Flower-Dyeing Silk with Uye Surana


The loveliness of our bodies has often been framed through the natural world- namely, with flowers. Call us fauna in the flora. 
The works of Georgia O'Keeffe and Gustav Klimt are prime examples of this, as warm skin mirrors the soft petals of beautiful flowers; aging just as they do,  blushing just as they do, folding and bowing just as they do. It would make perfect sense, then, that this same principle would align these two ends of the natural world through the clothing we wear. 

  Now, a few months ago, I got to see this first hand as I had the pleasure of stepping into the Uye Surana showroom/studio to see how their silk takes one of the first steps towards becoming lingerie, and even try it out for myself. Designer & founder Monica Wesley walked me through her process for dyeing the wildflower silk she uses for her watercolor-y speckled pieces.

Because Uye Surana's pieces are made with a lean towards what preserves resources and remains cohesive, nothing is wasted and everything is made by hand. So on a late summer afternoon, after walking through her small studio, Monica took me over to her table and opened a few bags of dried wildflowers: bright yellow chamomile and nasturtium buds, fuchsia hibiscus and lavender, rose petals in many shades of pink and purple- the sweet smell from the petals danced with the steam coming from a bubbling cauldron by the door- The use of which I would find out later.

Because fabric scraps taken from laser cutting are used and not wasted, Monica had some oblong white sections of silk for our dyeing exercise. After laying each piece out flat, we sprinkled the flower petals onto the silk like fallen confetti, letting everything mingle nicely. Each be-speckled piece was then carefully rolled into a bundle, and secured with rubber bands.

The silk bundles were then gentle placed over a boiling pot of water and vinegar and steamed so that the color of the flowers would seep and stain the fabric without washing it away. After letting each bundle dry, we're left with a lovely piece of fabric strewn with pretty speckles.

Here's how mine turned out. Monica usually keeps her flowers grouped by similar color-ways, so by mixing the rose petals and chrysanthemum, I was experimenting a little bit.

And boom! The silk pieces are magically (well, meticulously) crafted into panels with nylon lace and mesh- huzzah!

Just before I made this post, Uye Surana sent over pieces made with our wildflower silk: the Claire bra & panty! I nearly passed out from sheer honor when they referred me to the site to see the name of the design. You can see it in the outrageously beautiful rose and slipper, and here in black too.

It's important to keep in mind that small lingerie lines like Uye Surana keep a craft tradition alive. Lingerie is painstakingly difficult to make because tiny details require nimble fingers and attention to detail. These pieces are simple, comfortable, with even the small details there- and much appreciated.





UNIF x UO coat with antique pins, shirt via etsy, vintage Levis, vintage Miu Miu heels, Etienne Aigner Stag Bag (℅)

Once again, Blogger's photo quality continues to be a craw in my side, but if you're gonna be lazy about your blog format, you gotta live with it and use Flickr's dumbass new system to get the quality you want.
AAAAaaanyway, it took me forever to start wearing these beautiful vintage Miu Miu kitten sandals. They're not fun to walk in (not that they're meant to be walked in for more than 3 blocks, really), and walking up stairs is particularly straining on my heel, but hopefully multiple wears will nix that issue. The matching red socks were a lovely happy accident when I just threw the shoes on with them on when I went downstairs to retrieve some takeout or something, but those kinds of split second decisions tend to be favorite things that I end up repeating- like I did here to femme-up the thrown-on jeans and half-tucked shirt.




Carven top, American Apparel turtleneck (℅) and coat, AG jeans (℅), vintage boots and Etienne Aigner Stag Bag (℅)

Puzzle piecing pieces - the ease of wearing neutrals is starting to weigh on me though. I took a step back this week when I realized I practically blended in with the walls and furniture in a sunlit room.

Doesn't mean it don't look tiiiiiiight thoooooooooooooooo.
And this bag is fun - hopefully I'll feel better throwing on something kooky this weekend.


and walk


Wilfred Free corduroy pants and Talula jacket via Aritzia (℅), Uniqlo turtleneck, vintage jacket and boots

eyyyyyyyyyy look at these pants!
I enjoys me some corduroy, especially with added breeze

and a pumpkin wot hath fallen, its seeds aplenty on the walk





I quit smoking cigarettes back in April, and I'm glad it wasn't a long standing habit- a year and a half maybe? Essentially what ended it was a stress-fest related to finding an apartment, which resulted in me smoking 7 cigarettes in one sitting along with too many drinks, and then REALLY feeling the effects the next day. The combination of the splitting hangover and the smell of disgusting cigarette smoke on my hands, hair and clothes completely nauseated me, and I threw out my last pack that morning- that was that, and I haven't wanted one since.

I found myself getting sick far more often when I had cigarettes, and I felt like an asshole smoking in front of my nonsmoker friends, who assured me it was "fine" and all that to smoke around them, but of course, secondhand smoke is a thing, which is never good. I enjoy using a vape every once in a while though, and I'm sharing this because I got the chance to try this thing, and I'd much rather see people consuming nicotine this way, rather than through cigarettes anyway.

I got this vaporizer, the JUULwhich is nice to look at, charges via USB, and is used for the occasional indulgence at home after a glass of wine or something. I seriously encourage anyone who smokes cigarettes to quit or at least try a vapor alternative- but carefully, since nicotine is addictive, as you might already be aware of. This at least leaves out the CO2 you consume when inhaling smoke, and doesn't cause second-hand smoke in those around you. Do your research, though. I found this to be helpful on my own.

UPDATE: Since this was indeed gifted, I should bring this piece to your attention. I'll comment: considering how many of my industry friends smoke, I would like to see them quitting or switching to vape thanks to this push- especially considering how they (myself included form time-to-time) work in an industry so involved with the notion that smoking is "elegant" and useful for stress relief in a fast-paced business. I'd rather see more meditation from everyone, but at least with vaping, you get the nicotine without the other crap.

PS- these dudes are the same folks who make the PAX, which can be used in many different ways..




 vintage overalls, UNIF x UO jacket with old ass pins, Tsubo x Timo Weiland mules, Uniqlo Heat tech turtleneck

Y'know, something fun now that it's time to dust off the jackets and get our scarves in order. I love these heat tech tops, you'll be seeing more of this one on here, mark my words!



A Shoot with Ouidad



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