I'm hypnotized! Freedom in Design is another short film forming part of the Green Renaissance series about designers, who make use of old ‘junk’ to create
something beautiful. Natasha Wood is a designer who uses scrap pieces
of pottery and various elements from nature such as seed pods and wood,
to create beautiful jewellery pieces.
"In March 2012 I travelled to Rwanda. Along with the excitement of a true adventure, I also took with me a feeling of apprehension, for how saddening it would be to see the suffering children, with sorrow in their heart and saddness in their eyes, that we see on the news every day.
I was so wrong. All I saw were children. Kids like anywhere else in the world. And that’s why I developed this project, to show the world that while yes, these children have so few of the privelages we take for granted, they’re just like our kids. They argue, laugh, cry, question, shout, run. They’re curious and fearless. But instead of the demanding children we see at home, wanting fast food and gadgets, all the children I encountered, wanted attention, love and care – the basics that all children need. Ok, they also asked me for the two empty plastic bottles I was carrying. And that’s all.
I never forget the eyes of children in Rwanda, and how rich and happy life could be with nothing."
Mario Troise specializes in product and brand development, and recently published a short movie showing some of the process behind the famous Hermès scarves. This video showcases the level of care and detail that goes into creating an Hermès scarf, and was such a treat to have land in our inbox! Read on for Mario’s explanation of this inspiring process:
A silk scarf begins with a square pattern designed by one of their artists. The image is divided in screens (usually 10 to 20, but it could go up to 40 screens) according to color and size. Yes, they could make a silk scarf with only a couple of screens, but they prefer to separate colors as much as possible. Each layer of color is applied meticulously. Despite using the best technology available, they rely on experienced artisans to control the process. Each scarf uses around 300 silk cocoons (imported from Brazil).
Unlike industrial screen printing, this process involves a lot of human decisions. A seamstress takes 40 minutes just to hem one scarf. Can you imagine how many t-shirts are made in China in 40 minutes?
The demonstration took just about 30 minutes, but a real scarf would take hours to be produced, dried and finished.
"There was once a certain kind of child who would collect stamps, or gather the money that relatives brought back from foreign travel, and dream about what each piece of paper represented, where it might have been, who had touched it on its journey round the world. For that child, a stamp, a banknote were small passports to an exotic otherness. Or maybe they were instruments connecting cultures. That's how Mary Katrantzou thought of them. She loved the stories they told. As borders changed and currencies became obsolete, stamps and banknotes lingered as tokens of the past, literal souvenirs of the values of other, lost cultures. All the romance, melancholy, and beauty of those ideas were swept up in Katrantzou's latest collection, an absolute fashion tour de force. She's already proved she can make a ravishing print out of almost anything, and she has applied those prints to some extraordinary silhouettes, but form and content blended so effortlessly today that this felt like the point she'd been aspiring to since she started. It helped that stamps and banknotes have an innate two-dimensional symmetry that loans itself to abstraction in accessible shapes. And Katrantzou's shapes today were noticeably direct: A-lines, shirtdresses, shifts, and sheaths, offering ideal canvases. A stamp's serrated edges, for instance, provided a striking geometric border down the leg of slimline trousers. And the whorls and spirals of a banknote provided a luxurious pattern for a pantsuit in midnight blue brocade, especially when shot through with darkly sparkling Lurex.
That particularly stunning outfit crystallized just how refined Katrantzou's eye has become at abstracting pure form from her inspirations. But she has also mastered her materials to a quite ingenious degree. The finale featured one-of-a-kind pieces that paired metallic brocades and Swarovski crystal mesh printed with banknote designs. The process was almost impossibly complex, but the result was pure poetry, suggesting the golden shimmer of Byzantium. At the other end of the scale, Katrantzou worked with denim for the first time. Those pieces came at the beginning of the show. Suffice it to say they were scarcely denim as we know and recognize it."