In true Kiwi style, Auckland-based label Liam has launched its first pattern-only collection. During lockdown earlier in the year, the label hosted several Zoom sewing and pattern-making classes. Now the brand is launching New Zealand’s first pattern-only collection from a designer. This means it is all up to the customer to choose the fabric and construct the garment.
“Making things gives so much to people. There is a slowness in the very internal process that goes on when you make things with your hands that can be a powerful tool for wellness. It also shows us, quite viscerally, just how talented the people who make our clothes are, empowering and humanising these highly-skilled machinists in a way that words on a page can’t,” explained Emily Miller-Sharma, designer of Liam. “There is such joy in being able to pass a skill on to another person, and a great way to give a loved one something enduring. Over lockdown i discovered a strong community of sewers through hosting online sewing and pattern-making classes. it was the first time in ages that i got to spend time getting jazzed about different ways to do dart manipulations, or my view on how to add fullness to a skirt. What I loved about it was that the people who joined me seemed just as interested in the minutiae of pattern-making as me and it made me fall in love with my job again, and grateful to feel like i belonged to something positive.”
Circular considerations underpin all the decisions made throughout this collection’s design and production process. All fibres used to make the pattern paper, and the card for the envelopes they come in, is waste from (or the by-product of) sawn timber production from Radiata Pine forests in the North Island of New Zealand. The finished product is FSC Certified and 100% recyclable, but the intention is that these patterns get used over and over again. There are a variety of free downloadable .pdf patterns to use up extra fabric or offcuts from the making process.
Everything in this collection is being sold as a paper pattern that comes in an envelope so customers can create the garments in any fabric they like and let their imagination run wild. There are 16 patterns across three different groups: modular, sets and offcuts, and cover beginner, intermediate and advanced skill levels. The sample collection photographed was made using fabric that was already in our office (gifts from family, leftover sampling, ends from bulk runs), and were styled them with pieces already in existence.
“Because I was free of the demands of bulk production, I could be super playful with my material and colour choices,” added Sharma. “I hope that, in their own way, our customers will have as much fun experimenting as I did.”
Launching in store and online on Friday 23rd October.