When I made my first pair of watercolor leggings I didn’t know how they would look, I had just thrown color theory out the window in frustration. I had struggled with rationalizing how to use color “well”, following rules, principles, etc.
Color. There is the science of color, the theory, volumes devoted to how color comes into existence. There is Pantone, the company directing choice of color in Fashion and Home decor.
But some of us just love color, or certain color combinations because of the meaning behind it, color is a part of who we are, of our stories, secrets and personality.
My first pair of leggings were what I’d call, mermaid leggings. I didn’t think of them as such at the beginning, but when I put them on, I was in awe about how subtle the color transitions were on fabric. Usually “mermaid” leggings are very graphic-like scales, this texture is almost a glimmer.
I created them after I’d stopped reading about color theory and just started mixing colors. I always pre-mix every single combination and never use them straight from the tube.
Exploring the range of watercolor (and sometimes ink) has been so rewarding.
Curiosity, exploration, experimentation are the only path to creativity.
Watercolor to Wear
The idea of watercolor to wear is simple. I had been doing pattern design digitally for a few years, but during the evenings, when I allow myself a little (or a lot) of Pinteresting I realized my attention was drawn mostly to the painterly and illustrative designs in traditional media. Both approaches depend on the artistry and creativity of the designer, but there was something particularly soothing about garments with hand painted motifs and a person as a canvas.
I made a mood board of color inspiration. I took photos, and gathered beautiful fashion editorials, some images from old masters and I started to mix colors to a degree some people would consider sacrilege: You do know mixing red and green is going to give you muddy brown.. right?
But as colors came alive and the transitions came about so softly, I could pin-point which color palette came from which photo and the story extended beyond the static image.
This is how the designs in the collection were born. But then came the process of taking my little swatches of beautiful textures and color combinations to something that could exist beyond paper.
I’ve always been intrigued and marvelled by the aerial arts. I find they hold the perfect combination of strength, beauty and audacity. I do live in the city where Cirque du Soleil was born.
I follow several artists on Instagram and I don’t think I have skipped over a single one of their posts and not left a reaction. I’ve sketched them and painted them. In fact my very first sketch ever was a vintage aerial hooper.
The connection was instant: watercolor moves freely, smoothly, without constraint and these aerial artists inspire the same.
Unfortunately, I’m afraid of heights and so I can’t practice this beautiful discipline…
My leggings are thought for performance artists: dancers, aerial, hula hoopers mostly, because they extend beyond fitness.
It’s a first collection.
As I put together some of these designs, I kept learning about how far watercolor can go, I also learned how to transport it to fabrics such as performance knit and silk, I tested the leggings with my preferred workouts, I wore them all day long and was pleasantly surprised, they feel like a second skin.
Then I made a few silk and poly chiffon scarves and was ecstatic to see how much you can do with a scarf, especially if you need pops of color and you have unruly hair.
and lastly I made myself a skirt, with a vintage flair, floral, multipurpose, the type I really like, pull-on, no zippers, no buttons, perfect for travelling.
The best part is: I can make everything in Canada.
As of 2015 I rarely shop in malls and I still use pieces of clothing that are more than 20 years old.
I usually get my clothes from companies manufacturing in North America so even though getting these garments made by an overseas company would have been much cheaper, I knew it was too important for me to be able to visit my manufacturer any time and they’d have nothing to hide. Good conditions for their employees, no crazy schedules to provide service 24h a day, respectful of national holidays, a company where people enjoy working.
So how is a garment born?
Every design begins as a hand-painted design, inspired by a color story, by movement and by functionality. Pushing what watercolor can do day after day, you can see how my color palettes are unlike anything you have seen in watercolor before.
Fun, bold, classic, not classic, but just allowing color tell the story. Limited Edition, impossible to repeat. You can own a piece of watercolor art and wear it!
I am currently working on the Autumn Collection, and I will be shooting video of the painting process. If you would like to see some watercolor painting in action, subscribe to my newsletter
And if you are an aerial artist and you’d like a pair of leggings just for you, contact me, I love to create personalized, one of a kind designs.
So thank you for visiting. As an introduction, please use the coupon flowarte2017 for a 10% discount on orders above $35 until June 5, 2017.
Montrealers! Check out my Etsy shop where I can offer you a pick-up option with code pickupmtl.