Fashion that moves and heals

September 4, 2014 9:03 pm

I’ve been inspired since creating the Mrs Australia gown a few weeks ago and I’ve been exploring the use of healing stones and semi-precious gems in my designs!

Mrs Australia stonework

The Mrs Australia Dress

Originally, all I knew was that I loved the idea of working with stones. I started with stones only of Australian origin, including turquoise, hematite and cultured pearls. More recently I have added new stones, including agate, goldstone, moonstone, amethyst, howlite, amazonite and others with complicated names I cannot recall at the moment! I selected them purely for their origins in the earth, which worked with the ‘Connected to Land’ theme of my latest collection.

Connected to Land series - dress with stone and Aboriginal artwork

Connected to Land series – organic cotton dress with agates (indigenous artwork by Deborah Bonar)

But when you work closely with something as I do, hand-stitching and attaching the little treasures to organic textiles and garments, you become intimately acquainted with them. In the same way that I come to know all the unique shapes and tones of a piece of handmade fabric, I found that, as worked with the stones, I started to notice their beautiful patterns and colours. The depth the stones added to the appearance of my designs became a much more important part of my choice to use them.

I started exploring the possibilities, such as installation art by using transparent thread to string the stones to dresses, giving them the appearance of being suspended in mid-air. This gave the gowns, when worn on the body, a wonderful kinetic quality – sparkling and moving in response to the movement of the wearer. 

Installation art

Installation art – stones threaded into spaces in fabric

I’ve also taken a leap into creating jewellery art pieces incorporating the stones, organic textiles and metals such as copper.

Copper wire and stones on a choker necklace

Copper wire and stones on a choker necklace

After doing more research on these stones, I discovered that gem stones have an ancient tradition in the healing realm. Since history has been recorded, stones and crystals have been used for their healing qualities. This was very exciting. I researched the healing qualities of the stones I was working with and found the following:

  • Agates attracts strength, providing protection from stress and energy drains. Agates have being used in jewellery since Babylonian times and are one of the oldest stones in recorded history.
  • Goldstone helps you attain your goals. Goldstone is also said to help you stay calm and stabilise the emotions. It can be used as an energy generator and can deflect unwanted energies, so it is also a protection stone.
  • Moonstone is strongly connected to the moon, the feminine, and to intuition as well. It is first and foremost a women’s stone, directly associated with the Mother Goddess. It is also associated with good fortune.
  • Amethyst is traditionally worn to guard against drunkenness and to instill a sober mind! However, it is also considered protection against toxicity, and can guard you from guilty and fearful feelings.
  • Howlite is a very calming stone. It is often used to relieve insomnia as it stills the mind for sleep or meditation, and can calm turbulent emotions and teach patience.
  • Amazonite is a harmony stone – helping you find focus both within yourself and with others. It will help you to communicate your true thoughts and feelings in a clear, concise way.

I like to think that these designs have yet another purpose – not just fashion; not simply art; but also healing and protective qualities. These pieces will make their exciting debut at Vancouver Fashion Week in just two weeks’ time and at World Fashion Week in Paris.

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