We talk to textile genius Edwina Pellikka about her craft
Giorgio Armani and Calvin Klein have both knocked on Edwina Pellikka’s door seeking the perfect shade of lavender or cream for an Oscar gown in the past. But recently a visit from Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte has got the textile artist and master dyer fired up about fashion again. Pellikka is responsible for their uniquely innovative textiles, and a self-confessed perfectionist and dinosaur with an innate understanding of colour.
“When they first came in, I thought, ‘Oh God, here we go!’” she laughs, “but they were so excited when we first met! They have an extraordinary vision and sense of proportion.” To create the marble-ised textures for Rodarte’s A/W09 collection she employed typically radical measures. “I had to build the most enormous trough anyone’s ever made to contain 73 gallons of colours. It took two days to mix!”
In an age of digitally manipulated print, Pellikka still espouses the virtue of her art: “We must never lose how to do the craft aspect, otherwise you lose the magic. The Rodarte dresses are hand-dyed, so they have a certain magic and depth that you don’t get with digitally printed images,” she explains. “It’s the difference between an oil and an acrylic painting: an oil painting has the sensuality of the medium, whereas acrylic is a plastic surface. There’s something so rich and sensual about an oil painting and that’s the same with a hand-dyed fabric.”
Kin Woo writes for Dazed & Confused, Ponystep and Androgyny magazine and is a contributing editor for Dazed Digital. He has produced films for international artists Phoenix, Patrick Wolf and The Big Pink