Hannah-Lee Jade Collection, 2019
Ice and Land
‘Ice and Land’ is the newest collection of Hannah-Lee Jade, building upon earlier bodies of work that foreground the natural world as her largest source of inspiration. With the deepest respect and admiration for the environment, each of Hannah-Lee Jade’s collections emphasize the significance of the earth to her creative process. This includes sourcing sustainable, ethical, and organic fabrics; creating unique pieces that can be worn in any way, in any season; and carefully designing garments to suit all bodies moving in the world.
This collection focuses on the garment as a form of camouflage. Though the vivid colours and unusual forms of each piece may not suggest traditional camouflage patterning, her work is a response to the phenomena she observes in the natural world. Asymmetrical stitching and dynamic shapes recall the alien landscapes and desolate beauty of Iceland, while bright oranges and lush greens evoke visions of her native New Zealand. “Positive camouflage” is not a means to hide, but a way to blend together with the natural world to honour its vitality.
A new element to the collection is the addition of a brilliant yellow tartan, reminiscent of traditional loom-weaving throughout Central and Western Europe, as well as vegetable-dyed organic cotton, dyed with wildflowers and cow parsley found on the Icelandic coast. Using these fabrics as the foundation for her sartorial experiments, Hannah-Lee Jade intends to celebrate the earth while acknowledging a heritage of garment-making in various places around the world. The physical body plays a central role to this celebration, with each piece in the collection emphasizing the body as a living habitat.
‘Ice and Land’ is primarily inspired by an artist residency in Iceland completed by Hannah-Lee in July of 2018. As a result, the collection features the flow of the Dettifoss waterfall, reflected in the rippling fringes of wrap skirts and a tartan dress; the Basalt column rock formations, echoed in a stone-grey suit and geometrically structured t-shirts and dresses; and Icelandic lava fields overgrown with moss, which manifest as a hand-painted dress with wire-threaded tulip skirt. Altogether, the collection is as varied as the natural world we inhabit, demonstrating the symbiotic connection of the earth and its creatures.
Text: Sarah Messerschmidt