Curiously Karmic: Creating our First Collection
You may have wondered why we haven’t posted in a while. It’s because I’ve been working on a new in-house collection of clothing. Now I'm ready to share a few photos from our recent shoot, and give you a sneak preview of some of the items. You may also be curious to know why I chose the name Karmic Love for our label… Are you?
One of the reasons is my personal karma. I have been passionate about clothing and textiles my whole life. When I was a child, I spent much of my spare time designing clothes and dressing up my dolls. If you had asked me in the early 1970s which career I wanted to pursue, it would have been fashion design. However, back in those days art and design were not considered serious options for someone who needed to make a living. I ended up following a much more academic career path and eventually worked in finance in the City. But all along, it was fashion that ruled my heart. That was manifest in 1997 when I opened my boutique, Fashion Gallery, becoming one of the finalists for Drapers Record's Top Buyer Award after just two years in business.
Yet I soon became disillusioned with the way the industry was moving - with increasing emphasis on fast chainstore and (just as fast) luxury fashion. In the late 1990s, I was already championing emerging designers, and including vintage and recycled pieces on the rails in my store. But it wasn’t until 2008, when I set up ShopCurious, that I decided to focus exclusively on ‘slow’ fashion.
This brings me to the subject of planetary karma, and the terrible destruction and climate change caused by waste and pollution from the fashion industry. The reaction of the planet to our actions is more evident in some (usually poorer and/or manufacturing) parts of the world than others, but each and every one of us is affected through the air we breathe, the food and water we consume, and the toxins we absorb via our skin. We are only just starting to acknowledge our responsibility to slow down consumption, to recycle and reuse the items already in our wardrobes, and to buy locally produced garments, made from materials with as low a carbon footprint as possible.
I had been thinking of creating a slow fashion collection for a number of years, but the question of production was always a bugbear. Who would make the clothing? Then I was contacted out of the blue by Andrea, one of the fashion students who assisted at the Curious Fashion Sale, held to launch ShopCurious back in 2008. Andrea told me she was now successfully producing garments, having worked for some major brands, and wondered if I knew of anyone who might be interested in employing her skills. This was a curious coincidence - as if my thoughts and wishes had reaped a positive karmic reward. Andrea has not only helped me to bring the first Karmic Love collection to life, but also assisted on our recent photo shoot with model, Rosie.
Our garments have been created from end-of line and recycled fabrics. Every piece has been handmade in London, and is one-of-a-kind. Look out for the full collection launch in our next blog post. Let my Karmic Love for slow fashion become yours too.