This Australian Designer's Studio Is "Just Like a Real Life Willy Wonka Factory"
Welcome to How It’s Made. Where we go behind the scenes with your favourite brands to find out how their most popular products are produced. For our next instalment, we visited an up-and-coming label: HANNAH Artwear.
How many people have a great idea, hobby, or passion, and don't ever turn it into anything more? Designer Hannah Grossberg was determined to turn her passion into a business, and has created HANNAH Artwear. A collection of wearable art that reflects Australian heritage, while being inspired by design and artistic techniques learnt from her travels around the world.
Resort wear has become the essence of Australian style, and Hannah's pieces are the ones you'll slip into after a long day at the beach, before you head off for sunset activities. Think: Beach throw-overs, easy camis, and short skirt sets, as well as relaxed cotton robes.
As a young artist who isn't afraid of colour, Hannah uses different mediums and intricate detailing in her designs. We were curious to see how it all came together, so we went into her Bondi studio, to discover how a piece is created from start to finish.
Keep scrolling to learn more about HANNAH Artwear and shop our favourite pieces for summer.
Who What Wear Australia: How did you launch HANNAH Artwear? Did your art begin as a hobby?
Hannah Grossberg: The HANNAH Artwear story began with me being an artist from a very young age. Painting has always been my way of expressing the colourful world around—capturing people and patterns. A year ago, I went to India to source the artisans, processes and techniques that would "materialise my art". From that trip I began to realise how important it was for me to expose the journey and artistic development to my audience. Just like my artworks, people love to watch the body of work come to life and take form. When HANNAH Artwear opened its doors for the first time about a month ago, it was so amazing to see how people responded and interacted to the clothing. There was a different kind of connection as they had witnessed the making and gained appreciation for all the work involved passed from hand to hand. Each step I have taken in creating HANNAH Artwear has been an extension of my studio practice, a pure passion project which I only hope will inspire and encourage other creative talents.
WWW: Where do you source your fabrics and materials?
HG: I source my materials and fabrics in India and recently created a little collection in Marrakech, Morroco. I place an emphasis on process and try to use as little machinery as possible. In Marrakech, the garments are made by using cotton thread that is handwoven on wooden blocks and then stitched into dresses. In India, some skirts have been made by using the traditional technique of 'Leheriya'; made in a tiny village close to Jaipur, ladies sit together tying the fabric in to tiny knots in a traditional process before the cloth is twisted together and dip-dyed to create the wearable canvas. Consequently, I try to make use of age-old traditional techniques and practices that weave a special uniqueness into the fabric, that will then support communities and villages around the world.
WWW: Talk us through the process from start to finish of creating one of your signature style—right up to the piece being packaged for the customer.
HG: It all begins with my hand as an artist, "strokes become stitches" as I paint with watercolours, luscious florals, landscapes, and organic forms. I have an incredibly talented digital designer who converts the artwork into a repeat print that is then compatible for the various printing methods. Once the digital files have been sent to India, woodblocks and silk screens are build and the fun begins. For me it's like being in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. The collection is made up of really easy and ready to wear silhouettes, I am not reinventing the wheel in terms of my styles—it is the fabrication and attention to detail, quality and artistic uniqueness that is my point of difference. Each step of this wonderful journey has been fueled by my burning passion to apply my art to absolutely anything, destined to become the fabric of every woman’s summer.
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Opening image: Getty Images