Urban Nomad

Urban Nomad. A collection of handwoven, plant dyed cotton Mali strip weave Indigo and Mudcloth apparel and accessories. Accessorized with fossil and fish skin jewelry.

Long believed to be a representation of abundance and psychic connection, the color Indigo has been said to have the ability to make ideas and inspirations appear literally “out of the blue”. It’s color has been carried through our lives in countless incarnations. Jeans, for instance have been a wardrobe staple for most women, from the most basic of all basics to couture versions. Most of our denim jeans today are synthetically dyed and are in part the cause of vast pollution of water supplies in the regions creating our jeans for us. As noted in some areas of China, you can tell which colors are fashionable in New York and Paris by the color of the rivers.

The Indigo jackets, bustiers, and dresses in the Urban Nomad collection are plant dyed cotton Mali strip weave. A complicated name for this indigenous art form, the artistic fabric is woven in narrowish (4″-6″) strips, dyed, and hand stitched into pieces of cloth. No synthetic dyes are used. The color comes from the indigofera plant, one of the oldest plant dyes known to man, in use since around 2500 BC.

Similar in its artistry, the bogolanfini, or Mudcloth designs appear black with white geometric designs. However, the fabric is dyed with river mud, making it nearly black with a brownish cast. A unique living art form, each fabric holds a story told by its bleached geometric designs, with techniques and motifs passed down through generations. Each fabric is one of a kind.

Accessories are also in part created with finds indigenous to the African region, with fossils being the key focus to the copper and silver bead earrings and necklaces. Cuffs resembling snakeskin are actually made of fish skin, with the fish used being a byproduct of the animal food industry. A brilliant use of something formerly discarded as trash.

But the real test in creating a piece of clothing out of unusual fabrics and finds like this is (at least for me) “does it look amazing and will I wear it?” I’m first and foremost an artist who makes clothing designed to make women look and feel beautiful, and importantly to feel good about their choices since my way of working is eco conscious. There are also home decorative accessories in these fabrics, and some men’s things coming up too..but more about the men’s later.

See all the looks in the Urban Nomad Lookbook.

Layering pieces and go-to basics are what I focused on in this collection. Bias skirts and dresses, flutter front jackets and coats, wrap dresses and a little mini dress are easy and layerable. A bleached out version of the solid indigo becomes a scarf. More structured designs were needed for the heavier mudcloth fabrics, all blended together for an urban take on a nomadic concept. (With some corsets thrown in because I can’t help but love their effect on a woman’s body) And a skinny hemp/cotton basic dress borrowed from my sister line Green Queen.

What is important to me is being a caretaker of the earth, and a designer of beautiful things created in an earth friendly way. Wear these pieces and love them, and know that each one has its own special story to tell.

All looks are available in the Urban Nomad section of the Shop Page. Home Decorative Accessories are found on their own section of shop.

Photos of model Jazz Monee by photographer Brienne Michelle. Makeup and Hair by Karen Bates-Ashley. Photo assistant Raelyn Elizabeth. Concept and styling by Deborah Lindquist.

“Live Green and Prosper”