About the series: CONNECTED TO LAND

September 15, 2014 11:11 am

Everything about our society is connected to land.

My latest series of textile artwork explores and interrogates this connection.

My research into aboriginal peoples (North American, Maori and Australian) indicates that one special element ties these three populations together: a deep and abiding traditional connection to the land – both physical and spiritual.

These many different nations and groups both respected and loved her (the land), and see her as their original mother. The land is a living entity with specific pasts, presents and futures; as well as with consciousness and will towards life.

Because of its richness, the land is simultaneously home, peace, and nourishment for the body, mind and spirit. Land is central to these groups’ identities. As a result, they have great respect for, and take on custodial roles for, the land.

For 60,000 years aborigines relied upon the land for food, shelter, and medicine without depleting it. The relationship was a symbiotic one. Aboriginal spirituality is embedded in the earth and all it sustains: ‘caring for country’ is the indigenous way of life.

Aboriginals ensured that their activity helped regulate the health of the land. When collecting food, for example, they maintained sustainability by leaving a few eggs when harvesting from nests, leaving seeds for regeneration, and lighting grass fires to regenerate areas of bushland. In these ways, they ensured the sources were always being renewed.

To me, this signifies working with, not against, nature.

During the creation of the pieces in the Connected to Land series, I have eco-printed organic cotton, silk, merino and alpaca fibre with eucalyptus leaves to transfer and preserve nature in a textile. These handmade fabrics carry the glorious scent of the Australian Bush.

I have also collaborated with Australian Indigenous artist, Deborah Bonar, and a renowned local Australian printmaker, Jude Taylor, who has a lifetime of working on Australian wild flora.

The pieces feature my own biomorphic drawings, paintings and sculptures. The colour palette is sunset (burnt orange, coral, black, cream, ochre, and umber).

They feature delicate embroidery with real pearls, precious gems, hand painted glass vintage beads, and the application of found-on-the-land scrap metals for eco-printing. My objective was to transfer the memory of the land’s past where these metal pieces were used and abandoned.

The Connected to Land message is delivered via this earth-inspired collection of fragile, delicate, yet beautiful garments.

 

View the collection in the Green Embassy online store.

Jewellery as Art in the Eco-Fashion World

September 9, 2014 11:45 am

My designs are understood in the fashion community as ‘wearable art.’

And lately I’ve been venturing into jewellery making – another kind of wearable art.

Not everyone recognises jewellery making as an artform. Jewellery has become tied to its monetary value and is usually recognised simply as a commodity, with diamonds generally considered the highest expression of jewellery.

But jewellery is an artform. It is practiced in the same way as sculpture – with attention to the moulded and structural forms, the use of symbolism, and exploration of multi-dimensional materials. And without a design sensibility, a piece of jewellery will lack beauty, resonance or meaning. Great artists of the 15th and 16th centuries all trained in the design and production of fine jewellery!

My foray into jewellery making was inspired by a roll of copper wire and the precious stones I had procured for use in my garment designs. The malleability of the copper wire was immediately of interest to me – I could knit with it! Here is one of my recently produced pieces – a knitted copper wire and agate choker necklace.

Green Embassy Jewellery Knitted Copper wire, Agate Stones

Knitted Copper wire, Agate Stones

There is a wealth of contemporary and ancient body ornaments in museums and galleries around the world. Some of the elements most appreciated by collectors and museums are intricate beadwork and extensive use of mixed media. This appreciation has gradually expanded to include the use of found objects and a variety of flexible media. I’ve been upcycling vintage jewellery found in thrift shops and antique stores – these can make a wonderful base or foundation for the development of a truly unique piece of jewellery.

