There has been renewed interest in the work I produced for the catwalk since my book is about to launch. I dyed this flowing chiffon silk dress for Lindie Grenfell for her 2005 SA Fashion Week collection. She supplied me with a white "shell", some colour swatches and instructions where she wanted the colours placed.
It is quite a challenge to produce exactly what the designer requires, especially under tight time restraints. I had 24 hours to turn this around. There was no time to play.
I created the white split between the two colours by binding the fabric very tightly with elastic bands along the line I wanted. Then I suspended the garment to hang into a bath of blue dye. I drained that off, turned it around, and hung it into the brown mixture. Lindie added delicate detailing with spattering of matching sequence to give it life.
Although I had produced hundreds of fabrics for the catwalk by this stage, I had always worked behind the scenes, and this was my first show that I actually saw the finished garments strut down the ramp.
Whenever I look at this picture I am filled with a surge of emotion as I remember how it felt. If the camera had panned to me in the audience at this moment, it would have captured me, sobbing uncontrollably at the sight.
I work on the messy end of textiles. I work far back in the production process and do not always get to see what I have helped to create. I can understand the lure for designers who produce shows year after year. It is a powerful emotional experience to see something that you have envisioned in your mind's eye, step onto the catwalk in lifesize glory.
Have a great day in full colour!
* Picture by Ivan Naude and used with his permission.