From Knitwear Technology to Lighting up Embroidery

I was very excited to see the sustainability section of Keyhouse, being that my first love has always been the Earth. On the first day of Munich Fabric Start, I had the privilege to meet Yevheniia “Jane” Luchko, a knitwear designer studying with HTW in Berlin. I had seen her designs during our preparations, and I had been waiting to see the human behind them.

Jane’s obvious passion for her knitwear dresses inspired me in less than a second, as I watched her quietly weaving on a knitting machine. I could see she was in her “flow”, as positive psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi would say.

HTW is one of the largest universities in Berlin, with a well-attended fashion program offering bachelors and masters degrees. I reached out to Thu Thao Nguyen, a professor at the school, to learn more about what HTW offers their design students. She told me, “The combination of traditional craftsmanship and innovative technology in an interdisciplinary way is a huge benefit which our students value a lot. Further, we provide them regularly with newsletters about job offers, fashion events and fashion competitions.”

From Knitwear Tech to Embroidery

Jane’s interpretation of Marco Polo 2067: Model: Lucie Plaumann Photography: MS Designer: Yevheniia Luchko

Jane’s embroideries are an exploration of color, with her Ukrainian heritage spilling out from the details. I asked her about her design process, and what inspires her to create her knitwear by hand. Jane said she takes the approach of late designer Alexander McQueen, who famously once said, “I never look at other people’s work. My mind has to be completely focused on my own illusions.” Jane takes inspiration from within herself, and within the Earth around her. She goes hiking often and illustrates a wide range of flowers and plants in intricate detail. She then replicates the drawings into her embroidery, mimicking nature as she knits and sews.

Next, she’s looking for embroidery thread that glows. The Munich Fabric Start Keyhouse gave her the perfect place to talk with contacts from the recent collaboration between StatexMadeira, and Zsk. She plans to dabble in conductive yarns, to give light to the delicate details of her embroidered flowers and leaves.

We also spoke about the creativity found in university collaborations such as HTW and Marco Polo’s 2067, which was being displayed at Munich Fabric Start. I was captivated by the light in her eyes as she spoke about this opportunity. There is something to be said about the passion students feel when they’re surrounded by innovation and pushed to problem solve. There’s a feeling of having the world literally at your fingertips, and you feel as if your brain could open up at any moment and the entire universe could pour in.

Nguyen weighed in on this too by saying, “Young designers, although still students or already alumni, will always benefit from their very versatile education at HTW Berlin where they got the chance to gain practical and creative skills, always up-to-date. That prepares them for the fashion industry and highly increases their chances to get a job as a young designer. The positive feedback from cooperation partners and employers of the fashion industry prove that. Networking is essential to us.”

I’m excited to see what Jane’s imagination creates next using glowing or conductive yarns, with the knitwear knowledge she’s gained from HTW’s program and resources. As the space for conductive clothing grows, I’m confident her designs will continue to inspire others with the passion she’s knitting into each piece.

Fig Jam Love

Fig Jam Experiment

We have a fig tree in our backyard. This summer I finally decided to use our beautiful figs. Our tree produces thousands of figs every summer, which has always overwhelmed me. However, this year I decided I would try an experiment. Although, our tree produces thousands, I picked close to 700 figs! I made several batches of fig jam, to give out to my family and friends. I had a lot of fun with it. If you’re up for making a sticky mess, check out this recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 pounds green or purple figs, stemmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • about 120-130 figs
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups water

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

  1. In a large, nonreactive saucepan, toss the fig pieces with the sugar and let stand, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until the sugar is mostly dissolved and the figs are juicy.
  2. Add the lemon juice and water and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Simmer the fig jam over moderate heat. Occasionally, stir until the fruit is soft and the liquid runs off the side of a spoon in thick, heavy drops, about 45 minutes.
  3. Once it’s boiling, I filtered out the seeds on top to remove the majority. Of course, it’s nearly impossible to remove them all.
  4. Spoon the jam into three 1/2-pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch of space at the top. Close the jars and let cool to room temperature. Store the jam in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

 

Variation: Substitute 1/2 cup of white port for the water and add one 4-inch sprig of rosemary with the lemon juice; discard the rosemary before jarring.

 

I found this recipe on Food and Wine! Check out their website for more amazing recipes!

Eco-Fashion Blogs

Top 5 Best Eco-Fashion Blogs of 2017

Recently, I read a post by Charlie Ross of the Offset Warehouse, focusing on eco-fashion and ethical fashion blogs. I noticed a few of my favorite fashion blogs in the list they had. Check out the following links to find ethical and sustainable fashion vibes!

  1. Ecouterre: As the world’s first ethical and sustainable fashion blog, my list couldn’t be complete without them. If you’re new to the game, and trying to learn how to embrace a slow fashion lifestyle, here’s a good place to start. Ecouterre is chic, while it covers all the bases of conscious style.

  2. Eco Warrior Princess: This neat a tidy blog is perfectly curated. It’s aimed at readers want to make conscious purchases when they can, and who believe in choosing eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyles. Eco Warrior Princess provides resources for new ethical bloggers as well.

  3. The Conscience Collective: This blog looks for the ethics in brands, as well as showcasing their uniqueness. They focus on innovative designers, and always publish new hacks for a conscious lifestyle.

  4. The Fashion Hedge: If you’re looking for strategy and brand development inspiration, this is your blog. Check out the Fashion Hedge to begin embracing an ethical lifestyle. As you change over your closet, kitchen, cleaning products, and everything else you realize can be more sustainable, this blog can serve as a guide.

  5. Green Issues by Agy: I may have saved the best for last. If you’re looking for a new project, and ready to get your hands dirty, this blog will inspire you to no end. Agy, a passionate textile artist, reminds us to come back down to Earth. Check out this blog for constant updates on upcycles. Making something new is so much better than buying something new!

 

Fashion + Function

Fashion Takes on a New Role

Fashion should have a functional twist. In China, some of the worst air pollution in the world is found surrounding cities. Chinese designers are realizing they must produce protective fashion to sustain their urban lifestyles. Beautiful new innovations of fashion with functionality are popping up every day. Fashion finally meets function, as if function is the new black. Climate change is affecting us all more and more. As our climate changes, we must protect ourselves with fashion.

 

Special Edition Masha Ma mask available on Yoox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out www.yoox.com for more fashion, art and design. Look for #consciousconsumerism at Yoox in their conscious collection page, here.

Learn more from @Liz_Flora here at Jing Daily!