Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Creative home lunch with Sydney Fashion Designer ladies - Millicent Darling

When I was little, I started making dresses for my dollies that looked like this.

Photo: Gavin O'Neill

If you squinted really hard, they looked like this lovely lady, anyway.
I had to use sticky tape to start with.
But I got better. I became able to sew anything.
Which makes you think you can do and be anything.
(Its quite persistant, that illusion of mine)

The other day on of my Permaculture students introduced me to the Lovely Creative Ladies of the Fashion Label, Millicent Darling. They made this dress, and much more.
Their daily life is lovely.
Here is a peep.

Mindy and Emma's day

Emma rides her bike each day, past the trendy cafes of Darlinghurst, to her long-time friend Mindy's where they have a Design and sewing studio for their label Millicent Darling.

 Lights on

 Lights off

These gloves are from Cyclette, their cycling gear collection.  
I find them permacultural in their multitude of functions - they keep your hands warm, young, entertained, and then in the dark, they flash back the energy of whoever is shining on you.

This sash bag too - It uses Minimum material for Maximum carrying capacity and unobtrusiveness. Your phone goes in the mesh pocket at the front, and can light things up - 'Right thing in the Right place'.
Real lights shine from the back mesh pocket, and your puncture kit is inside. Its reflectors are the accent tape that lights up passively, and the whole thing is poetically correct, with proper bike DNA in its shape, lightness and blackness.

Very old things, Very new things

Grandma's sewing machine in action

Being fully in the Present is said to be they key to a joyful life.
I agree.
Sewing demands full attention, presence. Its a favourite source of 'flow' for me, and maybe for Emma and Mindy too.
While the present is  good place for consciousness, for life's other good things, being in the Far Past and the Near Future have a lot of merit.
The vintage sewing machine, snippers, pins and other tools they use were built to last. They remind us we too can build things that will still be useful a century from now.
The clothes the ladies create are from the future, to be 'lived into' by culture-creating wearers. They also hint at the past, with Sherlock Holmes style patterns and lines, sexyed up and playful.

Assemble, don't cook

Lunch was a party of excellent hard goat cheese, harissa, delicatessen goodies that I don't come across here in Balmain.  They just lay it out, all this old-style unprocessed Slow Food, and eat like a Shepard-Queens, every day of the week.
I should explain. 
It is classy where I live, here on the Balmain Peninsula. But the road rage that my driving creates when I venture out to buy this stuff has me eating from Woolworths for now.
This will change.
A bike and a salad garden would change it....

The ladies showed me their sunny courtyard, with the beginnings of a delicious edible courtyard garden.  We've planted some ideas in each others minds for a beautiful edible garden at their daughters' school...good food brings people together, and then they get inspired to grow it again.

I like that.

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