Most people I know choose to wear something that not only feels good on their body, but colours that suit their character. Personal style can be directly linked to someone’s personality or reflect who they are …or at least how they might be feeling that day! I know that my body tells me what it likes and doesn’t like, rather quickly. A sure indication that something just doesn’t feel right, is when one ends up immediately tearing it off. Personally, I love natural fibers, soft and silky material and clothes I can feel were made with love. It also feels important to me to support community in a conscious, raw and organic manner on every level, and business is certainly no exception.
Fashion to me is a way I can express my inner world, mood or adventurous nature. It feels like an extension of the artist inside; expressing different aspects, pushing the constraints of society or softening into delicacy. Being neutral with a daring display of controversy or accentuating the composition of a shoe.
When the very talented designer of Santa Fe Gypsy, and soul sister, Rose Martinelli agreed to an informal interview, I was delighted. I do indeed feel that colours and types of material affect our physical, emotional and energetic selves. It has been proven that certain hues of blue enhance rest, peace and healing. I was called to go deeper, especially into the affect that a design process can have on human beings.
Rose shared her inspiration for her fashion label and I felt an immediate connection. “I was overseas and met a woman who had spent a year in Santa Fe. She told me that in Santa Fe everyone works on a premise of creating something to sell or give back to the community. The art and crafts are all handmade and original and keep the community flowing together. Everyone is supporting each other and she said she saw a richer sense of community and happiness.”
Rose is of Italian decent and she has always loved traveling; the Gypsy archetype spoke strongly to her in a traditional sense. She loves wandering the world and connecting with people and places. Her words stirred the adventurer close to my heart; endeavours of discovery and limitless creativity, where the nomadic spirit is set free.
“I really loved the birth of the name Santa Fe Gypsy. It felt like an honour to the lovely woman I had encountered on my travels as well as an honour to traditional cultures and family crafts and keeping that alive in the world.” Rose reflects.
I began to remember encounters and fond memories of connection with diverse cultures, and the moments where a community embraces another human being and his or her intrinsic gifts. Rose’s designs are beautiful, unique and sometimes dive into a bold edginess that I love. I asked her how she felt the colours affected the wearer. “I feel that colour and pattern do play a big role in the way a person feels, conducts themselves, communicates and regulates emotion and mood. I feel colours have this transforming effect on the wearer that allows them to express certain aspects or truths about themselves that they would not normally.”
I feel this is most acute. Often people speak louder through actions, energy and other forms of expression, than words.
Rose shared that she works a lot with hemp, organic cotton (hand loomed by the Kalawai women in Burma), jute, cypress and bamboo. She’s recently started working with an 100% vegan leather made from mushrooms! Amazing!
“I have sat with the people and watched them loom and weave the cotton into material pieces, an amazing process to be a part of.” she said. “I personally love to wear natural fibres, and working with them is such a cathartic process, it really is transforming. It is important to me to use natural fibres and materials as again this links into the ethics of sustainability and Earth care principles. I like showing that we are able to use what we have been given on this Earth, fibres and plant materials that are useable. There is a link in the cycle from plant to material fibre for cloth making.”
Having grown up on the land and having an intimate connection with nature, I also feel it is imperative to produce art from material that is in alignment with conscious business and how it affects the Earth and each person it reaches. It is a ripple affect, and a powerful ripple indeed. With this in mind, I pondered deeper about possible challenges Rose may have come across developing her business; “I would say the aspect of only offering limited pieces to potential buyers. Influencing the process of slow fashion, less is more. But I feel people are becoming more interested in the idea of clothing that isn’t massed produced and the beauty of unique one off pieces. It’s an evolving process and over time I feel more people are appreciating slower fashion practices - becoming aware of the human and planet effect it has along the way.”
Often when I travel I find myself drawn to tiny villages where the locals only speak in native tongue or remote places where no other human can be seen; stumbling across hidden cafe’s and shops or tiny bookstores that if you tried opening your arms wide, you’d hit the walls. The home-grown richness is priceless and one of a kind. I find myself staring at a half finished painting knowing that I will never paint another like it and every time it feels as though something else came through me to create it.
We move back into community, fair-trade and ethical business. I am passionate about these topics because of experiences with fear-based marketing and where the trade was unethical. I feel deeply that this is not authentic business and there is an opportunity on the verge of consciousness; for a ground-breaking transformation. Rose elaborates on my musings, “I think we are living in a world that is really starting to adopt these values. Human awareness is becoming more highlighted. In the process of fair trade and organic ethical businesses, I think all areas of the business model need to be checked to ensure that the ethos of ethical and or fair trade are adhered to. Sometimes this is an evolving process and only some elements of the business are in line with these ethics. It is about keeping the bigger picture in mind, securing a better way of living for everyone, from the person weaving the materials, to how they are directly paid, preservation of community beliefs, price given to the consumer, information shared honestly with the public, and giving back. A cycle really for me displays a natural flow aligned with people and the planet.“
To me this is describing respect for both the outer world; the relationship with others and nature and inner world; the relationship with ourselves. This brings deeper gratitude, grace and reverence to all forms of life. Considering that a large majority of people on the planet wear clothes every day, that is a major aspect of the world’s outer expression. At the most basic level, clothes keep us warm or sheltered from the sun. Taking a side step for a moment, I feel an important aspect of shedding my outer appearance is also letting go of old clothes and donating them to others less fortunate.
The body is a temple that supports the soul in existing in this world; the body is also directly linked to the Earth. It seems logical to be attentive.
Rose adds a little wisdom, “…I would say trust your ideas and test them out, if I have learned anything, it is that you have to test the waters even if you don’t have the full set up.”
It only takes a random concept, that sinks in, on the edges of dreams, a murmur in the small hours of the morning. That spark of inspiration, when watered, nurtured and given time, can develop and manifest into reality.
Blog written by Laura Naomi
Got an inspiring story? Drop us a line we'd love to hear it!
© Laura Naomi
WANT A ONE OF A KIND DESIGN?
Santa Fe Gypsy: www.santafegypsy.com.au and Instagram
Rose is showcasing designs at her local event @RAW: RAW Natural Born Artists, Thursday 27th May 2017
In her current project Rose is working with Shipibo embroidery: www.neishaclothing.com
*Santa Fe Gypsy does not waste any remnants of material or fabric in their process of design. It continues to be held and reused for other projects that may arise or passed on to other designers.
Blogs are inspired by transformation of the human spirit, by love, wellness and the journey of the soul. The writing is to inspire and raise awareness.