Green Embassy Jewellery Upcycled vintage beads with Eco-Print on Merino hand made organic fabric with Eucalyptus leaves , metal chain

Upcycled vintage beads with Eco-Print on Merino hand made organic fabric with Eucalyptus leaves , metal chain

 

Green embassy jewellery Natural Silk Organza, Eco-Printed with Eucalyptus leaves, Hand made Organic Certified Merino fabric sculpture, agetate Stonem, Fresh Water Pearl, knitted Copper wire

Natural Silk Organza, Eco-Printed with Eucalyptus leaves, Hand made Organic Certified Merino fabric sculpture, agetate Stonem, Fresh Water Pearl, knitted Copper wire

Green Embassy Jewellery Agate Stones, Copper Wire, Organic hand made Alpaca textile sculpture, copperwire, upcycled vintage glass beads

Agate Stones, Copper Wire, Organic hand made Alpaca textile sculpture, copperwire, upcycled vintage glass beads

I have also been recycling pieces of my organic and eco-printed fabrics to create miniature landscapes of soft and hard forms, and all allowing me live out the Green Embassy Zero Waste Policy.

Green Embassy Jewellery Organic Certified hand made Merino and alpaca fabric sculptures, knitted copper wire, various vintage beads

Organic Certified hand made Merino and alpaca fabric sculptures, knitted copper wire, various vintage beads

Green Embassy Jewellery Natural Silk Organza Eco-Printed by hand with Eucalyptus leaves on Metal Chain, knitted Copper wire with variety of Gem Stones (Jade, Agate, Aventurine, Red Jasper, Sardonyx)

Natural Silk Organza Eco-Printed by hand with Eucalyptus leaves on Metal Chain, knitted Copper wire with variety of Gem Stones (Jade, Agate, Aventurine, Red Jasper, Sardonyx)

Green Embassy jewellery Knitted copper wire, GOTS Certified Organic Cotton fabric, Natural Silk Organza Eco-Printed with Eucalyptus leaves, Agate Stones

Knitted copper wire, GOTS Certified Organic Cotton fabric, Natural Silk Organza Eco-Printed with Eucalyptus leaves, Agate Stones

Jewellery is used by women and more recently also men as an expression of individual personality. People can become very connected to a piece of jewellery and it almost becomes part of their identity. This is why unique, one-of-a-kind pieces are important to their wearers.

Green Embassy Jewellery Silk Georgette hand printed with Eucalyptus leaves, copper wire, Agate Stone

Silk Georgette hand printed with Eucalyptus leaves, copper wire, Agate Stone

 

Simon Sakhai, the director of the Shizaru gallery (a contemporary art gallery in Mayfair, London), said:

“We see jewellery as an important part of the artistic dialogue and it should be included in the great intellectual discourse of art.”*

Simon, I agree.  With new necklaces and headpieces to complement my eco-fashion designs, this month, the world will see a new side of Green Embassy on the runways of Vancouver and Paris!

 

*UK Financial Times, Nov 11, 2011.

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.

Follow my journey on Twitter and Facebook.

Green Embassy on Vogue UK

April 2, 2014 8:22 am

Thank you, Vogue UK, for this!
See the pictures here: http://www.vogue.co.uk/fashion/autumn-winter-2014/ready-to-wear/green-embassy

green_embassy_on_vogue

Green Embassy at Vancouver’s Fall/Winter Fashion Week

March 26, 2014 6:14 pm

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Green Embassy is Australia’s first internationally recognized organically certified fashion label and Canada got its first taste of the line during this year’s Vancouver Fashion Week. Running this year from the 18th to the 24th of March, the week has been drawing crowds of celebrities, fashionistas and media from across the country and around the world to showcase each chosen designer’s latest looks.

Showing from the label’s ‘Night in the Bush’ collection, models strutted their stuff down the runway in one-of-a-kind handmade designs (which run anywhere from $2 000 to $15 000). Green Embassy is designed, knitted, stitched and embroidered from scratch by Australian artist and label creator, Zuhal Kuvan-Mills at her home in the western Australian bush. Using 100% certified organic Australian alpaca, merino, silk and organic natural fibers, she crafts garments that are inspired by her surroundings.

