for our ‘home sweet home’ summer collection our designer dee, took inspiration from the things around us, the australian landscape, our native flowers and our home grown artists.
to help her create the beautiful hand painted australian blooms prints, she enlisted the help of talented local textile artist lauren from the indigo room.
we have asked lauren about her experience working with dee to create these beautiful prints…
how did you get started as a textile designer?
i grew up in colour-saturated tropical north queensland, where most of my childhood was spent exploring the bush and the sea. when you couldn’t find me outdoors, i was experimenting creatively; dancing, painting, and dressing up. from a youngster, i also had a strong desire to understand what makes people tick and to help others, which manifested in a career as a children’s occupational therapist.
my textile design practice was sparked whilst experiencing a deep loss. to cope, i took to sporting bright, bold prints as a type of “wonder woman” suit - infusing me with optimism and courage and empowering me to re-engage with the world and others. this time also reignited my childhood passion for illustration. after becoming a qualified interior decorator and some soul (and internet) searching, i found my path and passion for textile design. i am mostly self-taught, taking online courses, tutoring and working at textile companies and print houses. the indigo room is my freelance textile print design studio, where I specialise in creating bespoke wearable art for independent australian labels. i also love sharing my knowledge and passion for textiles through my workshops, mentoring others and private tutoring.
what do you love about your job?
as confucius said "choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life". there are SO many things I love about being a textile designer! i love... the melding of creative minds to create something beyond what either could have ever imagined; telling stories through wearable art on fabric; empowering and inspiring women who wear my prints and the power prints have to create connections with others. beautiful unique prints are such amazing conversation starters!
what was it like working with our designer dee on the ‘home sweet home’ collection?
it was a rare and amazing experience to collaborate with such a celebrated brisbane designer on a brief that is so close to my heart. dee knows her "maiocchi woman" so intimately and the energy and love she has for maiocchi is just infectious.
what was the brief she gave you?
dee has fostered such an incredibly loyal community of maiocchi VIPs and is so in-tune with what they love! leading up to the design of this collection, she was getting lots of hints from the maiocchi community keen to flaunt frocks celebrating our unique natural beauty in oz. dee wanted to take the maiocchi lover on a little journey with this summer collection - starting in the east with apanese inspired graphic prints and classic maiocchi retro cuts, then "coming home" with more relaxed styles and prints synonymous with our sunburnt country. dee was inspired by vintage aussie tourist tea towels, famous aussie artists, native wildflowers, and the magic of the bush.
what was your process for creating the prints?
to be able to really capture the essence of this very special collection, dee and I met together to talk through her moodboard and bounce ideas off each other. once I was crystal clear on how to tell her story through print, i surrounded myself with dee's moodboard inspiration and aussie flowers and got painting! for this collection, i loved working with gouache and watercolour paints as they are so flexible, bright and colourful. for prints this complex, i painted all of the flowers, leaves, and branches individually, before scanning, editing and then re-arranging them using a software program called adobe photoshop. from there, I pieced all the elements together like a beautiful jigsaw puzzle, making sure to create the perfect colour balance, layout and flow. at this stage, we kept in close contact with each other, making sure the prints really captured the story dee wanted to tell whilst ensuring the print was going to look fabulous on the maiocchi frocks. with her final go-ahead, i worked on putting the print into a seamless repeat. we played with different colourways and then sent it to the fabric printer to be digitally printed on gorgeous bamboo spandex, rayon and linen!
how long did it take you to do each print?
all prints take different amounts of time depending on the complexity of their layout and the number of original elements that need to be painted. the aussie blooms print featured in various colour ways on the "house Is not a home" and "made with love" dresses took approximately 20 hours to complete from original artwork, to a file ready for the fabric printer. this print featured LOTS of hand painted beautiful aussie wildflowers and a complex "jigsaw puzzle" layout. whereas the gumnut blossom print that looks divine on the "home among the gum trees" and "pinch me i'm dreaming" frocks took about 11 hours, being a more free flowing print.
which is your fave frock from the collection?
i love the "pinch we i'm dreaming" frock in emerald. i'm usually mad for all shades of indigo blue, but I have fallen in love with the energizing emerald green and contrasting pops of watermelon and hot pink gumnut flowers that "dance" all over this dress. the relaxed fit style is a fresh look for maiocchi. it is incredibly versatile - you can dress it up or down - and comfortable for our subtropical climes. i feel fabulous in it at 7 months pregnant (with plenty of growing room), but I also know I will love it just as much when I have my bubby and my waist back again!