Featured Image: Natalie Winter
We meet Natalie Winter, the designer passionately working towards encouraging ecological awareness by creating Kimba. Launching early 2018 and centred around carefully crafted garments, Kimba is set to create the desire of slow-fashion by beautifully merging drawings of female form into design, coining the phrase ‘wearable art’.
How did you begin as an artist/designer and what made you realise you wanted to create Kimba?
It began organically in the sense I knew I enjoyed being creative and helping others in some way. As a child I was always drawing portraits and landscapes, or jamming musically with family members and I found I could express my creativity easily these ways, it felt very natural. It’s only in recent years as I became committed to painting and exhibiting in London that Kimba evolved, merging my drawings into fashion design. I knew I also wanted to encourage a greater ecological awareness and concepts around slow fashion which is why I only use fabric that is 100% certified Fair-trade and Organic from India, whilst designing everything in London. I find it’s my passions inside that carry me to grow, learn and experience new challenges so it seems a natural progression to be launching my own clothing brand around concepts of Fine Art.
We love the concept of ‘wearable art’, what inspired you to think of this?
Thank you! I see Kimba as an extension of my work as an artist; my experience in design and the arts inaugurated my cross-disciplinary work, now focusing on textile design. So ‘wearable art’ unfolded as Kimba developed. My intention is to steer the dynamics of fashion from globalised mass production to sustainable and carefully crafted pieces.
It’s so interesting to see female form and features be the pattern design on the clothing itself. What does creating clothing based on female features mean to you and what is your inspiration behind this?
I’m drawn to a simplistic and almost minimal style of pattern design. A ‘less is more’ kind of vibe. The female form as pattern design is perfect for celebrating the varying shapes of the human body with very simplistic detail. I try to capture an elegance that is reminiscent of renaissance art or neo-classical romance. I screen-print my fabric with romantic contours and fluid shapes, paying homage to still life and female nudes to play with the dynamism and movement, physically and emotionally, between colour and lines.
The focus on being fair-trade and cultivated from organic cotton is an incredibly heartwarming and inspiring element of Kimba, what does it mean to you to be a fair-trade and organic online brand?
Very important! As an individual I find it is necessary to be grounded to nature and live an existence that is balanced and sustainable. My goal is to portray this through Kimba by only ever using 100% Fair-trade and GOTS certified Organic fabric. By supporting slow fashion it encourages consumers to see the bigger picture and invest in products or selected garments so production is created at a healthy pace that the earth can sustain.
It’s empowering to see female creators representing women through their perspective in Art, Fashion and now Wearable Art, is this an important part of Kimba to you?
My intention is always to celebrate the natural female form and genuinely praise the multiplicity of women. I consider this to be a key part of Kimba which I try to portray through the brands designs, photography and videography. I look forward to transferring these values through my ‘wearable art’ into everyday lifestyles!