I love talking with designers about their creations. It's like getting a sneak peek into their brain, what drives them to create and what they are passionate about. It's not often your clothing designer is someone whom you get to know. Shopping for eco-friendly fashion can be easy if you let it. Look for vintage, handmade with vintage and up-cycled clothing. You'll often find something spectacular that you won't find massed produced and hanging on a rack with all the others like it.
Today I'd like to introduce you to Cynthia Davis the designer behind Colorada.
What does "being green" mean to you?
I think of green as a way to nurture things and people. One of my purposes is to care for and contribute to what I have received. I have been given a beautiful world to enjoy and a wealth of material goods to handle with wisdom and foresight. I want to live gently and love the beauty all around me - in people and the world.
Where I live in the mountains, you can hear the trees whispering
and the winds blowing and everything around me pulses with life. I
want to nurture the life around me and to mirror it's beauty in
what I create. I especially love the trees. The old trees are
irreplaceable. I see deer in my front yard and I have a tiny troupe
of 12 that live on our land that I watch often and worry about
sometimes. I can see the mama racoon taking her babies to the
stream to drink on the way to the grocery store. I deeply love it.
What kind of eco friendly items do you offer?
I make clothes - mostly dresses and skirts out of vintage, re purposedand new fabrics. I am also making a line of young, more simple wedding dresses and 'ballgowns'. My style is a little retro, colorful, casual and fun. I make a few bags, pouches and aprons, too. I love to make things from parts of previous garments that have a unique fabric or print. I especially love recycling vintage bed linens and vintage household fabrics like tablecloths and curtains with openwork lace and handwork such as embroidery and tucks. Many of my vintage fabrics are scouted from a local thrift store that supports an orphanage. I love
feeling like my money is helping the kids and that I am rescuing wonderful fabrics and garments to be used again.
What inspires your up-cycled designs?
Usually a certain style garment or a cool vintage print will inspire me. I love watching old movies for their gorgeous clothing designs. Sometimes a song or a feeling releases an inspiration. I like to listen to music when I design and sew. When I feel empty of ideas, I can take a walk and see the sky and clouds and trees. I will make something in those colors sometime!
What do you like about creating with vintage materials?
I love vintage fashion designs and fabrics. Vintage fabrics and goods have prints that are unique and unlike anything around today. I love their spontaneity and the softness and density of the cottons. My favorite thing is to find a wonderful vintage dress in an amazing print with some spots or tears that make them unusable. I will carefully clean, remove the bad sections and redesign them to give them another chance to go to the ball. I love the innocence and hopefulness of the era around the 40's and 50's. Even an unadorned vintage apron from that era seems to have the air of simplicity and courage. The tablecloths and linens from then are colorful and fresh and are too good to not be seen.
A special thanks to Cynthia Davis for a wonderful interview. You can find more of Cynthia's collection at her shop Colorada. Please visit her soon.