Creative Introduction: Ecouturiere

Ecouturiere

{Images: by Christine Vivian}

This week I’m thrilled to introduce Christine of Ecouturiere.

Another delightful find in my internet travels, I was drawn to Christine’s vintage-inspired style and her use of “natural, organic and recycled materials” gets a big tick from me!

Welcome Christine and thank you so much for taking time to share your story with us!

1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

My name is Christine Vivian and I live on six acres in eastern Iowa farm country with my husband and a number of (formerly) stray cats who adopted us. When I’m not working in my studio in the outbuilding, I’m probably working in the garden, playing the piano, or snuggling with kitties.

2. How did you come up with the name “Ecouturière”?

The name of my business is a play on a French word, couturière, which is the name for a woman who makes couture fashion. I added an “E” onto the beginning so the word would begin with “eco,” thus emphasizing the eco-friendly aspect of my creations.

3. How long have you been in business?

I have been in business for about nine years now. My business evolved during the process of learning to live with the changes in my life caused by the onset of a chronic illness. Since I have always been interested in all of the textile arts, my business grew naturally from what had previously been a hobby.

Black and gray yoyo purse with ribbon chain

4. Where do you find the inspiration for your designs?

My inspiration usually comes from two places: nature and vintage/historic fashion. I’ve always had a passion for vintage and historic clothing, and these garments are always in my mind when I am designing something new. Nature is the queen of all inspiration, though, and her ever-changing raiment inspires me every day, whether it’s the rain drops on a newly opened pussy willow or the crocuses peeking out of the ground. Nature constantly reminds me to appreciate the simple beauties of life.

5. How would you describe your style?

I like to think of my style as simple, modern elegance with a vintage flair. I hope others see that, too, when they look at my work.

6. What are your favourite materials/techniques?

I love using techniques our grandmothers all knew, and using these traditional methods with eco-friendly fabrics, like organic cotton or repurposed materials. For example, all of my dresses are made with French seams, a traditional technique of concealing the seams within themselves. This spring I will be introducing a new line of handbags that will feature yo-yos, which many of our grandmothers made, and with ribbon-style flowers made from vintage neckties. I love combining these old traditions with modern sensibilities to make fun pieces.

8. Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you had to do?

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t creative, from making fancy Easter cards as a child to designing my own bustle dress in high school. I have always been a maker. I think my illness and subsequent diagnosis with lupus in 2000 helped me realize how important my creativity was, and always will be, to me. The creative process helped me deal with all the changes in my life and became a source of positive energy for me. I’m always happy when I’m creating! To go without some sort of creative outlet for too long makes me unhappy, so it’s better for everyone if I stay creative!

Jugendstil Jacket front - edited

9. What’s your favourite thing you’ve ever created?

Wow, that’s a tough question. I put so much energy and love into each of my creations that each project is a bit like a child to me. That makes it hard to pick a favorite. I do have a Gustav Klimt inspired vest that makes me very proud, and I always feel fabulous wearing my red Lily Sash dress. I’m also very excited about my upcoming handbag line, but it’s the newest project, and the new ones are always the most exciting. See? It’s hard to choose. I guess that’s the advantage of my job – I get to make all sorts of stuff that I love!

10. What medium would like to pursue but haven’t as yet?

I would love to create my own naturally-dyed block printed fabric, using traditional stamps from India. There is something about the simple beauty of traditional block-printed fabric that calls to me, so I may have to invest in a few stamps at some point and give it a try. Exploring new techniques is always an adventure!

Thank you so much Christine!

Want to see more Ecouturiere?  You can find Christine and her works at the links below:

http://www.ecouturiere.etsy.com

https://www.facebook.com/Ecouturiere

 

 

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