I experiment, as further I wish to experiment.
The scent, the shape and the experience – three pillars of my soap design alchemy. The oddball soaps appeared from my hands while I was researching topics of intuition in relation to innovation and creativity, since my way of working is to combine practical work with theoretical research.
For the scent of this sheabutter and coconut oil soap I chose Frankincense essential oil. The essential oil is distilled from the Boswellia tree’s resin. When theBoswellia tree’s bark is pierced, a milky-white oleoresin is exuded – thought the tree is not harmed. The resin forms droplets known as ‘tears’ or ‘pearls’, which harden into the orange-brown gum known itself as Frankincense. The English name of this natural incense is derived from the medieval French ‘franc’, meaning ‘pure’ or ‘free’, and from the Latin ‘incensium’, meaning ‘to smoke’. This scent is said to strenghten intuition and deepen a spiritual connection by enhancing focus. It can enhance the mood and combat stress and anxiety, deepen and slow down the breathing and still the mind, making it useful for meditation and yogic practice. Used for many thousands of years, the Frankincense tree has a strong association with spiritual practice.Frankincense has even been sought after by kings and valued as highly as gold! In most of the great ancient cultures, including the Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, Hebrew, Greek and Roman civilizations, it has played a role in religious and domestic life. From my own experience so far, I enjoy the emptiness and the mind space it offers me. It’s like a reminder to come back to my own space of just being.
The intuitive shapes that came out are oddball: half-plant and half-animal, like sea anemones or corrals. “An oddball” also refers to a person or thing that is atypical, bizarre, eccentric, or nonconforming, especially one having beliefs that are unusual but harmless. The longer I live the more I question things around me, like a child. Why is soap square or oval? What experiences can I create as a designer that I wish existed?
—- Intuīcijas un apzinātības loma radošajā domāšanā un izgudrošanā
—- Transdisciplinārā pieeja dizaina problēmu risināšanā
—- Ekoloģija, ilgstpējīgs dizains un “Cradle to cradle” biznesa stratēģija
—- Biomīmikrijas un biodizaina risinājumi
11. septembrī no 18.30 – 20.00 Free Riga aicina uz lekciju par mūsdienu dizaina tendencēm, kuru vadīs māksliniece Arta Bāliņa.
Lekcija notiek pasākumu cikla Shifted Kompass ietvaros.
Tēmas, kurām pieskārsimies tikšanās laikā:
Intuīcijas loma radošumā un inovēšanā. Kāds ir inovatīva cilvēka DNA? Kā intuīciju pielietot pieredzes dizainā?
Šībrīža akūtās vides problēmas un pieredzes dizaina potenciāls un iespējas.
Ekoloģija, ētika un inovācijas tekstila nozarē un modē. Pārmaiņas modes mākslas lauciņā.
“Cradle to cradle” biznesa modelis.
Vegānisms un tā potenciāls dizainā.
What meaning and feeling does an authentic luxury product carries for a contemporary individual today? What defines a luxury design? How should a luxury product make one feel and at what cost? What experience is a real beauty? These are some of the questions that drive me as a designer personally and motivate me to find new solutions in order to innovate in my design practice and to redefine the concept of luxury. We live in the times of climate and unfortunately also food crisis, therefore we no longer can act as if the old way of luxury product design is still actual today.
Mindfully designed lingerie Kristine is made from the orange cellulose textile – a silky, biodegradable textile from citrus juice by-products. It’s a vegan friendly luxurious textile since the production process does not involve killing any living beings, unlike silk, but it feels ethereal, almost fluid. Organic cotton threads were used in sewing the piece. The lingerie gift box is complimented with a selection of organic handmade soaps. Organic oils used in making the soaps are aligned with some of the favourite scents of the bride, such as bergamont, juniper berry and cedar wood. Lingerie set and soaps come in a lavender gift box, made out of deadstock textiles and recycled cardboard. Plenty of love for the planet and newlyweds!
This unique vegan lingerie set is now happily based in Canada, British Columbia and belongs to a beautiful, adventurous kick-ass vegan couple who live a conscious lifestyle, love nature, life and mindful luxury!
While visiting a recently established plant based fiber farm in Latvia (Barkava parish), I felt as if I’m in the past and in the future simultaneously. Nature is such a great teacher if we are open to listen to it. Nature can communicate about our past, present and our future at the same time.
The owner of the farm – Ritvars Točs is a hearty, energetic and kind man who let me experience the whole fairytale-like, ecological and unhurried plant fiber production process, starting from the harvest in the nearby forest (collecting bark layers from fallen trees and branches, plant stems and roots) till creating a medical nettle fiber wristband, aspen fiber back belt and aspen brew, shoe insoles and an oak fiber cat rug that apparently has some wound healing properties too. Possibilities to research, design and create with these fibers are endless. Ritvars knows how to produce fibers from about 20 plants, trees, shrubs and roots.
I am glad that I now have a chance to try out the healing power of nettle and aspen. Both fibers have a warming effect and feel pleasant, soft. American Indians and Balts are known to have used the bark of the aspen tree to brew a tea that would treat numerous ailments. Because the bark is rich in a substance called “salicin,” which is similar to the active ingredient in aspirin, it was used to provide pain relief and reduce fever. While we were in the forest, Ritvars showed me traces of teeth on aspen trees. This local competitor of Ritvars is elk for whom aspen bark is a tasty treat.
The nettle wristband we made is even more precious since the outside layer is a hand woven linen made in 1925 by a relative of Ritvars.
Oak rug for a cat, nettle plait and aspen insoles
I was surprised to learn that there is almost no interest from designers to work and experiment with these fibers, even though Ritvars has been actively promoting them for more than a year and is travelling around Latvia to give lectures about the history, tradition and usage of these natural fibers.
“LIVE AS IF YOU WERE TO DIE TOMORROW. LEARN AS IF YOU WERE TO LIVE FOREVER.” ―MAHATMA GANDHI
Garment’s life(cycle) is quite unpredictable but at the same time it’s something to take into account when developing a new design. As a maker I wish to establish a trialogue between me, the material and the wearer. I can’t assume that my creation will serve someone for 20 and more years. There are material and emotional aspects at play. I have made some experiments with making jewelry from old polyester briefs since I can’t wear them anymore. I’m not a jewelry designer but it would be nice to have a collaboration where we could create a circular approach to the lingerie design that is already implemented from the start. As a speculative design it means modeling a choice for the wearer and to stay open to possibilities and to a potential change in the future, even though it’s unpredictable.
“The material itself is full of suggestions for its use if we approach it unaggressively, receptively” Anny Albers.
Another great approach to the restoration of ‘the worn’ that I discovered while reading about conscious art/fashion projects in The Netherlands is the Golden Joynery project. It’s a practice inspired by the Japanese technique Kintsugi, where broken porcelain is visibly healed with gold. I decided to try to fix holes in my garments by darning, embroidering and stitching them with a golden thread, and I am hooked. I loved fixing lingerie this way. To expand my slow-sewing skillset I have joined the Common Threads community in Amsterdam with some amazing thread experts.