Inspired by Disappearing islands, and a lifelong utopian quest, We Are Islanders SS16 collection is titled ‘The Journey to Hy-Brasil’
Hy-Brasil is the name of a mythical Atlantean island long embedded in maritime legends, shanties and cartographical seascapes; Irish myths described this apparent nautical anomaly, as cloaked in mist except for one day every seven years, when it became visible but still could not be reached.
In the 18th century, two female explorers and botanists, Ida Laura Pfeiffer & Jeanne Baré, posed as men, boarded a boat to find the island, and explore its unique botany and life.
One Austrian, one French their journey took them to the wild Atlantic where they navigated their own boat to the spot they thought the land stood. As the mist cleared they saw no land but in the distance they saw another landmass appear from the mist. They sailed on only to have the same experience as the mist cleared again. Their boat was seen in the distance by a passing ship but the two explorers were never seen again, they are said to have spent the rest of their lives searching for Hy-Brazil.
The journey to Hy-Brazil represents in many ways the need to move away from the linear in our understanding of form.
One interpretation of the story is that Hy-Brazil was actually a shell island that through erosion was moved and broken down over time. This raises interesting questions about landmasses, islands and borders. What if they are continually moving and never static, as we like to imagine?
‘The Journey to Hy-Brasil’ is a celebration of the pioneering spirit. It is a questioning of the accepted idea of form, gender and line.
The collection presents a series of hand-painted silks, cotton twills, and muslins and Irish linen, with salmon skin leather finishings.
Hand Painted Prints
The use of analogue print methods and design are informed by the idea of fluidity, and a challenge of the static. The hand-painted prints embody movement, but find form in the bamboo silk separates like the ‘Ida’ titled, quilted skirt, palazzo trousers and full length double spaghetti strap-dress, all of which include salmon skin leather finishing details.
The 100% Irish linens used throughout the collection are rendered in clean understated lines which achieve drama in the ‘Botany’ blue striped linen full length double spaghetti strap-dress and trousers, both of which include salmon skin leather finishing details, and in the yellow linen full length ‘Boat’ coat, and trousers finished with salmon leather skin.
Lines are expereimented with throughout the collection, scultptural shapes and motifs are present in the ‘Botany’ blue pin-stripe coat, the ‘Boat’ canary yellow linen open back jumpsuit, the ‘Ida’ hand painted silk gilet, and the power loom cotton ‘Island’ shirt.
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