ALBUM OFFICIALLY OUT + TOUR TRAILER AND MUNICH + INTERVIEWS + MAKE YOUR OWN CLOTHES SERIES!
October 22, 2017 § Leave a comment
A flame my love a frequency is finally out and I have no words to tell you how happy I am about that! You can watch the tour trailer made by Flavia Martinez on my song “Another world” to see all the dates that will start in exactly one week from now, including a fourth European date at the Notwist-curated ALIEN DISKO # 2 festival in Munich on 16th December! And there will be more European dates in the spring!
Also, in seemingly unrelated news, but not so unrelated as you might think, I’m doing a mini-series of posts on Facebook entitled “Make your own clothes!”. Here are the first 2 parts and there will be a 3rd one right before I leave.
As always, thanks for reading and listening! :-)))
MAKE YOUR OWN CLOTHES! SERIES: PART I – WHY TALK ABOUT SEWING?
If you didn’t see this one coming, well, neither did I: if you had told me 2 years ago that 90% of what I would wear and carry in 2017 would be handmade by myself, I would have told you “Yeah, right”, and yet all the clothes I’m wearing on the press pics for the new album, recent videos and in the forthcoming live shows have been made by myself over the course of the past 6 months. And if you think this short series is going to be about “fashion”, well, not really: ethics, anti-consumerism, form and function, positive mood influence, empowerment through learning – all of these coupled with the beauty and quality of lovingly-made-to-measure items – are the reasons I make my own clothes. Why do I want to share this with you? Well, it feels really special to go on tour with clothes I’ve made myself (believe me, when you go on tour for a month with only one suitcase that is mostly filled with your gear, you really want your clothes to work for you), and there are definitely parallels in the way I see clothes-making and music-making: just as I believe that it is possible to make a record from A to Z on your own (with a lot of dedication, failures, steep learning curves and good advice thrown in, *obviously*), I wish I had known earlier how doable making clothes is, and since the aforementioned themes are important to me, I hope that if some of you reading this have been thinking about starting to make their own clothes but have been hesitating to take the plunge, perhaps these posts will be the small nudge needed for you to just do it: it is worth it in so many ways.
The outfit in this press pic is one I thought of even before the record was finished, as I fell in love with the incredible colour and pattern of the Japanese fabric, and knew I wanted some coords to mimic the look of a jumpsuit but without the inconvenients of the jumpsuit ;-) Fabric: ATELIER to nani IROMountains in blue. Top pattern: Trop Top by Ivanne S (for those of you who read French, I cannot recommend this pattern-maker enough). Shorts pattern: self-drafted.
PS: I have never been given anything by any of the fabric or pattern companies mentioned, and I’ve never posted anything up till now about sewing, so they don’t even know I exist or use their products.
MAKE YOUR OWN CLOTHES! SERIES: PART 2 – THE ENVIRONMENT, ETHICS AND ANTI-CONSUMERISM VIA SEWING.
As many of you probably know by now, either through my interviews or my lyrics, nature is very dear to me, and birdwatching since 2013 has taken my interest in and commitment to the preservation of the environment to another level. Protecting our habitats and all the creatures that live in it can only go hand in hand with respect for basic human rights, and in both those environmental and ethical aspects, clothing is one of the areas where our choices do have a real impact. Companies that are more transparent in terms of how they source and treat their materials, as well as their workers, are becoming more and more numerous, which is of course a cause for celebration, but there is also a lot of greenwashing marketing going on, and educating yourself on the complex matters of textile production and garment manufacturing, as well as trying to locate truly ethically-made “green” clothing, can lead you to days and days of online browsing, sometimes only to find out the company does not ship to where you live, that it’s just too expensive for you, or that yes it does seem ethical but they just don’t have what you’re looking for. Anti-consumerism and minimalism can solve part of the problem: buy less but better, and think ten times before you buy that thing you don’t actually need.
In all these aspects, sewing – not just your clothes, but also the accessories you use every day, the furnishings in your home, etc – is a really powerful tool, both in terms of providing the motivation to stay away from multinational clothing companies and obtaining the actual items you need. I can guarantee that once you’ve experienced or at least understood how much skill and time it takes to sew, say, a shirt, you will truly understand why a 10 euro price tag in a certain Swedish chain is completely abnormal – but the problem is further compounded by the fact that a higher price tag does not necessarily mean the worker has been better paid, or that the textile is greener. Sourcing organic fabric or fabric made in more respectful ways than the usual synthetic textiles or highly-polluting non-organic cotton that fills retail stores is getting easier and easier, meaning that making your own organic or “cleaner-than-retail” clothes is also becoming easier and easier, and can be way cheaper than buying it.
Of course this is a highly complex problem with no simple one-fits-all solution, and indeed I realize that not everyone can /wants /has the time to sew. I also lay no claims to perfection: I do my best, but I’m aware that I’m wearing Adidas trainers on some of my press pictures, hardly the most ethical company in the world… However I do believe that for those who are creatively-inclined, sewing can be an awesome doorway to respond to the basic human necessity that clothing ourselves is, while giving us joy, enabling us to disconnect, making our brains work, and leading us to realize just how truly grateful we should be for all the people that are behind the clothing we have or have had on our backs.
PS: Please see Alberto’s comment about second-hand clothes and my reply! :-)
Fabric: ATELIER to nani IRO Jewel Song Pocho quilted double gauze. Jacket pattern: Monceau by Cozy Little World (French pattern – I drafted and added a silk and cotton lining).
Photos by Isabel Dublang.