Read more here:
http://www.dayjobsnightlife.com/blogs/wanderlust/green-embassy/

Vancouver Fashion Week 2014: Green Embassy in the Earth Collection

March 26, 2014 8:22 am

GreenEmbassy8

An artisan line inspired by the beauty of in the Australian Outback, Green Embassy showcased their Fall 2014 collection in Vancouver last week. Angie Adventure and Madeline Althammer took in the show.

Green Embassy is Australia’s first organically certified fashion label. Designed, spun, knit, felted, stitched and embroidered from scratch by Artist and Designer Zuhal Kuvan-Mills who uses 100% certified organic Australian alpaca, merino, silk and organic natural fibers. Kuvan-Mills believes sustainability should be at the heart of business and of the fashion industry. The eco-fashion creations are certified by the Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS),  and the fibres used are certified by the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA-IFOAM).

Article Source:
http://www.shoppretty.ca/2014/03/green-embassy-fall-winter-2014.html

GREEN EMBASSY Hits VFW with Handcrafted Fall/Winter 2014 Haute Couture Line

March 25, 2014 7:23 pm

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GREEN EMBASSY, The Eco-conscious Australian Designer Label Shines with Organically Certified Line in Canada for Vancouver Fashion Week

Recent FW14/15 Vancouver Fashion Week had introduced wide array of international talents, including some that captured my attention. One of them, GREEN EMBASSY, an Aussie based label founded by designer Zuhal Kuvan-Mills, had struck a positive cord at the Vancouver Fashion Week.

Being Australia’s first internationally recognized organically certified fashion label, GREEN EMBASSY stands behind the philosophy of “eco-consciousness”. Every piece was knitted, spun, felted, stitched and embroidered from scratch at the designer’s sun-drenched farm in the Western Australian bush.

Focusing on both high quality and sustainability, GREEN EMBASSY collection maintains eco-friendly yet opulent avant garde designs. The label had previously presented its Haute Couture women’s line pieces that retail between $2000 and $15,000.

Read more here:
http://www.binzento.com/2014/03/green-embassy-hits-vancouver-fashion.html

Green Embassy :: Organics and Eco Fashion is Empowering

March 22, 2014 9:46 am

vancouver fashion week green embassy

I was very excited to attend the Green Embassy show at Vancouver Fashion Week.

From the images on the website, I knew I was in for a treat. Then seeing these visions glide down the runway was even more amazing.

I also had the honour to interview the beautiful designer.

GREEN EMBASSY is Australia’s first internationally recognized organically certified fashion label. As a company they believe that sustainability should be at the heart of their business and of the fashion industry. With a strong focus on a modern minimalist feel along with practicality, eco-conscious consumers flock to the line. Zuhal herself find daily inspiration for her artisan line through mature textile crafting traditions, and the beauty lurking in the Australian Outback. Each and every garment easily shows her responsibility toward living sustainably, organic architecture, and art. GREEN EMBASSY uses only the finest materials such as 100% certified organic Australian alpaca, merino, silk and organic natural fibers. The brand recently had a successful show for EcoLuxe London for London Fashion Week 2014, and is also participated recently in a Seattle for the “Everybody Every Body Fashion Show” where the debut of their Night in The Bush Collection took place. GREEN EMBASSY is also slotted to present in a New York eco fashion show for May.

Zuhal Kuvan-Mills is the true modern renaissance woman. This debut fashion line is her new baby born from her love for textile art. Like a true artist, she is not bound by one medium and soon exploded into fashion with her artfully crafted pieces. Zuhal’s line aims to celebrate every woman and make us feel capable and strong when we don on these pieces. The most amazing part of her story is the fact that she has only been doing this for a few months! Her collection has already jetsetted around the world at different fashion weeks. Speaks volumes to the caliber of her work.

“Vancouver Fashion Week has been very successful, and has even extended their six-day events to a seven-day run.” States Designer Zuhal Kuvan-Mills. “I’m very happy to have GREEN EMBASSY be a part of it. I want women to know that their art piece garment is as earth-friendly as possible, and that they can definitely wear stylish yet guilt-free fashions. My hands have touched everything which makes every garment haute-couture and unlike any other.

I absolutely love the fact that this whole collection is certified organic and eco friendly. She has over 50 alpacas and all the threads are made from their fur harvested cruelty free. No additional dyes are used the colors are the original colors of the alpacas. Zuhal also advocates zero waste, her piece that closed the show is actually made from left over material. When she told me that I almost fainted in disbelief! We need to do more to help reduce the amount of textile waste created in this world.

Zuhal is an absolutely incredible woman, her warmth and insight has really inspired me to live even more eco-friendly. In the world of convenience and fast fashion, when we spend $10 on a piece of clothing, who really pays the price? Powerful and thought provoking quote from her is where I will be leaving off this post. I hope we can all do our part to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Article Source: http://www.posinginvintage.com/2014/03/green-embassy-organics-and-eco-fashion.html

Green Embassy hits Vancouver Fashion Week with wearable art fashions

March 22, 2014 9:34 am

vanfashionweekge

Artisan fashion designer Zuhal Kuvan-Mills ultra eco friendly label Green Embassy launched Vancouver Fashion Week Wednesday evening with her breathtaking haute couture art designs, one of the top style trends for spring summer.

“I think of fashion as an artist . . . the runway is my gallery” stated Zuhal Kuvan-Mills in a interview with StyleDrama. With a rather diverse background, she was trained in Turkey as a veterinarian surgeon, a former teacher in the UK and now an Australian contemporary artist.

Wearable art fashions were first introduced on the Paris and Milan runways for spring summer 2014 by Chanel, Dior and Prada, so we now include Green Embassy Australia’s first internationally recognized organically certified fashion label on the cutting edge of this new style trend.

Titled Earth Series, she showcased 16 outfits on the runway at Vancouver Fashion Week as her one of a kind fashions are minimalist while dramatic and only uses 100% certified organic merino, silk and Australian alpaca raised on her own farm in Perth.

As a designer, Zuhal Kuvan-Mills has been heavily inspired by ancient textile making techniques such as hand spinning and kitted fibers, weaving, felting, stitching, embroidery to eco-dyed fabrics with Eucalyptus leaves.

“My hands have touched everything which makes every garment haute-couture and unlike any other,” said Zuhal Kuvan-Mills.

What I loved about her wearable art pieces is that they are full of earthly abstract shapes and drawings, plus with the addition of tulle she brings a playful sexiness.

You can still see her fabulous art designs up close as she has a booth at Vancouver Fashion Week, 2nd floor this Thursday and Friday from 4:30 – 9 pm.

Read more here:
http://styledrama.com/2014/03/20/vancouver-fashion-week-green-embassy/

GREEN EMBASSY Hits Vancouver Fashion Week with Handcrafted Fall/Winter 2014 Haute Couture Line

March 22, 2014 8:15 am

vfw_greenembassy

Vancouver, Canada, (March 5th, 2014) – Breathtaking fashion label GREEN EMBASSY, (http://greenembassy.com.au), struck a positive cord at Vancouver Fashion Week on March 19th, 2014 at 6:30pm located at 50 E Pender St. Vancouver Canada. GREEN EMBASSY is an organically certified artisan clothing brand created by Australian Artist and Fashion DesignerZuhal Kuvan-Mills.  GREEN EMBASSY is designed, knitted, spun, felted, stitched and embroidered from scratch at her sun-drenched farm in the Western Australian bush. GREEN EMBASSY combines the lack of eco-consciousness missing in the fashion industry with timeless designs, luxury organically certified materials, traditional handmade techniques, and elaborate art into fashionable, wearable pieces. With a unique mission to provide women with one of a kind garments that are both high quality and sustainable, it is easy to see why GREEN EMBASSY is a highly coveted brand.

Read more here:
http://www.international.to/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=57198